When folks write articles about business, generally they start out stating the problem and then explain to you a solution to help solve that problem. So, today’s example of improving productivity comes from an Auto Detailing Shop that is inefficient, not making a significant profit, yet, has tons of business, more than it can handle, or at least that is what the owner (franchisee) thinks.The detail shop is in a decent suburb or the Great Phoenix market, it has been in business 5-years and it is well known in the area and does quite a bit of wholesale Auto Detailing; car dealerships, body shops, fleets and auto auctions and special auto events when they come to town. They are always busy, look successful and are the envy of their competitors.The owner is one of the best in the business; knowledgeable, skillful and precise. This has helped build his reputation and his business. He has always believed that auto detailing is an art, although agrees that the methods, products and special techniques is a science. In fact, this auto detailing franchisee is so good the franchisor contracts with him to train the new franchisees, which is something he is very good at as well.Unfortunately, this successful business person is so caught up in the day-to-day detailing and business, that he barely turns a profit, when he should be making a million plus a year, as this has grown into a huge operation. So, what’s the problem? Well, it is a common one; “Small successful business man grows too large to control the company.”This business man needs some advice on business processes, he needs to borrow some manufacturing strategies and he must streamline his operations. He needs to stop giving some customers rush orders and start making his process efficient so everyone gets the same rush order speed. He needs to make sure that the production cycle of each auto detail is perfected and treated like a science; just like he does with the products and techniques he uses.Each work station needs to be fully equipped with no extra motion for the detailer employee. No more walking around the car to get this or that, or to put it back only to get up and get something else. This businessman like most small businesses needs to think process, not just about the art of their trade. Please think on this, because I believe that the type of business is less important than the philosophy of my words. Please re-read this article and then think on this case study.
On a day to day basis everyone is on a tight schedule that usually requires more time in the day than is possible. This constant activity causes people to rush from one thing to the next. I have found that at Chandler Fashion Center, many people are trying to get in to make the important purchase and then out as soon as possible. Rushing leaves the opportunity for the unfortunate events to happen to unsuspecting mall patrons.I get at least four to five calls every week from people who were unlucky enough to find themselves locked out of their car after a long shopping trip at the mall. For some strange reason it tends to happen more at Chandler mall than anywhere else in the area but shoppers have a lot on their mind and car keys isn’t one of them. In many cases the lockout will occur in the late afternoon, when the heat is at its peak. This time of day requires immediate response as long exposure to high temperatures can be hazardous to your health.Last week a call came in from the manager at Nordstrom’s rack, she was looking for a local locksmith on behalf of an elderly woman that was apparently locked out of her 1998 Cadillac Deville. Since the outside temperature was over 110 degrees I rushed over. I arrived on the scene to meet a woman that was nearly 90 years old and in a panic. I opened the car to help the customer look for the key in the vehicle. After 20 minutes of looking high and low, there was still no sign of the keys. I asked the customer is she wanted to have a car key made to get her back on the road. The elderly woman explained that she had an extra set at home and she would have her daughter bring them to her. She then went to her purse to get a credit card for payment and pulled out her keys too. Everyone present couldn’t believe that she had the key the whole time. I understand that things like these do happen, so I discounted the rate to make the customer feel more at ease.