5 Ideas for an Efficient Auto Shop Layout

Five ways to update your automotive shop layout, streamline your tech processes, and grow your margin.

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Refresh your auto shop design to unleash your capabilities and boost your bottom line. 

Your auto shop is the beating heart of your business. A well-designed basic auto shop layout can streamline operations and refine your business.

When you plan to refresh your auto shop, consider how to make efficient use of your available space, enhance safety, refine the look and feel of the shop, and improve customer comfort.  Most of all, upgrading the technology that forms the backbone of your business is a major component of an updated auto shop. 

Manage space effectively

No matter how much square footage your shop has, you can maximize your layout to house everything you need. Consider the size and shape of your space before you commit to a specific layout. Evaluate the services you currently or intend to provide so you can plan your space safely and efficiently. 

Some of those considerations include: 

  • Equipment locations: Look at your  permanent installations, such as lifts and compressors as well as movable items.
  • Storage: Organize storage areas so parts and equipment are easily accessible and tidy, both making them easy to find and improving your shop’s appearance and parts storage.
  • Working areas: Set up your workbenches and counter space so technicians can perform detail work away from the vehicle. 
  • Loading bays: Verify your loading bay areas have adequate clearance.  
  • Waiting rooms: Design an appealing space so your customers have a clean, well-lit, and comfortable place to wait. 
  • Administrative offices: Make sure your employees have all the tools they need to keep the business running efficiently.  

Effective space management also plays a big part in keeping an auto shop safe. 

Maximize efficiency with the right layout, and the right shop management tools.

Prioritize safety

Repair shops can be hazardous under the best of circumstances, so it is vital to keep safety in  mind when planning your new layout. you're responsible for the safety of both employees and customers. As you plan your update, keep these safety considerations in mind:

  • Adequate lighting gives technicians optimal views of the parts they’re working on. Good ventilation protects both employees and customers from breathing in harmful fumes or particles. 
  • Entrances and exits that are clearly marked and easily accessible make it easier for customers to bring their vehicles in for service and provide good emergency exits. 
  • Electrical systems that comply with legal standards and allow techs to work efficiently.
  • Safety equipment such as gloves and goggles should be kept in designated places so they’re always available when technicians need them. 
  • Fire evacuation routes OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) require at least two clearly marked evacuation  routes and these should be accompanied by an evacuation plan. 
  • Hazard prevention and management, such as placing protective equipment in your facility and keeping members of the public away from heavy machinery, protects you from risk and can help with liability insurance costs. 

You can create a safe and efficient workspace without sacrificing the look and feel of the business for both customers and workers. The aesthetic design of your shop is important. 

Create desirable aesthetics

You want your auto shop to project a feeling of professionalism and efficiency while at the same time making customers and employees comfortable. if you want to check all those boxes. 

A well-designed shop should include: 

  • Waiting room amenities: Contribute to the professional vibe and make your customers see your shop as an organized and trustworthy place with comfortable seating, refreshments, counters or tables, and free Wi-Fi.  ce. 
  • Warm decor: Paint colors that create a calm, homey atmosphere help you distance yourself from the old idea that auto shops are dirty concrete squares. 
  • Tidy exteriors: The exteriors  of your shop should be neat, attractive, and welcoming. This is what people see when they’re deciding whether or not to bring their business to you. 
  • Effective signage: All signage should be obvious and clear but not intrusive. 
  • Product displays: Place promotional signs in key locations, such as near the counter where customers pay for their service. Displays should always be up-to-date, clean, and well-organized.  

Thoughtful attention to the aesthetics of your business has powerful potential to please your customers and build their loyalty. 

Consider the customer

Research conducted by JD Power indicates that 64%of auto service customers wait in the auto shop while their repair or service is being done. The time they spend in your facility  gives you a prime opportunity to impress your customers. Here are some ways you can make the waiting experience more pleasant and appealing. 

  • Accessible customer-facing areas that help customers of all abilities to navigate your auto shop
  • Comfortable and clean facilities including seating and a customer-controlled TV  
  • Complimentary snack and beverage spaces for customers to enjoy while they wait
  • Workspace and free Wi-Fi for people who want to work or amuse themselves on their own devices 

Maintaining a nicely organized space is important for both your employees and your customers. But a beautifully-appointed shop that doesn’t function well because of outdated technology is doomed to fail. Don’t overlook the importance of upgrading your technology. 

Update your technology 

The more organized your space is, the more efficiently your techs can work and the more professional you appear to your customers. Some technical upgrades that you should prioritize include:  

  • Digital vehicle inspections with illustrated and video reports to build trust and transparency with customers 
  • Software-based customer management processes, which streamline your communication with clients and make it simple to build relationships, never forgetting a detail or a past interaction 
  • Real-time data reporting, which gives you insight on everything from sales and discounts to accounts payable and receivable — all the metrics you need to maximize profits and performance 
  • Modern communication tools that make your contact with clients seamless, simple and transparent to show them you value their business 
  • Digital workflow and inventory management, which helps you stay organized and improve efficiency 

You can integrate a technology upgrade with your auto shop layout plans with a comprehensive management platform. 

Enhance your auto shop layout efficiency with Tekmetric

A management platform can help you expand on the efficiency of your auto shop layout by giving you tools to better organize your operations and maximize customer amenities.

Tekmetric’s shop management system makes your job simpler with tech tools that help streamline your workflow, manage inventory, and build relationships with centralized communications.

Your Parts and Labor Matrixes can protect your bottom line by allowing you to fine tune both parts and labor to your needs. The Job Board is a central hub that gives you visibility into your profits. The system includes a variety of report functions that enable you to spot trends.

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