David Luehr is the owner of Elite Body Shop Solutions, LLC a collision business consulting firm based in Nashville, Tennessee. He is a 30-year veteran of the collision repair industry and has served on several industry association boards across the USA as well as leadership positions with companies such as Manheim and ABRA. David is an expert in Body Shop Operations and specializes in Lean and Theory of Constraints methods. Email him at email@example.com.
During a time of economic uncertainty, it is more important than ever for small business owners to understand their financial key performance indicators and use these KPI’s to make proactive adjustments to remain profitable.
I grew up in a family of artists. Not always the kind of people that come to mind when thinking of the dog-eat-dog business world. As a young man, my own artistic expression found its way into the automotive repair business as an automotive painter.
In a business such as collision repair that is notoriously difficult to manage, a successful leader must have a firm grasp on their time management. With so many distractions every day, a laser focus on completing important tasks that will move the company in the right direction is critical.
Even with loads of lean information being thrust at us for over two decades, our collision repair industry’s average cycle time is still hovering at just over ten days. This is just the average; some shops are running at close to 15 days or more while a small handful of innovative thinkers are able to produce repairs in only four days on average.
For just a moment I would like you to imagine a world where finding problems is considered a good thing. I know this may sound strange, but it is exactly the behavior that is encouraged by companies that have adopted lean thinking.
There are two traits that I most commonly witness amongst the most successful collision business leaders I work with. First they tend to work with a coach or mentor and secondly they engage in what is called deliberate practice.