A year later and the shop looks just as good as when it opened. All the pluses going for it last year – fantastic location, stunning, well planned, well run shop; other revenue streams from mechanical for repairs, servicing tryes, batteries, wheel balancing and air-conditioning continue to be huge pluses. In fact, Anthony Arnold is doing so well that he's bought an even bigger (by 10m2) unit across the road to increase his capacity which was just about to come on stream as we visited.
The new unit will be the panelbeating workshop. Cars will be checked in, go to the new unit, repaired and then brought over to the original unit for prepping, painting and fit up. Mechanical stays in the original shop.
For RAC alone, the shop has been repairing around 100 driveables and 30-40 non-drives per month, averaging out at around 32 cars per week – plus the servicing and tyre work. The new workshop should allow them to repair 50 cars per week. Damage Control also does the mechanical work needed for a nearby repair shop which has, in turn, helped their cycle times and boosted Arnold's bottom line.
While Arnold still works on the business, he's also in the business and has recently been on the shop floor making sure that production is optimised – a strategy that has netted him an increase in sales of up to $60,000 a month. Arnold also attributes the team's excellent cycle times to new products such as Spies Hecker rapid clear that dries in 14 minutes from application to being able to fit up.
With the paint department becoming more productive, Arnold utilises any lulls to bring the painters over to help the panelbeaters with stripping and fitting. The idea is that all the staff become multi-skilled to protect workflow if team members are on holiday or sick leave.
Damage Control was a pilot for the 1Q1 workshop management system with its highly visual layout. But he has taken this a stop further and has magnets which reflect the job colours – so as well as updating the system when a job is finished, all of the staff can see from the colour magnet on the roof what needs doing without even consulting the screens. Arnold wasn't sure that was visual enough, especially if the colour stage is the same colour as the car and has now bought cmagnets with flashing, coloured LED lights.
Arnold's passion for an enjoyment of the business is inspiring. He's always looking for ways to improve and grow the business. He's considering opening a second location and definitely one to keep an eye on in Western Australia.
Types of repairs: All types
Avg cars repaired per week: 32