"With the LEAN way of looking at our workshop, PPG has opened up a whole new world for us
– we now know what is working well and what needs improving upon in our paint shop!
We can act on it and optimize our process performance. We are always open to new ideas, if it improves our business. I am very positive about our cooperation with Stephen and PPG.”
Jerry Forsebrant, Bil 3:an AB
Red figures despite good employees – what is the problem?
Bil 3:an is a Toyota approved full-service workshop in Uppsala, Sweden. Since the start-up of the panel and paintshop back in 2011, Bil 3:an has been struggling to earn money in this part of their business, even though the employees are skilled and do a perfect job.
In 2011, Jerry Forsebrant joined Bil 3:an and for around 3 years he has been working as the Body Shop Manager. Since starting this role, Jerry has been committed to improving the efficiency of the paint shop and turning the business around to create a positive financial result.
However, as Jerry openly tells us: “In the beginning, I had to understand what a paint shop is really all about, including getting to know all the processes and the daily flow of the workshop. I thought that if we could just keep our employees happy and busy, we would start making money. That was not the case – not even when our employees have the right skill and mind set.
I was at a loss and really wanted to get some help analyzing the workshop flow and figures, so when Toyota Sweden contacted PPG to help us analyze and optimize our paint shop, I was excited to get started.”
Pilot MVP project – close cooperation between Bil 3:an and PPG
Stephen Booty is the Business Development Manager at PPG Refinish Scandinavia. He is spearheading PPG’s MVP program (Most Valued Partner) which offers a full range of tools, services and trainings to our customers. This includes tailor made LEAN courses specifically produced to help customers analyze their business and identify areas of improvement.
The cooperation between Bil 3:an and Stephen began in September 2018, and both parties are happy about the partnership. From a PPG point of view, Bil 3:an is the perfect partner, as they are open to sharing their figures allowing PPG to measure and analyze the flow of the paint shop. As Stephen says “it is a real pleasure working with Jerry and Bil 3:an as they are positive about the project; they always deliver the figures on time and they take action on the identified improvements. This means that we both can really make a difference here – improving the business of the workshop – for the benefit of both Bil3:an and PPG.”
Not just about sold hours
Stephen explains: “The first step of the MVP process was to gather all the financial information necessary to produce a Benchmark report, but you also need to assess the workflow. Our unique Value Stream Map analysis was used to identify any bottlenecks in their process. When combined, these reports create a clear action plan and we are able to measure the “key to key” improvements.”
It is all about teamwork and partnership
After the action plan was created, PPG technicians were called in to perform the technical improvements, Bil 3:an counted cars in each process while Stephen worked on the financial information. For all this to work efficiently there is an importance of trust and teamwork from all the people involved. The initial report took around 6-8 weeks to produce and this focused on productivity, utilization and efficiency. Stephen now gathers all the relevant financial information monthly and prepares custom made reports for Jerry and Bil 3:an. The costs and earnings are analyzed and plans for improvements are made.
“Be open and succeed”
Jerry’s advice to others wanting to get a better overview of their paint shop: “Do not be afraid to show everything - be open in order to succeed. Every month is different and there is a need to analyze the figures closely. With the help of PPG, we have gained a much better overview of our paint shop. PPG showed us that we can make money – and how. I know now how many (more) hours we need to sell in order to earn money and where our present bottlenecks are.”
Bil 3:an and PPG have worked together to set goals and identified additional areas to improve upon in 2019, e.g. design of paint shop and processes in the panel shop.
Jerry concludes: “I am optimistic about 2019. We have a good overview – and we just need to adjust and make improvements now. That is a good feeling.”
Working together with Toyota Sweden
We have also asked Johan Pettersson, Toyota Sweden, about his view on MVP and working with PPG. Johan Pettersson says: “Toyota has a management system called TSM (Toyota Service Management) which focuses on taking care of our customers in the best way, having profitable processes throughout the repair process as well as repairing / servicing cars with the highest possible quality.
In this case, optimizing processes using TSM could also have been applied to Bil 3:an's paintshop, but since the MVP program Stephen is working with has parts similar to TSM and Bil 3:an uses PPG, it was interesting for me to see if - with the help of Stephen - they could increase the performance and throughput.
I have been regularly informed of the changes that Stephen and Jerry have made, followed up on these improvements and I am satisfied with the results.”
Johan Pettersson Responsible for Toyota & Lexus Damage Development Sweden