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How Do You Keep Track Of Keys


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This may be an odd topic but with the right strategies you can help workflow and prevent lost or misplaced keys. one of the most annoying things, other than that misplaced 10mm socket, is when you misplace a key.

Customer hands you key > place tag on key> place invoice and key in hanging plastic order> place on workflow rack(or hand to technician)> tech pulls car in> I prefer if a car is in the bay to have the key on the seat with the window rolled down(to prevent lockout) or have the key in the hanging plastic invoice holder hanging on the mirror> Vehicle finished and key makes its way back to front office> then given to customer.

This seems like a logical workflow. However my concern is what do you do with keys when cars stay overnight?

If the vehicle is parked outside, Do you put them in a Safe/Lock box? Drawer?

If the vehicle is parked inside and is currently being worked on, do you leave the key in the car? hanging holder on the mirror? Safe/Lock box? 

 

 

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Funny question, that.  I find it amazing that I have had an issue my whole life losing / misplacing my own keys but now that I own a shop - I am responsible for all those keys!  Tags go on Immediately.  There is a nice big key rack with enough spaces for car awaiting service, cars awaiting parts, and cars on stand-by.  Keys for completed cars live in a bin with the invoice awaiting pick-up and payment.  Keys for cars in the building live in the ignition, with a window open.  I think the most important thing is to have an organization plan, a system in place and have EVERYONE buy in and keep it going.  CONSISTENCY IS THE KEY!

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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