The Auto Body Repair Process

2015 has already brought huge changes and improvements for us! We have implemented a new efficiency process by BASF into our shop called Advanced Process Solutions. This is a simplified process based on lean principles that is customized specifically for us here at Legends Collision Center.

With this new system, we are able to add capacity to our shop as well as decrease the length of time it takes to turn around cars by about 50%. In North America, the average car repair cycle time is 13.4 days. With this system, we can give a customer back his or her keys in about 5-6 days. This doesn’t only make our customers happier, but it helps maintain the great relationships we have with insurance companies, as cycle times are a huge part of how they rate auto body shops. Insurance companies also favor this new process because it saves significant money on rental cars, as this system takes days off of the turnaround time and gets customers’ cars back in their possession in half the time.

We will walk you through the process:

First, the car gets inspected by the estimators to set mutual expectations between us and the customer.

Second, the car goes through pre-wash in order to eliminate the dirt and debris that may be blocking unseen damage to the vehicle.

After that, our estimators map out the car (shown below) in order to effectively communicate which parts are going to be replaced, painted, etc. This prevents any confusion or miscommunication going to the next step of the process. The cars are placed in designated slots that are color coordinated to let the technicians know if the cars are ready to be worked on or not.

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Next, the vehicle goes to DFR (disassembly for repair). This is where damaged portion of the vehicle is completely disassembled in order to identify all of the damage and assess which parts need to be ordered. This also allows for any accidental technician-induced damage to be addressed before parts are ordered. This process ensures maximum thoroughness as well as significantly reduces repair time, as a typical shop will order parts 2-4 times during the course of the repair and the APS process ensures that only one parts order will need to be placed. The final bill is then written after all of the damage is determined.

Then, the car goes into the “waiting” phase, where it is waiting on approval or parts before going into production. Production cannot begin until all of the parts are in and the work is approved. This avoids delays because if the car went into production before all of the parts became available, the technicians would have to stop to wait for the correct parts before continuing. The APS process ensures that the technicians only have to work on the same car once, rather than going back to the car multiple times due to waiting on parts.

The vehicle then moves to the body and painting departments where the parts are fixed and then painted off the vehicle.

Once the parts are all painted, the vehicle moves to reassembly (shown below) where all the parts are put back together. Any last minute outstanding items such as glass touch ups or wheel alignment are done before the final detail for delivery.

Once this is all finished, the vehicle moves to the final quality check process, where the estimator examines the vehicle to make sure it is up to customer satisfaction.

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