3 easy steps to cut body shop costs

Here are three simple steps to help cut expenses in your body shop.

  1. Do not stock toners for the mixing systems that are not used frequently. Order by the ounce when needed. This will reduce inventory and prevent them from going bad between uses.

  2. Do not allow painters to mix by the pint or quart, and put the unused portion on the shelf. Paint can be mixed by the ounce, which will reduce waste.

  3. Use a 3M-roller cart for miscellaneous items such as sand paper, tape, razor blades, etc. Instead of each technician having his own supply of these items, put one cart in the body shop department and one in the paint department. Technicians will not waste as much when they know they are accountable for these supplies. Appoint one technician responsible for stocking these carts, and it must be done with the manager present.

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A different tax-saving idea

Are you looking for ways to cut your taxes?

Make it worth your while to clean up your fixed asset schedules. Many government entities assess taxes to the dealership based on the original value of personal property.

You have probably been paying taxes on assets you were no longer using but had not retired and written off your schedules. To remedy this situation, take your fixed asset schedule and locate every item on it.

When you finish, any asset you couldn't find should be written off your books. You have now saved on future personal property taxes by reducing the total asset value you have to report. You also have a clean asset schedule, and have probably learned to better identify future purchases.

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A novel way to find good technicians

Do you always seem to be looking for additional service technicians?

When you need to fill an F&I opening, and you don't have someone ready to move up, you probably ask your credit life agent to recommend someone from F&I managers he has met in his travels. You're usually able to get decent pre-screened applicants that way.

There is a person similar to the credit life representative in his knowledge of possible employment candidates, only in the service end of our business. That is the traveling tool salesman.

He regularly visits every shop in your area, and gets to know the technicians. He's in the perfect position to observe someone who is making a regular investment in his craft, but may be expressing frustration with conditions at his current place of employment. A finder's fee of $300 for a candidate he recommends who's hired and is still employed after 90 days makes it worth his while to pursue his “employment agency” sideline.

There is no investment to try the idea. You only pay if you're successful.

Money-making minutes is provided by NCM Associates in conjunction with the Automotive Satellite Television Network (ASTN).