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What it is: Tinting formula library

The Inspiration: Jeremy Winters, lead painter at Harrison’s Body Shop, admits that he struggles a bit with color matching. In an attempt to make himself more efficient and cut down on materials, Winters decided to create a system that would store all of the formulas used for every paint color the shop has ever mixed.

What it Does: When a car comes in, Winters and the staff at Harrison’s Body Shop go to the labeling system to see if any of the available sprayout cards match. The sprayout cards all have the mixing formulas written on the back, so all a painter has to do is find a match and then create the mix based off of what is written on the back. The system has close to 1,000 cards, making it rare for the staff to have to start tinting from scratch. Storing all of the information from past jobs makes it easy for anyone to go into the cabinet and find the correct paint formula.

How it’s Made: Winters had wanted to create a system like this for a long time. When he was given the green light, he started with the very first vehicle that came in and grew the system from there. Each time a unique color comes into the shop, the formula is recorded on the back of a sprayout card and entered into the library.

A large cabinet contains all of the sprayout cards. All of the cards are stored on a grid system, with makes and models going horizontally and colors going vertically. Once the color, make and model have been identified, the cards on that hook are held up to the vehicle to see if they are a match. Once a match is found, the painter simply needs to follow the formula written on the back of the card.

If none of the cards are a match, tinting will need to be performed. Since Winters has kept such diligent records and does this for every single vehicle that comes in, that hardly happens anymore. When a new card needs to be created, the color is mixed and the formula is recorded on the back of the card. The card is then placed in the appropriate location inside the cabinet.

The Cost: Paint distributor Single Source provided the sprayout cards and cabinet for the shop. The cabinet was around $350 and the sprayout cards cost $16 for a pack of 25.

The ROI: The system saw an immediate ROI in terms of time and materials. “It doesn’t eliminate all tinting, obviously, but it has eliminated roughly 85 percent of it for me on a daily basis,” Winters says. He estimates that the system saves him up to an hour or two a day easily, which adds up to somewhere around five jobs a week. With time and materials saved, Winters estimates that the system saves somewhere around $5,000 a month.

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