Five Powerful Auto Shop Storage Ideas
Life is busy in an automotive repair shop, and time is always of the essence. The more vehicles you can get on and off of lifts per day, the more profit you can earn. While many auto shop managers focus on encouraging their techs to be as productive as possible, have you ever taken a second to consider your shop’s organization and storage? A crowded, confused, and unorganized shop could be stealing away valuable time from your techs and costing you money.
The solution? Improve the organization and storage capabilities of your business. The resulting boost in productivity will be well worth the investment. Here’s how to organize a repair shop better.
1. Consider High-Density Storage
One of the primary challenges of many auto shops is balancing the need for workspace and storage space. Storage space allows you to keep more inventory on-site, which can speed up the completion of jobs. However, too much storage space can eat away at your workspace, meaning you can’t take in as many vehicles as you’d like.
One great mechanic shop storage idea is to invest in high-density storage. This system places your existing shelves on tracks, which allow the shelves to sit tightly together when not in use. When a worker needs an item, they can use a hand crank or push-button to open an aisle between the shelves. High-density storage eliminates unused aisle space, allowing you to either shrink your storage footprint or increase the number of items you can store in your existing area. High-density storage is exceptionally versatile, allowing you to store everything from tires to mechanical parts.
2. Keep It Mobile
Whenever your techs need to walk away from a project to grab a tool or part, they slow that particular job. Additionally, more people walking across repair bays increases the risk of injury. Here’s one of our favorite mechanic shop ideas: Instead of forcing your techs to go to their tools, bring their tools to them with mobile carts that can carry their most-used tools and parts. The carts can be designed with different drawers and cabinets to hold a wide range of parts and tools.
Do you have a lot of vertical space in your garage? Make sure you use it for more than just car lifts. Employ that space with mechanic shop storage ideas like overhead lifts and mezzanines. Overhead lifts are an excellent option for storing larger, bulkier items, like tires. With the push of a button, you can bring your selection of tires down to the floor to offer your customers these valuable products. When the transaction is done, the lift rises again, leaving you with more space to work.
Mezzanines are a versatile storage solution that can help you make the best use of your vertical space. A freestanding mezzanine platform can hold items you don’t often need, like backup tools or special equipment. Multi-level shelving mezzanines are a great place to store extra parts, so you never have to slow down a job to buy a new part from an outside vendor.
4. Take Advantage of Technology
Back in the day, the neighborhood mechanic shop might have had easy-breezy organization practices, but in today’s competitive environment, you can’t afford to wing it. New technologies in the storage industry can make it easier and faster for you to get the correct tools and parts to your techs. Two examples of mechanic tool storage ideas are automated storage shuttles and carousels. These high-tech devices can store parts and tools in a central location and deliver them directly to your employees. This cuts back on the time your techs spend searching for the right part or tool for the job. You won’t need to wonder where anything is or try to manage a constantly moving system of supplies; the carousel or shuttle will do it all for you.
5. Keep It Safe
Tools and parts are moving all day long in a repair shop, making it easy for an expensive part or tool to “go missing.” The value of your inventory could also make your business a target after hours. Part of good auto shop organization includes making sure your assets are safe and secure. That can be difficult for larger items but not impossible. Automotive wire cages are an easy and simple way to keep your larger items safe. Put your tool cart in the cage at night, or keep tires locked up until they need to be used.
What about your smaller tools and parts? A cage can work here if you carry tools in a mobile cart or build the cage around your tool cabinet. However, another solution may be tool and part lockers. You can even invest in high-tech lockers that can track keys, so you can always know who has a key to the locker and find keys that get lost or stolen.
Bonus Mechanic Shop Idea
Don’t forget to organize and store your shop records effectively! You’ll want to create a clear record trail for every customer, so you can quickly and easily assess each vehicle’s history when it comes back to your shop. You also need to track your own expenses, vendors, employee hours, and more. If you like keeping paper records and electronic records, then filing boxes are the way to go. Keep records together in filing boxes, and then add them to your high-density storage system.
How to Organize a Repair Shop
These are just a few auto shop storage ideas. At Southwest Solutions, our friendly representatives can tell you all about our many different storage options and help you determine what mechanic shop ideas are right for your business. Not sure how to rearrange your shop? That’s what our design team is for. They will help you envision your more functional and productive space, and then our installation team will make it happen. We believe the right storage solutions can make businesses work better, including your auto shop. Contact us today.