Mike Anderson

mike anderson autobody newsMike Anderson is the president and owner of Collision Advice, a consulting company for the auto body/collision repair industry. For nearly 25 years, he was the owner of Wagonwork Collision Center, an OEM-certified, full-service auto body repair facility in Alexandria, VA.

Tuesday, 10 May 2022 15:02

From the Desk of Mike Anderson: 7 Steps to Implementing Improvements Within Your Auto Body Repair Business

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“I have all these great ideas, but I can’t get my people at the shop to help implement them.”

I don’t know if that’s something you’ve found yourself thinking or saying, but I know as a trainer, consultant and 20 Group facilitator, it’s a comment I hear from auto body shop owners frequently.


The problem, often, is shop owners may be great entrepreneurs, but not always great leaders. But it’s a skill that can be learned, through practice. Following the same steps over and over again will help you become a leader who can put great ideas into practice.


Here’s my seven-step system for implementing something new at your shop.


1. Choose a goal. Odds are, you have multiple ideas you want to try. Don’t get bogged down trying to do it all: Choose one or two to start; you can come back to the others later.


2. Assign specific tasks. Let’s say you want to “5S” (clean and organize) your paint mixing room to make it more efficient. Choose the person or people who can best help you achieve that, and assign them three to five specific tasks: clean the scale, wash and paint the walls, discard unneeded items, standardize where specific items are to be kept. Don’t overwhelm them by giving them too many items on the action list. You can give them more tasks when they finish the first ones.


But remember that your definition of clean and organized may differ from theirs, so either work with them the first time, or give clear, detailed instructions about your expectations.


3. Determine and gather the needed tools, equipment and materials. Are you asking them to stay late or meet you on a Saturday to work on a special project? Then absolutely don’t kill morale by waiting until then before you run to the hardware store for needed supplies. Be prepared.


4. Determine a timeline and set a deadline. Ask your team if they think the timeline you’ve set seems appropriate. An action plan in writing with the steps or tasks involved and deadlines ensures their buy-in.


5. Check in at the midway point. Those who abdicate rather than delegate forget about an assigned task until...

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