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  • Shop and Showroom Cleanliness

    Posted by Richard Ehler on March 15, 2014 at 8:33 am

    Anyone have any great ideas on how to motivate “talented” tech and service advisors to keep shop and showroom clean.

    It seems a constant struggle. I am looking for a system of checklists?, rewards, consequences?, etc.  I run a $2 million a year shop.

    It is difficult to assign bays, equipment, etc. because everyone is using everything.

    Tom replied 10 years, 3 months ago 9 Members · 10 Replies
  • 10 Replies
  • Tom

    March 16, 2014 at 5:24 am

    On one hand employees should take care of their work environment. 

    On the other hand, a shop doing $8K a day in sales might be better off hiring a building maintenance employee or a professional cleaning service to clean the shop and showroom daily….probably after hours.
  • Bobby Likis

    March 17, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Our shop does a bit over $1M/yr. We, too, are faced with cleaning challenges and I am very aware of what dollars spent bring the highest impact. Still…a clean facility requires Team effort.

    We schedule an all-hands on deck shop scrub quarterly, which helps influence each of our four technicians to maintain cleaner bays throughout the week. This quarterly cleaning includes equipment as well. Regardless, it is each tech’s responsibility to leave each tool used clean and/or to report needed maintenance.

    In addition, we also pay a cleaning service to come every Friday to thoroughly clean the customer center, restrooms and offices. Our office manager has the daily responsibility of making sure the customer center stays well-maintained. Our system does well…but the shop is never as clean as when we first built it nor does it meet my expectations. Compromise is the key to all the above.

  • wrenchie

    March 17, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    A good technician is a clean technician.

  • mubashi

    March 18, 2014 at 3:36 am

    It’s better to have the 5S concept.

  • Richard Ehler

    March 18, 2014 at 7:31 am

    What is the 5S concept?   Thank you for all who gave input!   Rich

  • shadowoods

    March 24, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Our shop is really clean. We rotate the guys scheduled to close who scrub all the floors (we have 8 bays) and clean the work areas. There are always two techs who stay until 7pm and by the time one leaves half the shop should be clean. Then the tech who stays until 9pm (when we close) finishes up. We have a check out sheet that needs to be filled out and signed.

    As the owner, I am serious about having a clean shop. We also sell gasoline so the final two to leave are the cashier and an assistant tech. Because we rotate the closings, the guys respect the amount of work that goes into closing and nobody wants to be the cause of having the first hour in the morning to clean what wasn’t cleaned the night before. There’s the peer pressure factor. In addition, the cashiers are responsible for cleaning the bathrooms every morning.

    When times are a little slow we do extra storage room cleaning, machines, building maintenance, and outdoor maintenance. We never lack projects in our 50+ year-old shop!

  • Rick White

    March 24, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    You can find out more about the 5 S’s here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5S_(methodology) 

  • Alan Ollie

    March 24, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    Big problem .The shop stays clean everyone cleans their work area .It still requires a car wash guy to keep the property add floors in the service bays spotless. Every Friday night cleaning service  is the best $50 a week i ever spent. Bathroom in waiting room gets touched up by the service advisers and myself all day . It is spotless people always say we have the cleanest bathroom of any business they have ever been to. People really remember it. Still a fight to get the crew to pick up loose papers wrappers as they walk back from parking cars. 

  • Frank

    April 1, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Here is an article I wrote in 2012:

    Let’s Clean Up 

    Let’s talk about cleanliness. I mean really clean, not just
    on the surface. Ever walk into a business that looked clean initially, but
    really wasn’t? You could just tell. The next thing you know is you’re looking
    closer at the places under tables and chairs and then it’s pretty obvious it’s
    not very clean at all.

