Techs are key to shop's efficiency

At Our Team Auto & Truck in Plainfield, Ill., owner Jim Stocchero built the shop six years ago from the ground up with two decades of experience to draw on maximizing efficiency in the bays.

The 12-bay shop layout, placement of equipment and toolboxes and more isn’t nearly as crucial as picking the right staff though, Jim said.

“The most important thing I did here was hire good technicians; we got the best guys,” Jim said. “They help one another and everybody’s got their strong points. … It’s nice to have a number of technicians that you can pick from with different strengths.

“It’s just a wonderful place, and everyone helps each other. There’s nothing we can’t fix. There is absolutely not a car we haven’t been able to fix here,” Jim said.

Our Team is a busy place and employs 10 techs (Jim still wrenches too) and six support staff.

In the shop, undercar work is at one end of the shop with tire and wheel service machines, and toolboxes run right down the middle of the shop facing bays.

“Every stall has a floor drain with a concrete slope to the drain,” Jim said. “We have two air compressors, in case one breaks down; and four air storage tanks for the air tools.

“We’ve got six radios throughout the shop. Everyone seems to have their own personal radio that they like to listen to.”

Between bays next to the doors, different areas carry specific categories of equipment including a welding area, heavy duty tools and an area of fasteners.

“We have an area with all the ‘pick-a-nut’ and specialty drawers; we’re like a flippin’ hardware store here,” Jim said. “We stock a lot of the knick-knacky stuff that you’ve got to have, that saves time. They’re all in an area.”

Jim has the shop’s primary diagnostics on carts and a file cabinet with the Genisys and other scan tools. Another set of file cabinets carries specialty tools.

“Everything goes in its place,” Jim said. “Nobody’s out running around looking for stuff. When they’re done with it, it goes right back into the cabinet so the next guy can find it and everyone knows where they are.”

One last thing Jim does at his shop is prep lunch for the whole staff every day.

“We have a full kitchen with a stove and an oven. … We sit around the picnic table like a family and have lunch together. Every day.”