AkzoNobel Automotive & Aerospace Coatings North America recently hosted an area-wide training seminar entitled “The Role of the Repair Planner,” at AkzoNobel’s Canadian headquarters in Etobicoke, Ontario. Three half-day sessions were held on November 14–15, 2012, and specifically designed to educate bodyshop customers on the proper implementation of repair planning, a foundational component of the Process Centred Environment business model.
More than 50 area collision centres, bodyshops, distributors, and AkzoNobel employees attended the sessions, to better understand the repair planning concept and role of the Repair Planner in maximizing production throughput. The seminar was facilitated by Bob DuBreuil, A&AC’s Senior Services Consultant, and Peter Facinek, owner of Kelowna Performance Collision in Kelowna, B.C., one of the first bodyshops in Canada to embrace and implement PCE practices, and who now hosts AkzoNobel’s PCE Bootcamp training events in Canada.
The duo took turns presenting key aspects of repair planning:
• The primary role of the shop’s Repair Planner is to manage the “continuous flow” of vehicles in production, as well as those in the buffer inventory each week, through “balanced scheduling.”
• Balanced scheduling is a shop’s pre-determined daily capacity, based on a targeted mix of vehicles and allotted hours per day. This rule aims at eliminating the common practice of overbooking repairs early in the week, while leaving production “holes” later in the week.
• As a rule, shops should only schedule in 70-75% of daily capacity in order to leave room for spontaneous dealer and tow drop-offs.
• Other Repair Planner responsibilities were discussed including the creation of blueprinting / mapping of vehicles, ensuring quality verification, conducting “pitch meetings,” and maintaining PCE’s “5S” principles.
In addition, KPC’s Facinek walked attendees through an interactive discussion of his own shop’s experiences in utilizing the repair planning process, as well as other personal examples of how PCE has dramatically improved his overall productivity and profitability.
The PCE program was developed in 2008 by AkzoNobel to help their collision repair customers optimize shop activities through process improvements. Based on principles drawn from tried-and-tested methodologies including Lean Production, Six Sigma, and Theory of Constraints, PCE delivers a practical approach designed to support continuous improvement. At its core, PCE helps shops increase customer satisfaction, reduce waste in the repair process, and ensure sustainable profitability through 10 key building blocks.