    I have very fond memories of my paternal grandfather. I
    called him Papa. He and my father were both barbers. I remember one time a
    customer asking my grandfather if he could use the men’s room. It was only a
    two chair shop with one small restroom. My grandfathers responded with humor,
    as he always did, that there was no men’s room, but feel free to use the ladies

    After the customer emerged, he looked my grandfather in the
    eye and said that was the dirtiest ladies room he ever saw and proceeded to
    leave. I stood in shock and watched Papa walk into the restroom and come out
    and announce “he’s right, it’s filthy.” He was actually embarrassed.

    That day I saw this man do something I never saw before. He
    got cleaning supplies and cleaned the restroom. This lesson was repeated when I
    got my first real job, at age 14 or 15, at the Exxon gas station across the
    street from that barber shop. My duties were clean up. And that included the
    ladies room. I remember old Pat Beatty telling me how important it was for the
    ladies to have a clean restroom to use.

    Fast forward a few years and I’m at the Sunoco gas station
    that had two restrooms, one for the owner’s wife and one for customers. Richard
    Brady never let his wife used a dirty restroom, do you? I cleaned that one too.

    I remember my mom visiting me at work one day and using that
    restroom and then making the comment how it was the cleanest gas station
    restroom she had ever been in. She asked who cleaned it. (I don’t think she
    believed me when I told I did, after all she still remembers my bedroom growing

    Why did I bore you with my history lesson in a clean
    restroom? Because it matters today even more than it did 35 years ago. Only now
    I don’t stop at the restroom. The entire building inside and out needs to set
    the tone for our customers.

    We don’t call the landlord to paint the fire lane curbs red,
    we get the paint and do it. Whatever we can control, we do. We clean the
    exterior windows on a regular basis, not when you can’t see out of them. The
    counters, the customer chairs, the coffee bar, everything should be spotless.
    For us, we’re in a building with multiple tenants and it helps us stand out,
    you can too.

    Think about how easy it would be to hire someone part time
    to help with the cleaning, or hire a professional company to come in after
    hours, one or two times a week. Get the floors polished at least once a year,
    or more depending on traffic. There should not be any finger prints anywhere.

    Is your shop as nice or nicer than your dentist or doctor
    office? It should be.

    I challenge you to take a close hard look at your entire
    shop. Pay special attention to the areas the customers have access to.  I always tell shop owners to take pictures of
    every bench, wall, chair, door, nook and cranny. Get them printed so you can
    hold them in your hands. Look at the pictures away from the daily grind and
    pick a couple of pictures at a time to work on, that way you’re not spending an
    entire day on housekeeping. Walk around and imagine what your customer is
    paying attention to when you’re walking them to get something out of their car,
    or when you want to show them what you found while working on the car.

    When you bring a customer to the shop, your focus is on the
    walk, the customer will be focused on everything else. The shop floor, the
    equipment, parts shelves, and my favorite – technician work benches.  Ever notice how some parts get saved for
    months, except the ones you want to show a customer when the car is picked up.
    Are new parts on nice shelves and well organized or just thrown in there?  The oil drains and oil tanks should look
    perfect, were about to repaint ours, they’re getting a little worse for wear
    now. Paint the shop every few years. I prefer white walls, they reflect light
    better and it just looks cleaner. If you must have some color add an accent
    stripe, design or get some colorful metal signs from your venders. Oil
    companies and battery suppliers love when we advertise for them. Make sure
    they’re metal and they’ll last a long time.

    it or not, the employees like a clean work environment, they may not admit it
    but they like it. When equipment is clean and in proper working order, they
    will be more productive. Let’s all do a better job showing our customers we are
    professional and we care enough about them and our employees to proved a clean,
    safe and inviting area for them.

    Frank Scandura III

    Scandura’s European Service DBA Frank’s European Service

    Formerly Frank’s Mercedes Service


    Advisory Board Member, ImportCar magazine

    Board Member, College of Southern Nevada (Automotive program)

    Business Coach, Elite.  

  • Tom

    April 2, 2014 at 6:12 am

    Great article, Frank. Your website video is very cool, too.

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