July 1997 INSIGHT Special Feature:

Scheduling Systems - Experiences of UK Repairers

A Carter and Carter Exclusive to INSIGHT

One of the latest newsworthy topics in the UK is the growing importance of scheduling systems, In the continued drive towards improving customer satisfaction by reducing cycle time, the leading shops are re-thinking their traditional systems and focusing on the complete work-in-progress process.

The repair process in the UK typically involves eight vehicle movements from the beginning of the repair process to final delivery to the customer:

With this repair process in place, shops have used a number of scheduling techniques, including:

Conventional Systems

The two conventional methods used for scheduling work in the UK are:

"T" cards -
consisting of multi-slotted boards into which color "T" cards fit. No universal method exists for its application. The most common method is to section a slot board into departments: metalwork, paint, and reassembly - with different colored cards- representing each operation. Registration numbers, customer details, and hours allocated are then marked on each "T" card. Cards are moved to the next section as each part of the process is completed.
Computer software -
with tracking systems are generally sophisticated electronic packages that have been added to management programs. Few shops in the UK are using computerized systems even when they are introduced free of charge.

Scheduling Problems

Experience of leading shops reveals that "T" cards and software can provide some benefits in terms of information and time allocation but neither can perform the most important functions: the complete overview of the entire work-in-progress situation at any given time and linking resources to time management.

Other problems commonly experienced include:

In Part II of this article we will discuss specific scheduling requirements and a more effective way to manage the scheduling dilemma.

Carter and Carter, a UK and U.S. based consulting firm specializes in the collision repair industry. They can be reached in the U.S. at (847)509-0612.

Reprinted from the July 1997 Issue of Collision Repair Industry INSIGHT.

© 1997 Collision Repair Industry INSIGHT. All Rights Reserved

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