Running a Shop Tools

Mungenast Automotive Family Collision Assistance Centers

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Photo by Jason Winkeler

SHOP: Mungenast Automotive Family Collision Assistance Centers  LOCATION: St. Louis 

SIZE: 23,000 square feet  STAFF: 32  MONTHLY CAR COUNT: 200 ANNUAL REVENUE: $7.8 million

1) When dealership body shop Mungenast Automotive Family Collision Assistance Centers combined three of its locations into one large facility, the shop decided to “unite the staff” by switching from flat rate to a team concept. To do that, shop manager Scott Hortiz helped design a shop floor that allows the team to work in an assembly line, with the goal of mastering pull production (a lean production system where production is triggered by demand).

The floor is set up like a racetrack loop, which allows the car to flow through the repair process quickly. The vehicle starts in the disassembly and blueprinting area, then moves to a hard-hit or light-hit body repair area. Then it goes to paint prep and through the paint department, before heading back to reassembly and detail. Hortiz says the process has improved cycle time dramatically.
“It’s going to days instead of weeks on bigger hits,” he says.

An added bonus is the family atmosphere the team concept has created.

“The biggest difference has been getting our guys working together versus working against each other,” Hortiz says. “It’s really neat to see them working as a team and helping each other out.”

2) To help create a pull production system, the shop invested in four drive-through Global Finishing Solutions paint booths (two not pictured). Two are 30-foot production booths and two 27-foot booths used for parts cut-in and priming. Hortiz says the high-efficient booths heat up and bake quicker, which allows the cars to get in and out faster.

“But also, the space alone lets us get three times the work through,” Hortiz says. “We want to do pull production so we want the paint team pulling from the body department. They’ve been able to keep up better because they have the tools they need.”

3) The new shop floor also features two Chief Impulse alignment racks and a Hunter Engineering suspension alignment machine, wheel balancer and tire mounter. Hortiz says that, while the shop used to send out that work, they are now able to keep all of it in house.

“We used to have to drive the car to the alignment shop or have it towed,” he says. “Now we can do it in house and our dollars are staying in.”

4) To help maintain smooth communication, the shop floor is equipped with three 70-inch electronic production boards. The boards, which are integrated with CCC ONE, allow each technician to update the job when they’ve completed their part of the repair process.

“It’s all real-time accuracy on the production board,” Hortiz says. “Everyone can update a customer at any time and know where the job is in the process or what it’s waiting on.”

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