Improving Productivity at an Automotive Detailing Shop – Case Study

When folks write articles about business, generally they start out stating the problem and then explain to you a solution to help solve that problem. So, today’s example of improving productivity comes from an Auto Detailing Shop that is inefficient, not making a significant profit, yet, has tons of business, more than it can handle, or at least that is what the owner (franchisee) thinks.The detail shop is in a decent suburb or the Great Phoenix market, it has been in business 5-years and it is well known in the area and does quite a bit of wholesale Auto Detailing; car dealerships, body shops, fleets and auto auctions and special auto events when they come to town. They are always busy, look successful and are the envy of their competitors.The owner is one of the best in the business; knowledgeable, skillful and precise. This has helped build his reputation and his business. He has always believed that auto detailing is an art, although agrees that the methods, products and special techniques is a science. In fact, this auto detailing franchisee is so good the franchisor contracts with him to train the new franchisees, which is something he is very good at as well.Unfortunately, this successful business person is so caught up in the day-to-day detailing and business, that he barely turns a profit, when he should be making a million plus a year, as this has grown into a huge operation. So, what’s the problem? Well, it is a common one; “Small successful business man grows too large to control the company.”This business man needs some advice on business processes, he needs to borrow some manufacturing strategies and he must streamline his operations. He needs to stop giving some customers rush orders and start making his process efficient so everyone gets the same rush order speed. He needs to make sure that the production cycle of each auto detail is perfected and treated like a science; just like he does with the products and techniques he uses.Each work station needs to be fully equipped with no extra motion for the detailer employee. No more walking around the car to get this or that, or to put it back only to get up and get something else. This businessman like most small businesses needs to think process, not just about the art of their trade. Please think on this, because I believe that the type of business is less important than the philosophy of my words. Please re-read this article and then think on this case study.