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Corresponding Numbered Parts Carts and Vehicles

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KEYWORDS parts carts

WHAT IT IS: A system of numbered parts carts, cars and work bays.

THE INSPIRATION: T.G.I.F. Body Shop wasn’t seeing the efficiency it desired when it came to prepping for the repair process. Parts were scattered in different areas of the shop and technicians were wandering around to find the parts assigned to each job. T.G.I.F. COO and co-owner Kathy Mello wanted to eliminate the waste of techs’ time and talent.

“We noticed that we were wasting a lot of time and there was a lot of frustration about parts,” Mello says. “Our intention was to have the parts totally available to the technician when they got their assignment. We didn’t want them running around looking for parts.”

Mello devised an organizational system that utilized custom carts to better catalogue the parts and match them with the correct vehicle that could be found in a specific location.

WHAT IT DOES: The system uses a set of 25 extra large parts carts that help optimize parts organization. Mello dedicated a space for the carts so they would all be found in one location. Mello then had every cart numbered and created a system for deviations, which is noted on a clipboard attached to each cart. The cart numbers correspond to a numbered bay in the shop. When a tech is assigned a job, they get a number, grab the corresponding cart and vehicle, and bring them both to the assigned numbered work bay.

HOW IT'S MADE: Implementing the process required an overhauling of parts organization. T.G.I.F. has 25 custom-fabricated powder-coated parts carts. Each cart is clearly numbered and has a clipboard attached to it with cart inventory notes. The carts received numbered bins assigned to each cart, as well.

THE COST: The supplies T.G.I.F. implemented to track the parts, such as the clipboards, numbering, signs and bins, cost around $500. Because T.G.I.F wanted extra large optimized parts carts, the shop spent about $6,400 to have the 25 carts fabricated. Taking organization to the next level, the shop put up a small metal building for $8,750 next to the main building to house the carts.

THE ROI: Refining parts organization had an immediate effect on the whole process, most notably by increasing techs’ efficiency.

“The big thing is that since the communication is there, it reduces the wasted time and talent,” Mello says. The shop has seen increased throughput, with sales up 10 percent.

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