Snap Shop: Steve’s auto body
Shop: Steve’s body Owner: Michael, Cindy and Jordan Beshears Site: O’Fallon and Belleville, Illinois. Staff size: 16 Shop Cut: 12,500 square feet Average number of cars per day: 4 Annual revenue: $ 3.5 million
1. Logo update
Since its inception in the late 1970s, the Steve’s Auto Body logo still featured Old English lettering, until Jordan decided to update it with a more modern look in 2020 after acquiring the Belleville location. He worked with his website developer to design the new logo, telling the designer he wanted something with smooth lines and lowercase letters but the same colors.
2. Lean travel
Jordan always assumed that with the odd setup of the facility (long and narrow) it would be difficult to go lean, until he visited an old John Harris facility that went lean with exactly the same provision. It started Steve’s Auto Body’s lean journey, which transformed the business. Each door and bay has its own function: pre-assembly, disassembly, three structural stalls, three body stalls, mechanical repair. After that, the paint shop, which consists of a painter and a preparer, is a closed loop, which means the vehicle cannot exit until it is painted.
3. Tape on the ground
As part of the store’s lean journey, demarcating certain areas with duct tape has now become a staple (led by technicians). Yellow tape on the floor delimits a central aisle on the workshop floor which must remain uncluttered. The paperwork delineates where the equipment is stored, as well as the parts carts. In the paint shop, large squares are taped to indicate where the vehicle is moving. Hanging panels mimic and reinforce the importance of each bay and recorded area.
4. Parts trolleys
The store uses parts carts found on Amazon which not only offer more shelving options and flexibility, but are also much more affordable than traditional parts carts. To ensure the vehicle goes through reassembly without stopping, vehicles are not put into the system until all critical parts have arrived and parts are ordered before dismantling. To visually communicate with technicians, the parts coordinator uses dots of different colors on the parts carts (red for no, yellow for essential parts arriving, green for all parts on site) to indicate whether a vehicle is ready to go. enter the repair process.
5. Hall update
In 2016, Cindy undertook the front office remodel project. She wanted a more comfortable feel for customers, which she accomplished through the refresh, but also wanted to incorporate the logo colors throughout the lobby.
The location manager and Michael’s offices are also just off the lobby, providing easy access for customers. The model airplanes in Michael’s office, in particular, have become a topic of conversation with the many customers at the nearby Air Force base (the store is working on nearly 500 cars for members of the Air Force in the region).
Even the parking lot – which is quite large, thanks to the property’s three acres – takes a 5S approach. The team has developed a numbering system and uses a mirror keypad associated with the vehicle’s parking space. However, as the store has increasingly focused on lean, the number of vehicles kept on site continues to decline.