Body Shop Cycle Time Killers

Cycle time killers cost your body shop both time and money, especially when it comes to painting and resurfacing your customer’s vehicles. Plus, longer cycle times not only cause your shop to lose money, but they can also really frustrate your customers and may even cause them to go to a competitor. 

So, we’ve compiled the top 4 painting and resurfacing cycle time killers. 

Top 4 Painting and Resurfacing Cycle Time Killers 

1. “Bad” Estimates from Elsewhere

More often than not, customers bring their vehicles to body shops for paint and resurfacing work with a bad estimate they got from elsewhere. Bad estimates can be unrealistic or incomplete estimates that can come from other shops or even insurance agents. 

This can be incredibly frustrating for body shops. For one thing, it can cause friction between your shop and the customer because your pricing will be completely different, especially if the estimate does not state the actual extent of the work that must be completed. And, another issue that can arise if a customer comes in with an incomplete estimate is that they might have unrealistic expectations of when the repairs will be completed. 

And on top of these two issues, bad estimates can impact your cycle time due to the back and forth conversations you might have to have with these customers.

Solution: You can’t stop other shops from writing bad estimates, nor can you stop insurance companies from writing incomplete estimates. But, according to Body Shop Business, what you can do is make sure your estimates are accurate and provide as much information as possible, so your customer can see exactly what everything costs.  

2. Material Caps

Material caps can eat up your automotive painting business’s profits. 

Solution: Body Shop Business article suggests shops use a materials calculator or use their paint manufacturer’s software. That way, you can “run reports showing your actual materials cost on a specific job.” And, if it’s a job that exceeds the cap, “you should supplement that to the insurer.”

3. Painting Over Prior Damage

Painting over a car’s prior damage makes you and your entire shop look bad. 

Solution: Make sure your customer understands what exactly is part of the work you are going to do, and if something is prior damage, they need to decide if they want you to tackle that as well, during the initial estimate. Don’t forget, it is your job to make sure your customer understands everything about the estimate to save time down the road. At that point, you can offer to repair the prior damage as well, but you need to make sure your customer understands that will add to the cost and turnaround time.

4. Open Blends

Using open blends is a waste of time because then you have to take extra take time to buff it out. Extra time you aren’t getting paid for. Plus, Body Shop Business points out that “there isn’t a paint manufacturer out there that will stand behind an open blend.” 

Solution: Body Shop Business suggests to just do it the “right way,” meaning just include the entire panel in the estimate and fix the whole thing. 

Westside Auto Paint and Supply Has What You Need!

We are a family owned business that has been in operation in the Cleveland area for almost 30 years. We specialize in PBE (paint, body and equipment). From prep, to primer, base coat, and sealers, Westside Auto Paint & Supply has everything your shop needs to tackle all of your customer’s refinishing needs. And, if we don’t have an item in stock, we’ll get it ASAP! Our turnaround times are unbeatable in the area.

Stop by or give one of our three stores a call today:

  • Fairview Park: (440) 335-5240
  • Akron: (330) 227-2572
  • Elyria: (440) 307-1993