As long as the repair shop is full of cars, all’s well, because everybody is busy and the repair shop will be making money. That’s the tantalisingly simple conclusion to draw, but it is far from always the case. Now there’s an IT system that can help determine exactly how many cars there should be in the repair shop, and where the production bottlenecks are to be found.

Repairing modern vehicles is expensive, as they are becoming more and more sophisticated. But the most expensive element is still the labour for the repair. Therefore, in the latest version of ProcessManager, PPG's digital planning tool for bodyshops, PPG has developed a simple method to identify production bottlenecks. Because when you know where the bottlenecks are, you can focus on working to eliminate them. There are two advantages here: the repair shop’s overall repair times are speeded up, and repair labour is utilised more effectively.

Automatic identification of bottelnecks - say goodby to flooded repair shops

One of the consequences of bottlenecks is that you end up with a lot of cars in the repair shop. You might think having a lot of cars in the repair shop is a good thing, as it looks like there is plenty to do. But what actually happens is that the people waiting to get their cars back after repairs will have to wait longer than necessary. In other words, there is an unnecessary increase in the repair shop’s key-to-key time.

In its latest version of ProcessManager, PPG has digitised familiar LEAN tools so that the system itself can create a LEAN value stream map of the production flow in the repair shop.  In practice, the map reveals the bottlenecks in the repair shop. This is not a new approach – LEAN is familiar from Toyota and other companies. What is new is that PPG has automated and digitised value stream mapping so you can generate a map with just a few clicks and then immediately spot the bottlenecks, as often as you wish.

The new version of ProcessManager is popular with repair shops throughout the Nordic region. One repair shop that has embraced the new possibilities available using LEAN key figures is City Autolak in Denmark. They operate three shifts, and one of the key elements of the workshop’s success is their ability to fulfil the 24-hour delivery guarantee they offer for virtually all repairs apart from full resprays.

Jannie Lund of City Autolak in Denmark represents a workshop that has embraced the new possibilities available using LEAN key figures.

Jannie Lund of City Autolak in Denmark represents a workshop that has embraced the new possibilities available using LEAN key figures.

Jannie Lund, Finance Director at City Autolak, explains how they use LEAN key figures in ProcessManager:

“We focus mainly on cycle time, which tells us how long, on average, the cars will be in the repair shop.

This allows us to accurately monitor whether we are complying with our delivery time. 

But it is also vital for us to be able to keep track of the number of damaged vehicles passing through the repair shop each week.”

The latest version of ProcessManager has also been developed with a view to preparing repair shops for an increasingly digitised environment, making for easier and more effective communication with customers, car owners, insurance companies and leasing companies.

More information about ProcessManager can be found at:

Read more on our MVP (Most Valued Partner) solution, including Process Manager, here: MVP Solution