Benefits of a Quick-Lane Estimating Center

March 20, 2018

Fine-tuning front-end processes can mean less hustle and bustle for the customers and more money towards expanding the business.

For Levander’s Body Shop, time spent making sure the customer is happy with his or her experience is the most important focus for the shop.

Since 2015 his million-dollar business has expanded into two more locations with one more opening in Omaha, Neb., in the spring. Omaha will be the first metropolitan location for the shop. One area the shop needed to improve before the metro location opened was front end of the business.

So, Brian Levander, owner of Levander's Body Shop, tweaked the damage analysis process and customer service that is essential to one-day jobs and focused time on perfecting his quick-lane estimating center.

Front-End Process

Levander noticed time could be saved if a more thorough checklist was made for the initial teardown and damage analysis.

“If pre- and post-repair scanning can be fine tuned, it alleviates frustration on the customer end,” he says.

The team will check batteries, take photos of internal and external damage and then take the photos to an internal audit. The audit was added so that the team takes extra time to inspect the photos of damage to ensure nothing was missed in the process.

For example, the team worked on clip allocation for a few weeks and learned that the team was losing $20,000 or more per year.

Levander says he’s seen the majority of shops do alignments as one of the last steps in the repair process but he pushed for it to be done at the beginning.

“You could possibly set yourself up for reduced cycle time later on,” he says. “If there’s any inclination of alignment damage, we address it right away.”

To reduce the amount of time customers need to spend in the facility, Levander made his Grand Island location into a quick-lane estimating center. The shop is now less hustle and bustle and more focused on the customer’s experience.

When the customer enters the shop, they are greeted by five employees solely designated for customer service. Instead of estimators or office assistants helping the customers, these employees have the time and the ability to focus on why the customer came into the shop, what the customer wants out of their repair and how the customer wants to be contacted.

Levander noticed that while everyone was able to multitask in the shop and handle estimating and customer service, the tasks themselves gradually decreased in effectiveness.

The shop also partnered with Enterprise rental cars, Hertz rental cars and local car rental companies to have cars on site for the customer to use. If cars are not available on site, the customer will be shuttled to one of the rental companies at no cost.

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