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What it is: Pump-style sprayers used in the detailing department, organized on a designated cart.

The Inspiration: Detailers at Forest Home CARSTAR Auto Body were going through many spray bottles for the various chemicals used in detailing vehicles. Either the spray bottles would wear out and get clogged every few weeks, or the technicians would misplace them. Owner Martin Zabel wanted to spend less money on new spray bottles.

What it Does: Zabel decided to implement pump-style spray bottles (like the ones typically used in the paint department) for the chemicals used by the detailing team. Each bottle is clearly marked with the chemical’s name or purpose, whether it is a window cleaner or a more harsh product. He then used a “baker”-style cart to store and organize the detailing chemicals; he added brackets to the cart from which to hang the spray pumps.

How it’s Made: Zabel bought and repurposed BASF pump sprayers to use with the detailing chemicals and dedicated the cart to the detailing department to store them.

The Cost: Zabel bought the pump-style spray bottles from his BASF jobber. “Sometimes the jobbers will tie it into a big purchase,” he says. Forest Home CARSTAR Auto Body already had the “baker”-style cart on hand.

The ROI: Zabel estimates he spends less money on the spray bottles. Though the pump-style sprayers are more expensive, Forest Home CARSTAR Auto Body has to replace them less often.

“If it lasts a year, and you’re going through eight or nine a year of the other ones plus you’re losing time, those pump sprayers are a bargain,” he says. “Plus you’re saving a ton of time.”

The detail technicians now spend about five minutes preparing to detail a vehicle whereas before, they might have had to spend 15 or 20 minutes walking around to locate the spray bottles. Moreover, the detailers no longer waste time working with worn-out or clogged spray bottles.

“As you find more efficient ways of doing things, you find that you can get more through your shop,” Zabel says. “This is one of those small pieces that as you implement it and then stay on top of it, it’s one of those cost-saving steps that helps you get more through the shop.”

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