collision-industry-standard

5-Star Business Program: Best Practices Checklist

Management & Administration

  • Do you have documented operating procedures for all tasks that are to be done repetitively as well as for all specialized processes performed in your business?
  • Do you have job descriptions for Management and goals and objectives for each management team member?
  • Do you have an electronic repository and library accessible to all appropriate staff that contains all procedures, checklist, forms, job descriptions, etc. for your all aspects of your business?
  • Do you have a document revision and dating process to track document accuracy, usage and relevance?
  • Do you offer extended working hours or additional work shifts to increase capacity and better serve your customers needs?
  • Do you have a written business plan updated with measurable objectives, projections and budgets?
  • Do you have a detailed process for collecting accounts receivable (A/R)?
  • Do you have a detailed process for accounts payable (A/P)?
  • Do you have a credit card policy in place, and have you recently compared credit card merchant rates to ensure the company is paying lowest rates?
  • Do you have a system in place to measure and monitor daily goals and objectives for sales, marketing and production?
  • Do you have a system in place to handle cash payments to ensure the proper accounting and safe deposit especially in the absence of management?
  • Do you compare your business’s financial performance with others similar size and type shops within the industry (Benchmark, Rating, Ranking)?
  • Do you have written agreements and/or policies with your vendors that are reviewed and updated annually?
  • Do you safeguard all estimate and management system data to prevent hacking, accidental destruction, or malicious theft?
  • Is all banking, check writing, check cashing, and deposit processes audited and follow general accepted accounting principles (GAAP)?
  • Are your labor rates and charges posted in your customer lobby?
  • Do you have a posted special rate or price for a “Certified Repair” option?
  • Do you engage a third party to ensure safety, environmental and regulatory compliance?
  • Does your company have a mission/vision statement shared with staff and consumers?
  • Do you have weekly, quarterly and annual management team meetings to set goals and objectives and review progress, plans, budgets, forecasts, etc.?

Financial

  • Do you review monthly, quarterly and annual Profit & Loss (P&L) statements?
  • Do you measure and monitor gross profit by department and/or profit center?
  • Do you measure and monitor your production efficiency and overall key performance indicator (KPI) data and measure it by hours, tech, writer, insurer, vehicle make, etc.?
  • Do you measure and monitor your shop performance based upon data analytics?
  • Do you measure and monitor dollars produced per employee, per sq. ft, per day, per job, etc?
  • Do you post goals and results for your staff?
  • Do you measure and monitor material usage and cost per technician?
  • Do you measure and monitor cycle-time?
  • Do you measure and monitor touch time? (hours produced per vehicle per day)
  • Do you measure and monitor sales closing rate and “referral source” such as DRP, internet, walk-in, etc.?
  • Do you measure and monitor sales per Estimator/Service Writer and provide incentives based upon closing rate, estimate accuracy, CSI, etc?

Customer Care

  • Do you have written a repair authorization that is signed by your customers before you begin repairs?
  • Do you have a written Payment Policy that is signed by your customers before you begin repairs?
  • Do you have a vehicle check-in procedure?
  • Is your lobby and customer reception area inviting and clean?
  • Is there adequate, comfortable seating that is clean and presentable?
  • Do you have a clean restroom that is available for your customers and guests?
  • Do you conduct daily follow-up calls on estimates written?
  • Is there an area designated for children to play with toys?
  • Do you provide refreshments to customers and guests?
  • If and when conflicts or disputes arise, do you have a private area to use that is out of ear shot of other people in the area?
  • Do you provide a “Certificate of Authenticity” to your customers when proof can be shown that all parts used to repair the vehicle (VIN) were new, genuine OEM replacement parts?
  • Do you provide a “Certificate of Compliance” to your customers when all repairs are documented to show proof that OEM repair procedures for the specific vehicle (VIN) were followed?
  • Do you provide a “Certified Repair” Certificate to your customers when all repairs are documented to show proof that OEM repair procedures were followed, a properly trained technician performed the repair, and quality approved parts were used for their specific vehicle (VIN)?
  • Do you display up-to-date signage including: certification, training certificates, customer testimonials and any awards or plaques that you or your employees have earned or received?
  • Do your employees, especially those greeting customers, understand and have the ability to explain what the certification(s) or other credentials you have earned mean, and how that translates to a quality repair?
  • Do you have a dress code for production and administrative personnel?
  • Do you have a standard greeting for walk in customers and guests that is followed by all staff members?
  • Does your team utilize a consultative sales approach?
  • Does your team approach the customer with empathy and understanding?
  • Does your team offer to explain the estimate and repair process to educate the customer?
  • Does your team offer add-ons or up sells to the customer?
  • Do you utilize a formal vehicle delivery process?
  • Does your facility provide ongoing communication regarding repair status?
  • Do you have complimentary Internet (Wi-Fi) service available in customer waiting areas?
  • Do you have a standard greeting used by employees when they answer the phone?
  • Do you monitor Customer Satisfaction (CSI) survey results?
  • Do you send thank you letters, seasonal cards, birthday cards or special announcements to maintain customer loyalty?
  • Is your staff trained to handle irate or upset callers?

