At present, the search for profitability of the bodywork and pain shop is one of the great challenges for managers and professionals in the bodywork sector.
The increased technical complexity of repairs, a more competitive market and higher customer service level requirements are some of the factors that have a decisive influence on the management and profitability of the workshop.
First step: get to know our client
Customers choose a bodywork and paint shop and paint shop based on two clear concepts: price and quality of the repair.
These are customers that are permanently connected and have many options to take their vehicles to be repaired, so they require greater attention and added value by the body shop.
They want to feel understood; they want the repair to be a quality repair and they want the service to be fast, without having to leave the vehicle in the workshop for too long. In short, they are seeking to obtain an excellent user experience, a key aspect of workshop profitability.
On the other hand, conducting a comprehensive study of all work processes undertaken in the bodywork and paint shop will be essential in assessing the strengths and aspects to be improved, analysing the vehicle repair cycle, from receipt to delivery.
Relying on a qualified team, good tools and excellent products aimed at optimising the sheet metal and paint repainting process will be key factors to consider.
Tips to increase the bodywork and paint shop’s profitability
Many decision-makers wonder whether they are efficiently optimising all the resources available to them in the workshop or whether they have control over working times.
At SINNEK ACADEMY we understand how important it is for the workshop to achieve optimal profitability at the business level, while offering a quality service, that is perceived by the customer as an added value.
Therefore, here are some keys and solutions aimed at improving the profitability of your bodywork and paint shop and at your customers’ satisfaction.
1. Digitising work processes
Nowadays, despite technological evolution, digitalisation and the proliferation of management tools, there are still many bodywork and paint shops that lack this type of solution integrated into their work processes.
The digitalisation of work orders, material purchases or the creation of customer files and budgets allows improving the traceability of repairs and customers.
According to several studies, the period of time a vehicle needs to stay in the workshop can be reduced by up to 15% through the digitisation of work processes.
These provide better control and monitoring of each repair at the workshop, efficiency and productivity ratios for each employee and of the cycle and break-even point of your business.
For example, there is a procedure in place for keeping record of customer data, you will be able to relate all the customer’s repairs and see the evolution, which will help save time and resources on every repair.
On the other hand, managing the bodywork and paint shop’s turnover through a digital tool will allow optimising control over expenses, income, budget items, stock and product control, etc. which will result in a better knowledge of the workshop’s gross capacity and the profit per hour.
The more data and information on customers and the business you can collect (provided that it is relevant to our business context), the more weapons you will have to make decisions aimed at increasing the shop’s profitability and productivity.
2. Increasing efficiency and productivity in repairs
The common denominator in bodywork and paint shops, that workshop managers strive to achieve every day, is to achieve the highest efficiency in repairs. That is, reducing working time while maintaining high quality standards, meeting delivery deadlines and optimising product consumption.
This is a recurring problem in the workshop, and its optimisation will allow having more time to devote to other equally relevant resources and work processes.
To do this, the best solution will be to use a high-performance paint system that is specially designed to increase efficiency in each repair.
The combination of SINNEK’s W6000 series two-layer water-based system and its quick drying fillers, primers and varnishes, will enable increasing the workshop’s productivity by a high percentage compared to other painting systems.
Its excellent coverage and colorimetry result in savings of product consumption, while allowing for a high-quality final finish.
In addition, the SINNEK W6000 Series is specially designed to optimise the application and drying times of the different repair processes, allowing a remarkable energy saving, and ensuring an excellent gloss, appearance and durability of the finish. All these features will allow the professional to:
- Reduce costs per repair.
- Improve workshop planning.
- Reduce delivery times.
- Increase the flow of repairs.
- Improve customer satisfaction
3. Correct initial assessment of the damage
An appropriate identification and estimation of damage of an accident vehicle contributes to significantly improving the economic performance of the service offered and customer satisfaction.
It is therefore important to be trained and to know the processes and techniques that allow a correct prior assessment of the repair.
The vast majority of repairs carried out in the bodywork and paint shop are budgeted or preliminary appraised, so an erroneous calculation of the extent of the repair has a direct impact on the workshop’s profitability.
Making any eventual change subsequently can, in addition to being expensive, pose a problem for the customer experience, who will not readily accept a change to a previously approved budget.
