Tips - Paper Flow Tips
to properly flow and track paper in a bodyshop office
record retention and paperflow system is based on the
use of several key components. The most basic being
a Repair Order Jacket (ROJ) or folder. The system was
designed to increase profit by $50 per job while spending
less than $.50 per job for additional supplies. This
can easily be attained if you utilize the following
description of HOW paper should be handled in a Collision
Repair Facility. It would be handy if you have our Repair
Order Jacket or Repair Order Folder in hand before proceeding,
or print this out and go to http://www.repairorderjacket.com.
beginning this paper flow program, it is very important
that everyone understand the Repair Order Jacket CANNOT
leave the office for any reason. It is the heartbeat
of the office paperflow control and it must be kept
in its appropriate rack (or file).
Note: We constantly receive phone calls from shops requesting
assistance in tracking work through the shop from the
office. The best, and simplest way I know is to use
repair order racks in the office. See the photo below.
soon as the estimate becomes a job, the estimate is
mated with a new ROJ (Repair Order Jacket). The secretary
fills out the ROJ. A parts order worksheet is generated.
One copy goes in the ROJ, one to parts.
hard copy Repair Order needs to be generated at the
same time and signed by the customer when the car
is dropped off. Put it in the ROJ (if you practice
repairing cars without authorization signatures, I
would recommend that you begin immediately getting
signatures on every repair - too many lawsuits have
been won by crafty lawyers, and granted by bleeding
heart juries. It would be wise to protect yourself
from this day forward.)
estimates really have no place in the hands of employees,
a Technician's Work Order needs to be filled out at
the same time (usually a copy of the repair order
is used). Make three or four copies. Insert it in
in the written warranty. Put it in the ROJ.
rental forms and insurance release forms, etc. in
the ROJ in the "Parts Ordered" rack or file.
the parts arrive, they need to be checked in by SOMEONE
that can make sure that everything ordered has been
received, everything on the invoice has actually been
delivered and is undamaged. At that time, COPIES of
every invoice must be placed in the ROJ.
the vehicle is scheduled, move the ROJ to the "Scheduled,
Not Here" ROJ rack.
Vehicle Enters the Metal Shop
the car arrives in the metal shop, the ROJ is moved
to the metal shop (or paint shop if it is paint only)
ROJ rack. Two or three copies of the technician's
work order are then inserted in a repair order protector
and given to the technician. It is advisable to protect
the technician's work orders by inserting them in
a clear repair order protector. These are available
from us, are approx. $2.50 each, and are all reusable
copies of the repair order(s) are now given to whomever
will be in charge of bringing the cars into the shop
in proper order, and/or assigning the work.
ROJ's are residing in the appropriate rack, I would
suggest that they be kept in alphabetical order for
ease of identification. Having separate racks to split
paint/prep/metal/detail is preferred, but the same
thing can be accomplished by using color coding of
the ROJ with colored adhesive dots. We have them in
20 different colors and some with insurance companies
printed on them. An office administrative person is
in charge of keeping the dots up to date as cars move
through the shop.
metal technician receives the work order, performs
the work, and retains a copy of the work order for
then feeds the repair order protector with the remaining
work orders to the leadman/foreman in the paint department.
Paint is performed. The painter retains a copy of
the work order....and so on, through all the departments
of your shop.
finished in the detail department, the detail person
in charge of that vehicle brings the keys and clear
repair order protector with final copy to the appropriate
alerts the PERSON who wrote the estimate, and/or sold
the job, to inspect the car for correctness. (Don't
forget the promised freebies!! (This is a part of
our Repair Order Jacket system.)
Bill is Generated
At this time, the final bill and supplement are generated
between the person in charge of final billing AND the
person responsible for that particular job. The customer
is called....BOOM...it's a done deal.
Receiving the Money
If the job has a receivable (money owed),
file it in the receivable drawer. Have the person in
charge of receivables keep a list of all money not received,
by date, for review by the shop manager on a weekly
basis. If they're past due, somebody has got to get
on the phone (it should be the person in charge of receivables
first, then the shop manager person who was responsible
for the vehicle when it was delivered).
all the paperwork in the ROJ, file in a quarterly
file cabinet drawer (Jan, Feb, Mar, etc.) alphabetically,
but ONLY if PAID in FULL.
After one year, the file contents are emptied into
a cardboard file box. Keep the cardboard files within
easy reach for two years thereafter. Then file away.
Be sure to mark the end of the boxes with the quarter
(1st, 2nd, etc.), the year, and the approximate beginning
and ending RO numbers.
the paint number in paint area of the ROJ. It seems
to be the one item that we search for quite often.
Also, if tinting was done on the color, have the painter
fill out a simple form with tint instructions. Then
write it on the ROJ.
someone take time to write down everything that happened
to the job that was out of the ordinary. For example:
Prior damage, supplements, hard time with insurance
company, insurance agent tried to refer to the customer
to a different shop, the customer was overly picky,
insurance sheet was extremely low or high, we made
money, we lost money, etc.
special promises are made to a customer (delivery
date, touch-up at N/C, installing door molding), write
them in the special promises section of the ROJ. Check
the "Special Promises" section of the ROJ
just prior to delivery of the car. Then take the time
to make sure that all the things YOU SAID would be
done, have been successfully completed. Nothing makes
a customer any more upset than finding something that
isn't finished, especially if it's a freebie.
down every contact with the insurance company...date,
time, and what was said and/or agreed upon. Seems
like they (insurance adjustors and customers alike),
have a short memory when it comes to remembering verbal
"agreed upon" supplements, prices, parts
prices increases, etc. Especially on the telephone.
Every time you talk to an insurance representative
or customer on the phone, have that ROJ in front of
you. When finished with the phone call, write down
what was said.
small boxes marked waiting for parts, production,
etc., midway to the top can be used for just about
anything you wish. We use them to label parts problems,
etc. Also it is used to list the amount of down time
generated by waiting for insurance companies to approve
supplements, down time waiting for parts, etc. Use
them to log the day and time the car came on the lot
for repairs, the day and time we started repairs,
and the day and time the car was actually finished
and available for delivery. This is interesting data
when you begin to compare it to flat-rate hours. Every
invoice that is charged against a job needs to be
copied and inserted in the repair order jacket. Besides
facilitating figuring the final bill and supplement,
you will always have proof of what was purchased for
the job; i.e. insurance re-inspections, IRS audits,
sales tax audits.
sure to leave the contents in the the repair order
jacket when stored away. You never know what you may
need it for.
may choose to use the information in the lower right
hand corner to balance the amount level and the amount
paid on the job. It's a good way to make sure that
all the money is collected on the job.