It’s that time of year when young people all over North America head back to school to begin another year of learning and preparing for their futures after a long, hot summer vacation. But I’d be willing to wager that your business never took that time to relax by the beach. It kept running just as it does for the rest of the year.
However one thing about running a business is that we all know that we sometimes get stuck in the ‘routine’ of business as usual. We get so focused on the day to day operations of the business that things like training and improvement tend to get pushed aside ‘for later’. A later which, sadly, all too often never comes.
By making training and continuous improvement part of ‘business as usual’, you can make a huge impact on productivity, quality and profitability. And the best part is that it doesn’t need to cost anything to start taking advantage of the wealth of information, advice, and tips that are available online.
Starting a commitment to continuous improvement can be as simple as a monthly meeting for your finishing crew where you have a free exchange of ideas on how to do things better. The key is to keep things achievable. Set a goal that every meeting will yield ONE idea that can be implemented as quickly as possible. By setting this type of goal at the onset you will avoid the problem of idea overload, when you get so many suggestions and ideas that nothing ever actually gets done. Pick one, implement, and monitor. At the start of the next meeting, kick things off with a review of how it worked.
Another way to approach this is to regularly hunt for helpful articles, tricks, tips, and how-to information online on industry news sites, company blogs, and social media. For example, here on the GFS Booth Blog you’ll find all kinds of articles relating to paint booth maintenance and operation, contamination control, code compliance and fire safety, and more. Why not print off articles like those, or articles that you find on other blogs and news sites and make one article required reading for your paint shop team on their next lunch break?
In the 5 or 10 minutes it takes to read through articles like that, you can share a lot of insight and get everyone thinking about doing things better. It could be the catalyst that gets new processes in place, increases safety, improves productivity, and raises morale. The best thing? It’s totally free! There are tons of other blogs out there written by industry experts, equipment manufacturers, and enthusiasts that are chock full of helpful information you can share with your team.
Training and education doesn’t always mean spending thousands of dollars to send your team away to a week long course. It’s everything you do that helps your team work better and work smarter. Sharing ideas, talking about efficiency, reading advice and tips, and learning more about the best ways to use the equipment in your shop can have a significant impact on the success of your business.
Why not start an environment in your finishing shop where class is always in session? When you see the positive results start to stack up, you’ll be glad you did!
- The GFS Finishing Academy – An online resource on Automotive and Aerospace paint booths
- Products Finishing Magazine Online – Resources for all types of industrial finishing processes
- CollisionHub – Great collision repair community site with Q&A forums, blogs, videos, and industry news
- NFPA Online Access – Tools and resources on the National Fire Protection Association website
- ICC Free Resources – International Code Council online resources page