When it comes to running an independent auto shop, optimization is everything. If your mechanics can do their jobs efficiently, you’ll benefit from a higher car count and increased profits. That can make dealing with the competition significantly easier. And since there were 282,637 US auto shops as of 2022, there’s a lot of competition out there.
One crucial step in optimizing your shop is ensuring your floor plan is as safe and functional as possible. Rethinking your auto repair shop floor plans might sound overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Simply follow these tips from AutoVitals to create an effective new layout for your shop.
Every auto shop has different space requirements, so you should focus on having enough space for your business’ services. That said, there are a few common themes in auto shop layout design. For example, you’ll probably want to consider:
Depending on your shop’s physical footprint, you may be unable to include everything on this list. If you’re dealing with space issues, choose what to keep and what to cut based on your business’ highest priorities.
Once you know roughly what layout changes you’d like to make, it may be tempting to get started right away. However, adjusting your floor plan without thinking ahead could cause serious difficulties. Before you get started, carefully measure your floor plan—and everything from heavy-duty equipment to individual toolboxes—to ensure everything will fit as intended.
You can measure your shop space and equipment in a few different ways. The “traditional” approach involves a pen and graphing paper, but that’s far from the most efficient way to complete the task at hand. As an alternative, you could look for floor plan software to get this done quickly and accurately.
One of the simplest ways to save space in your auto repair shop floor plans is knowing where to put tools and equipment when you aren’t using them. That means including updated storage in your new layout is a great idea. While durable, high-quality storage may cost more than lower-quality alternatives, you’ll get what you pay for when you invest in reliable storage solutions.
As part of your shop’s storage strategy, you’ll need multiple drawers and shelves—all in various sizes to accommodate the tools your mechanics use. For larger equipment, hooks and stands can help you keep your service bays organized.
Having access to high-quality storage is an essential part of the organization process, but shelving, drawers, and other storage solutions can’t keep your shop clean on their own. You’ll also need to rethink how you and your mechanics organize tools and other items around the shop.
Some organizational principles to keep in mind include:
While all the tools at your shop are indispensable, you’ll undoubtedly use some more often than others. Make sure accessing your “everyday” tools is effortless.
In many cases, tools logically fall into different groups based on the jobs they’re commonly used on—and keeping them together can boost your efficiency. That’s why all the tools your mechanics need for a given job should be stored in the same place.
Once you’ve designated spaces for each of your tools, your employees will need to know what these spaces are. A quick training session will get your mechanics up to speed with your updated organizational strategy.
Digital workflows won’t just make it easier for you to measure your shop’s layout. These days, modern auto shops rely on software to communicate with customers, manage their workflows, and much more. In addition to a computer workstation, today’s leading auto shop solutions can run on tablets and smartphones.
After investing in smart devices for your mechanics, pick out a software package for them. When you choose AutoVitals, you’ll benefit from an ARO increase of 20% or more—guaranteed. Depending on the package you choose, you’ll be able to enjoy features like:
If you’d like to get the most out of your improved auto repair shop floor plans, set up an AutoVitals demo today!