As seen in the October 2016 issue of Oil & Lube News, by Peter Suciu

With worries about salary  compensation, the increasing costs  of health benefits and  a general sense of uncertainty, many  shops  have experienced the all-too-common approach of needing to do more with less. While nothing can truly  make up for another set of hands, the right layout in the  shop can enhance efficiency, reduce the steps for technicians and, most importantly, get customers out the door – because  the less time the customer spends in the shop  can actually help ensure they’ll be back next time.

Considering the right layout should be on the top of any to-do list for managers and operators, but what exactly this entails can run  the gamut from simple  organization to a full-blown  remodel. Not every business can opt to do the latter,  but the right set up can greatly improve a shop’s layout, and with it, the shop’s ability to be efficient and effective.



…Being efficient  doesn’t  mean the  job is being rushed either.

“We  try to set up  things  so it is easy for the technician,” said Mitch Vicino, owner of Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care in Beaverton, Oregon. “We  have  an  area  for general repair,  a lift specifically  for quick  lubes  and  an area for  transmission repair – this  is where  we can move  the car  off the  lift without  taking  it  outside.  This saves  a lot of time.  It allows us to do work that is unscheduled without having to move a lot of cars around.”

Placement of tools is one part of Vicino’s efforts, too.

“We  have  overhead pumps  for fluids for transmission repair  that are accessible to every lift, and  we keep  the  filters by  the quick  lube  lift,”  he  added.  “We have  the tools  and  equipment centrally located so techs can see the  tools  from anywhere in  the  shop,  and  that limits the  steps they  need  to take.  One other key point is we made  sure to have  power outlets and air hoses installed  at every lift; it is a lot harder  to add  it, so when you’re designing a shop make sure those are where you need them.”


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