Leveraging the Power of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) have become an important tool to measure performance and improvement in the automotive refinish industry. Refinish Hours per Booth per Day is a metric shops of all sizes can use to improve cycle times and profitability.

Refinish Hours per Booth per Day helps the shop manager understand how efficiently his or her shop is using one of its largest and most expensive resources:

The spray booth.

Inefficient spray booth operation causes immediate and significant negative effects on shop profitability.

To calculate Refinish Hours per Booth per Day, divide the number of refinish hours completed in a given time period by the number of spray booths in the shop. Divide this result by the number of working days in the time period to determine the shop's refinish hours per booth per day.

To demonstrate, take the following example:

Michael worked out of one spray booth last month. He booked 350 hours and there were 22 working days in the month.

350 hours ÷ 1 booth ÷ 22 working days = 15.9 hours per booth per day

Once the shop manager calculates current Refinish Hours per Booth per Day, he or she can implement process improvements to increase Refinish Hours per Booth per Day.

Some possible improvements include:

Prepare at Least One Vehicle for Painting the Night Before: A shop manager can increase spray booth efficiency by ensuring the first vehcile in the daily production cycle is prepared for paint the prior evening. By doing so, the painter can spend the first hour of each day painting instead of preparing the vehicle. For example, if a painter can paint one additional vehicle in the shop's first hour of operation each day, the shop could be paid for up to six additional labor hours each day.

Batch Together Three Bumper Covers: Rather than applying clearcoat to three bumper covers individually, spray all three in one batch. Apply basecoat to each bumper separately to ensure color match. Only one bake cycle is required to cure all three bumper covers. This allows the shop to complete three billable jobs in one booth cycle. The time saved from combining the three jobs can be used to complete an additional job, adding six refinish hours per day.

Utilize Wet-on-Wet Products to Minimize Flash Times: Flash time reduction increases time available for paint application. A shop which uses HPC21 HP Process™ 2.1 VOC Clearcoat can reduce flash time by 10 minutes per job. A shop which completes six jobs per day will save one hour per day. The hour saved can be used to complete another job, adding six refinish hours per day.

These three improvements allow a shop manager to capture 18 additional refinish hours per day. Using the above example, the shop's refinish hours per booth per day would increase to 33.9, more than doubling the initial 15.9 refinish hour per booth per day measurement.

Other paint shop KPIs that might be considered are:

  • Ounces of Clear per Refinish Hour
  • Ounces of Primer per Refinish Hour
  • P&M Gross Profit
  • Average Booth Cycle Time
  • Paint Shop Efficiency
  • Material Cost per Refinish Hour

Remember: An improvement in any of these areas will allow the shop to deliver more cars in less time and increase profitability!

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