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Stacey Phillips

Stacey Phillips photoStacey Phillips is a freelance writer for the automotive industry based in Southern California. She has 20 years of experience as an editor including writing in a number of businesses and fields.


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Wednesday, 09 October 2019 17:27

Best Body Shops’ Tips: Effective Repair Planning Utilizing PCE (Process-Centered Environment)

Written by Autobody News Contributor
L to R: Camille Phillips, Island Fender; Todd Stogdell, Island Concepts; and Gary Higa, Island Fender L to R: Camille Phillips, Island Fender; Todd Stogdell, Island Concepts; and Gary Higa, Island Fender Stacey Phillips


Many collision repairers are familiar with the process improvement methodologies such as Lean, Theory of Constraints and Six Sigma.

AkzoNobel has taken components of each of these disciplines specific to the collision repair industry and labeled them as a Process-Centered Environment (PCE).


Those who have implemented repair planning in their businesses, but are still experiencing supplements and other delays, have found success after incorporating collision industry-specific PCE principles, according to Tim Ronak, senior services consultant at AkzoNobel.


“A body shop might be clean and tidy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the best processes are in place to support repair planning,” said Ronak, during a presentation to a group of body shops in Honolulu, Hawaii, which was sponsored by Island Concepts. “Once a facility has assessed the effectiveness of its current repair planning process, the next step is to identify the best practices that drive improvement and standardization.”


In part two of a two-part series, Ronak talked about the building blocks of AkzoNobel’s PCE principles, which include 5S, standardization, waste reduction, visual management, continuous flow, in-process quality and continuous improvement.


Q: How would you describe 5S?


Ronak: 5S is a systematic approach to creating and maintaining a manageable work area where everything has its place. The facility is specifically organized to create a visual environment that “talks to you” through visual guides that support the repair planning process, which makes it conducive for employees to do their jobs in a consistent, repeatable way. The objective is to build a strong foundation for a PCE transformation, establish discipline and produce quick and visible results.


The 5S process was first defined in the 1960s by Hiroyuki Hirano from Toyota Motor Company.


The English version of 5S is based on five Japanese words:


Sort (seiri): Remove what is not needed, add what is missing and store or discard unnecessary items.


Set in order (seiton): Arrange items for ease of use and employ visual tools to identify where everything belongs.


Sweep/shine (seiso): Clean the workplace.


Standardize (seiketsu): Establish standards and schedules to maintain the first three.


Sustain (shitsuke): Adopt 5S into corporate culture by continued application and auditing.

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