Creating a functional workspace

Creating a functional workspace

When Toyota GB wanted to give one of its workshops a makeover, it turned to garage equipment specialist, Straightset, to conjure up some magic and deliver a modern, functional workspace. CVW reports.


Sometime last year, Toyota GB approached Straightset with an exciting if demanding challenge. It needed to take an old but high-performing dealership in Scotland and completely overhaul its equipment and workshop space to create a service fit for the future.

Helensburgh sits on the Firth of Clyde, near Dumbarton, and its Toyota garage has faithfully served the community for some 45 years. However, it was looking dated, with poor use of space, uneven floors and tired staff facilities. The time had come for a major makeover.

The garage equipment specialist accepted the challenge to bring the site, which comprised only one MOT bay and four service bays, completely up to date and ready for an increase in work. It also had to maximise the site’s capacity and bring it in line with Toyota’s new workshop standards.

Creating a functional workspace

Positive engagement

Impressed by positive referrals from other dealerships, the Helensburgh Toyota team met with Andrew Bates, Straightset’s sales director, who spearheaded the project from the start. After a site visit in early 2023 to scope out the work, the comprehensive planning phase could begin. Given the workshop’s condition, Straightset’s team’s visionary approach was instrumental in developing the makeover strategy. The proposed design alterations, including eliminating an outdated team room and implementing a new inner wall, would transform the workshop’s aesthetics.

“On meeting the owners and management of the dealership, it became very apparent that they were ready to embrace change and to gain the improvement in capacity that the garage needed. However, it would not be an easy or quick transformation; it entailed the workshop having to close for four months while the floors were replaced to allow two different floor levels to be merged into one. This was then topped with a fill-pour resin screed and a high build resin floor finish,” explained Bates.

Recommendations

Straightset recommended specialist Conren Resin Flooring for the work, which included layout markings for equipment placement that ensured enhanced safety and full compliance with Toyota GB’s new standards.

Straightset facilitated the complete integration of all essential workshop upgrades, which included seven new ramps, a connected MOT setup, and a specialized 4.5t 2-poster ramp, which is designed for use with heavy electric vehicles.

Creating a functional workspace

The workshop was completed with a drive-through wheel alignment checker, that promised quick alignment checks for every incoming vehicle, potentially boosting alignment service sales.

Additionally, the company relocated the compressor and oil tanks to make better use of space, and in the process created a clean and efficient working environment.

The initial plans and proposal remained almost unchanged by the time of completion and incorporated a cost-effective blend of relocating and refitting existing and introducing new equipment.

It involved tearing out a tired staff kitchen and replacing with a new facility, putting oil tanks and air compressor storage outside to maximise workshop space and reduce internal noise and reconfiguring the MOT bay to include wheel alignment capability, which in turn, with some additional building works, improved access to the workshop that was previously compromised by bad positioning.

New Straightset workstation cabinetry, upgraded vehicle lifts, pumped oil, compressed air, water, and the inclusion of a Drive Thru Wheel alignment system in the doorway has transformed the site from tired and out of date to a sophisticated workshop to be proud of.

The new workshop officially opened on 13 December 2023 and aftersales manager, Tim Roome at Helensburgh Toyota, said: “I would highly recommend Straightset, and trust in their vision. When it all began, we could not imagine the finished article, and it is through them we have realised this workshop.”

The new space not only enhances customer retention but it is a great working environment for the company’s staff. A modern space to work in helps encourage new technicians to join the company, while retaining skilled staff – securing the future of Helensburgh Toyota.

In short, Helensburgh Toyota’s collaboration with Straightset resulted in a revitalized, cutting-edge workshop aligned with modern industry standards. A workshop to be proud of, in fact.


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