Overhead Storage that Optimizes the Shop Floor

June 1, 2016
Dallas Bodywerks implemented simple overhead storage shelves that dramatically open up the shop floor and improve overall organization

What It Is: A method for storing body panels and car parts on site while maximizing floor space during the repair process.

The Inspiration: Eric McKenzie, director of body shop operations at Park Place Dealerships, wanted to clear the clutter and create more work stalls. The parts taken off the vehicles during repairs were taking up too much space, and too much time was wasted loading the parts onto storage carts to be taken to another room. McKenzie wanted a simple, affordable fix.

What it Does: The shelves are used to store vehicle parts during the repair process, keeping them on hand but out of the way. They can hold anything that needs to be taken off before paint: door trim, panels, lamps and more. Underneath, the technicians are able to use channeling hooks to hang different parts, such as bumpers and other large panels. Custom-built boxes holding the parts sit on top of the shelves and keep the shop looking tidy. Each technician has his or her own respective storage space at the tech’s designated workstation.

How it’s Made: A technician welded together the overhanging work shelves and hung them up on his own time after hours and on weekends. After the initial build, Bodywerks Dallas contracted Alpha Material Handling to build and install the racks and mezzanines. The standard shelf size is 42 feet by 20 feet. It took Alpha Material Handling less than a week to measure the shop, build the shelves, and install them.

The shop moved locations a few years ago, so McKenzie had the opportunity to have the shelves installed with a blank slate, ensuring that the shop maximizes the efficiency of the floor space. Bodywerks’ two other locations took advantage of the shelving system, as well, installing similar versions constructed to each facility’s respective needs.

The Cost: The standard, roughly 20-foot shelving unit cost $1,500 to build and install. The boxes used to organize the parts on the shelves cost $20 each.

The ROI: After the shelves were installed in the first shop, Bodywerks Dallas gained an extra four work stations because the floor was cleared, which helped to increase revenue by $100,000. The technicians were glad to have their workstations organized with the parts stored nearby, so they didn’t have to cart them away to another storage room, increasing shop efficiency. Bodywerks Dallas specializes in high-end vehicles and has a customer base that is particular about cleanliness. Customers are given peace of mind to have their high-end cars worked on in a clean and organized environment.

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