Depending on the type of repair, it may be usual for an external expert to be responsible for appraising and identifying the damage to be repaired.
However, it is also important for the workshop professional to be involved in the assessment and scope of the damage, always bearing in mind the search for profitability in the repair, even advising the expert on the cost estimates of time and material or technical complexity of the repair not considered in the expert systems (certain dismantling, small materials, downtime, etc.).
What are the advantages of a correct prior assessment of the repair in profitability for the body shop’?
The need for tools and qualified personnel with training and knowledge to carry out a correct assessment of the damage must be considered. All this will bring a number of advantages:
- It will leave no room for improvising, as a result of problems arising during the repair due to an incorrect prior assessment.
- Longer working time availability: accordingly, the quality of the repair increases with more time and planning for its execution. We also reduce the return of vehicles due to repair errors.
- Suppression of work processes such as calls to customers and experts, new appraisals, changes in budgets, etc.
- Fulfilment of delivery times, which leads to a better customer experience. In addition, this improves the workflow in the workshop, and reduces the occupation rate.
4. Optimisation of paint consumption in the bodywork and paint shop.
Professionals must always pay attention to the product mixing process, correctly identifying the colour to be reproduced and the amount required depending on the repair work.
A correct identification of the formulas through the use of a colour management software will help optimise the workshop’s paint consumption.
SINNEK has an advanced colour management software, which, in addition to formulating and correctly identifying the colour to reproduce, enables paint mixing tasks swiftly and precisely, enabling the paint manager and body shop manager to manage all aspects of the painting by means of practical functions.
It is an intuitive and easy to use tool that offers the possibility of working against the cloud, allowing you to share formulas with users from other working points and to access their formulas, wherever they are.
It also speeds up the repair and provides complete information at product and cost management level, avoiding waste (the disposal of which also entails an additional cost).
The correct use of body attachments to prepare the painting such as regulated cups, filters and application cups or FPS, will also help to optimise product consumption in a quick and clean way.
On the other hand, the technique used by the professional will also influence a higher or lower level of material waste.
Mastery of application techniques such as smearing or the appropriate use of the grey scale in the base, will contribute to optimising paint consumption.
5. Improving the user experience
Achieving excellent customer satisfaction is the cornerstone of any profitable business. This is not less true for a bodywork and paint shop.
However, customer satisfaction is not only achieved through a professional and quality repair. The customer himself/herself demands to feel valued, with a treatment and experience in line with the repair carried out.
To this end, all resources, both human and technical, must be directed towards this task.
Thus, a key aspect of customer experience in a workshop is the workshop’s facilities.
It is not so much about the size, but cleanliness and order, the organisation of the different areas of the workshop, the tools available or the work team’s image. Doesn’t everyone realise the chaos existing in a workshop just by entering?
Corporate image is also a differentiating element. Posters, logos, teamwork or even digital channels such as social networks, should be in line with the type of workshop and the values you want to convey. All this contributes to generate a complete and recognisable brand image for customers.
In addition to a tight budget and delivery of the vehicle within the agreed time frame, the catalogue of additional services will also be a key factor in user perception: replacement car, transfer service, promotions or delivering the vehicle clean will provide the workshop with an excellent professional image.
Logically, for this type of practice to have a relevant impact on the profitability of the workshop, it must be correctly integrated into the workflow and dynamics of the work performed by the bodywork and paint shop.
Finally, something that can make a difference in the user experience is to provide added value in the repair.
For example, a customer who has requested our services for a body repair will greatly appreciate that the workshop correct any minor flaws or scratches which were not previously considered, and which represents a minimum investment of time or material to the workshop.
Another example may be to handle insurance coverage issues. As professionals, we can advise them on the procedures to be carried out or if they have any kind of problem or irregularity in their policy.
As we have seen, there are several aspects to be taken into account to increase the profitability of the bodywork and paint shop. Obviously, there are other important factors that may depend on the context of each workshop, but we are sure that by focusing on the tips listed, any body shop can experience a remarkable improvement in its profitability over time.
Integrating these guidelines into the work processes, and the involvement and coordination of the entire professional team, will be crucial for obtaining the expected results.