Facility

  • Do you utilize a checklist and inspect your entire facility for appearance and safety concerns on a monthly basis?
  • Is the production area clean, organized and safe?
  • Do you have Wi-Fi capability in shop area and vehicle areas?
  • Do you have computer workstations in designated work areas?
  • Is the property professionally landscaped and maintained?
  • Is the production floor painted to present a professional image?
  • Is the production area properly illuminated to provide a productive work environment?
  • Do you have professional outdoor signage that is illuminated and uses the company logo?
  • Is your outdoor signage maximized for visibility?
  • Is the exterior of your building maintained, clean and professional?
  • Is your vehicle storage area secure and presentable?
  • Are all Certification and DRP affiliation signs displayed in the customer reception, lobby and shop areas well-lit, professionally mounted and self explanatory?
  • Are all staff training credentials properly displayed and self explanatory?
  • Are there signs directing your customers where to park for estimates and enter the office?
  • Are there signs directing your customers to the lobby?
  • Are all desks, file cabinets and office work areas free from clutter?
  • Does your facility have an assigned storage area for scrapped parts out of view from the general public?
  • Do you have a secure area for storing sensitive interior parts such as seats, air bags, interior trim and instrument panels?
  • Are all work areas adequately lit for all technical work to be performed (500 – 1000 LUX - metal, refinish, detail may vary) and the lighting color temperatures higher than 3500K (4,000K preferred) for proper color matching and refinishing according to paint manufacturer specifications?

Human Resources & Training

  • Do you have and maintain an inventory of your staff’s skills, knowledge and capabilities in a data structure that is easy to monitor to ensure you have adequate skills for all operations performed?
  • Do you have ongoing sales and customer service training?
  • Are all estimators trained to use all of your specific estimating systems and best estimating techniques?
  • Are all paint department staff trained and have exact procedures to follow for the variety of work performed and according to the refinish system used? Do you maintain records of the training?
  • Do you track and maintain all equipment vendor training received by your staff?
  • Do your employees receive ongoing performance feedback as well as an annual review based upon meeting business and personal goals, objectives and increasing their skills and knowledge?
  • Do you use pay plans that follow wage and hour laws with performance incentives that allow for incremental growth based upon performance, skills, and capabilities?
  • Do you have a documented employee dispute resolution process?
  • Do you use written job offers that have a clause for non-conflict and non-disclosure and a clause for arbitration in the case of termination?
  • Do you provide technicians with uniforms?
  • Do you provide technicians with badges for name, title, special skills, etc
  • Do you utilize production teams?
  • Do you have job descriptions for each position?
  • Do you have an employee handbook that is distributed to all employees?
  • Do you have a documented orientation process for new employees?
  • Do you have an employee a career path and corresponding incentive program for all positions?

Marketing, Advertising & Sales

  • Do you have a marketing plan that is designed to reach the customers in your market area?
  • Have you established relationships with strategic accounts to generate additional business?
  • Do you have an advertising budget that is spread throughout the year and plans around the highs and lows of your business sales?
  • Do you have a website that clearly describe the services you offer and properly represent the image you are trying to project?
  • Are you listed on consumer and insurer-facing on-line locators and smart apps from various OEM certification networks and consumer awareness programs?
  • Do you have someone on staff or utilize a 3rd party to monitor/optimize your website and social media presence (SEO, site linking, blog, reviews, etc.)?
  • Do you have a team member or 3rd party assigned to monitor and respond to any electronic inquiries in a timely manner?
  • Do you have a detailed process for accepting appointments generated from online and smart app locators?
  • Do you have and maintain an appointment calendar?
  • Do you promote your shop to local schools, civic groups and professional organizations?
  • Do you utilize an after-hour live service to assist customers who have needs outside of your normal operating hours?
  • Do you have a public relations or marketing professional engaged in your business?
  • Do you schedule open-house events and car care clinics on an annual basis?
  • Do you have a Customer e-newsletter?
  • Do you have a company logo that is scalable and readily accessible?
  • Do you have a consumer awareness reception area video that educates your customers while they wait?
  • Do you have promotional displays signs and information to help inform and educate your customer and increase their confidence level?

Production, Parts, Tools & Equipment

  • Do you organize work spaces and equipment layout for maximum efficiency and throughput?
  • Do you utilize an electronic parts procurement system for all parts orders?
  • Do you have a system for checking in parts?
  • Do you have procedures for handling parts returns?
  • Do you have procedures for overnight and night-time parts deliveries?
  • Do you have an area designated for parts delivery, management, staging, check-in, etc that outside of the lobby and public areas?
  • Do you have organized storage for new parts and parts that have been removed from a vehicle being repaired? (e.g. parts carts)
  • Is all equipment maintained and in proper working order according to a maintenance schedule?
  • Do you have a system to charge for shop supplies, nuts, bolts, clips and material inventory?
  • Does the facility have plastic welding and adhesive repair equipment?
  • Does the facility have a mobile fuel retrieval system with automatic extraction?

Quality Assurance, RepairDOC and Liability Mitigation

  • Do you have quality standards for all repair procedures to be performed?
  • Do you follow OEM repair Procedures when repairing vehicles?
  • Do you have a policy for what procedures you will follow when no OEM repair procedure is present?
  • Do you ensure that technicians have on demand access to the correct repair procedures prior to and during the repair process?
  • Are the exact repair procedures that were referenced maintained electronically with the estimate/Repair Order to mitigate your liability?
  • Do you have a way to prove that the technician repairing the vehicle was properly trained and followed the proper repair procedures? Is that information maintained and archived with the VIN and RO/Estimate in perpetuity?
  • Do you have all the tools and equipment that meet manufacturers specifications to repair all vehicles that you accept?
  • Do you have an inventory of all of your tools and equipment and their performance specifications?
  • Do you use an electronic quality control program to ensure each labor operation performed meets quality standards and is that information safeguarded and archived with the VIN?
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