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Reduce Your Paint Cycle Time!

—September 17, 2013
Reduce Your Paint Cycle Time!

Posted By: Pauline Perenack

This blog article comes to you from Mitchell’s product manager for RepairCenter ToolStore, James Ho.

In the collision repair industry, cycle time is a leading key performance indicator (KPI) for both body shops and insurance carriers. Though there isn’t a standard measure of cycle time, most people consider “keys to keys” (customer drop-off to return of vehicle) as the definition of a cycle. Reducing cycle time on a job has many obvious benefits: insurance companies want to control their rental car and loss of use expense, while shops want to get jobs done as quickly as possible so they can work on more cars and have satisfied customers. 

Many factors contribute to the cycle time on a job and a successful shop is able to tackle most, if not all of these factors. One of the most important and time consuming parts of a collision repair is the paint process. This is the step where the shop will paint new parts and repaint fixed parts going back onto the damaged vehicle. In some cases, the entire vehicle is brought into the paint booth for a repaint! The paint process consumes a significant amount time, and it is also where shops have the flexibility to manage the process to maximize efficiency and reduce cycle time.

One major inefficiency that many shops experience in the painting process is getting the vehicle’s information to determine the right color and quantity of paint to mix. Traditionally, the painter would need to search in the shop’s management system for the specific repair order, dig through to find the vehicle’s color, and how many panels are being painted. The painter would then have to manually input this information into their Paint Mixer and then track the job cost back into their management system. In any given week, this could waste 5+ hours of a painter’s time which could have otherwise been spent on actually painting. 

Mitchell has worked with each of the major paint providers to develop custom paint interface add-ons that integrate Mitchell’s shop management software RepairCenter™ with all the paint mixers. Shops using RepairCenter save their painters a lot of hassle and wasted time by seamlessly connecting the shop’s Paint Mixer to RepairCenter and allowing job information to flow between the two systems. Painters can automatically pull in vehicle information into their paint mixer without leaving the paint booth and push job cost data back into their RepairCenter. This connection removes the need to manually transfer information between the two systems and allows painters to focus on what they do best: painting.

These paint interfaces require little or no investment as most of them are free. They do require for the shop to be using RepairCenter, of course. Over the course of a year, the time savings from having an efficient paint workflow could mean more jobs completed and more revenue…and who doesn’t like that?

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