You may be surprised to learn that many body shops create a “repair plan” at the end of the repair when everything has been documented and the final bill is created, according to Tim Ronak, senior services consultant at AkzoNobel.
Rather than a repair plan, he said this is more like an invoice that includes all of the labor, parts and materials needed to put the vehicle back to pre-accident condition.
“The objective of repair planning is to accomplish this before beginning the repair, not after,” said Ronak. “The goal is to eliminate any production delays from missed parts and labor procedures by identifying them up front.”
Over the years, Ronak has worked closely with body shops to assess the effectiveness of their repair planning process. He recently spoke to a group of body shops in Honolulu, Hawaii, about the recommended steps to effectively create and implement a thorough repair plan.
“A shop will never complete the job efficiently unless repair planning is done correctly and an accurate work order (repair plan) is created before you start production,” he said.
The following is based on information shared by Ronak in the class, which was sponsored by Island Concepts, based in Honolulu.
Q: How would you describe repair planning?
Ronak: Repair planning is not just taking a car apart and trying to figure out all of the damage. It is fully documenting everything you are going to need done to that car to fix it 100 percent. In essence, it’s a roadmap to follow.
When a vehicle leaves the body shop, the assumption is that the vehicle has been repaired correctly. You don’t want to wait until the very end of the repair to make sure everything is done properly.
Typically, shops began repair planning to reduce delays and supplements, and improve cycle time, efficiency and customer service. Many shops continue to follow the process to some degree, but they aren’t always consistent or working to a defined standard that achieves predictable results.