SHOP IDEA: Tracking Material Usage

A growing number of shops are tracking all materials used on a per-technician basis by requiring employees to request all supplies through a centralized, managed inventory.
“At each payroll, I can see how many hours a technician flagged and what they ‘cost me’ down to the penny in materials,” Richie Kizirian of Jim & Jack’s Collision Center in El Segundo, Calif., said.
“So if one technician cost me 80-cents in materials per flagged hour, and another cost me $2 an hour in materials, I can say, is there a problem here?”
Kizirian said the same system helps track the shop’s paint materials. The system is tied to the shop’s paint mixing scale, so if a painter has “checked out” 12 gallons of clear, the computerized scale records should show that he’s mixed 11.5 or more gallons in that time, or have the extra on his shelf, Kizirian said.
“When I put this program in place, my material bill just plummeted,” he said.