From outside, it bears the innocuous appearance of an unassuming auto garage.
But the horrors inflicted inside those shuttered shop doors tell a much darker story.
EXT. TELLER-MORROW GARAGE – NIGHT
Consider this, the ruthlessness: A chance-encounter with an old friend—to one party’s chagrin, a tattoo remains that spans their fading friend’s entire back, a grim reaper and rockers that bear their club’s name where his vest would rest had he not defected. His former club members, clad in black leather that bear the same insignia, lead him into that dimly lit garage, after hours—and what started as a jovial exchange turns ugly. “Fire or knife,” mutters Clay, the club president, ominously. “Fire,” he chooses tentatively. Mere seconds later, he’s tackled by his former comrades as they turn the blowtorch on him. His skin erupts in the inferno, his pained scream echoes through the empty service department as Clay sits in a dark corner of the garage, casually observing his men carry out his spiteful order. He lights a cigar, eyes fixed on the brutal scene unfolding. He takes a long, calm drag, exhales (1).
Countless crimes occur behind the front that is Teller-Morrow Automotive Repair.
Conveniently situated next door to the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club (MC) House, it’s flanked by a row of black, club-style Harley-Davidson Super Glides and Street Bobs, parked uniformly, and shaded by the overhanging canopy at the club’s entrance, its iconic reaper subtly hidden in the shadows.
Whether you’re team Clay or team Jax, problems are glaringly apparent at this mismanaged auto repair shop, the supposedly legitimate employer of “mechanics and motorcycle enthusiasts” that draws the attention of ATF Agent June Stahl, and later Assistant U.S. Attorney Lincoln Potter.
We’ll discuss hereafter these problems, how focusing on improving business efficiencies of the shop would make the Sons’ front seem more legitimate. Plenty of legitimate shops fall victim to similar inefficiencies, after all. Further, we’ll discuss how Jax could have achieved the vision of his father, John Teller, to go legit.
A Shop in Shambles
The Sons of Anarchy clubhouse location is at 7333 Radford Avenue, in North Hollywood, California, 91605, the show’s fan page notes. Its adjoining garage leads out onto Radford Avenue. This backdrop, bored-out Dynas with thunder-headers that “drown out all sound,” (2) is well-known to fans of Kurt Sutter’s Shakespearean-influenced motorcycle epic, dubbed affectionately, the “Hamlet of Harleys.”
While technically a “legitimate” business, its club ties center around illegal activities—gun-running, drug trafficking, and extortion.
Acting as a front notwithstanding, Teller-Morrow is plagued by the same problems of any busy auto shop: Lots of repair work coming through the shop, many techs working in close quarters, communication sometimes falling by the wayside to workloads.
Concepts like industrialization—implementing systems and processes, as well as and standardizing the line for efficiency, reducing waste—could certainly help to legitimize operations in the eyes of law enforcement. These improvements could also improve the shop’s capacity for new work, increasing the shop’s profitability. Furthermore, had Jax to been able to successfully follow in John’s footsteps to bring his vision to the club to fruition, there would be far greater opportunities for growth, legitimacy, diplomacy, and law-abiding behavior that adds to society rather than degrade and exploit it (we’ll discuss that in a later section).
But first: How could the shop improve operations on the frontend?
Organization Basics and Better Collaboration through Shop Inventory Management
A common trope of the busy repair shop is the disorganization, errant receipts and paperwork strewn all chaotically about, and yes—the keys that should be in the appropriate key slot (that aren't).
“You need your techs and mechanics spending their time fixing and servicing vehicles — not finding the right keys to the right car,” writes Forklift Wrecker.
Common items like keys, paperwork, and small devices are easily misplaced – the average American spending 2.5 days a year (or 10 minutes a day) looking for these items (via Computer Science Zone). These critical minutes could be salvaged – A1 Locksmiths & Safes recommends Bluetooth trackers or tags, which can create a community finding network round the shop to help locate nearby items (whether that’s customer keys or power tools around the shop) utilizing features like Find Item to narrow your search within 100-ft, or you can even ring out-of-sight items tagged with a ONE-KEY™ Bluetooth Tracking Tag!
These trackers, furthermore, can also add security to site inventory via geofencing that helps alert users of straying inventory. Furthermore, modular storage like PACKOUT™ shop storage can help keep everything neatly portioned their appropriate areas, while kitting via the One-Key app can help tie the physical in-shop storage to the digital – the later which can help you maintain better sightlines to everything and execute on some of those efficiencies that will help the shop run smoother.
Replace the Pneumatics: Cordless Smart Tools for the Service Department
Pneumatic tools present several hazards, OSHA outlines (3) — hoses can become disconnected or create trip hazards, while being excessively noisy. The Department of Environment and Climate Change NSW (4) offers a similar advisory.
Smart power tools deliver greater performance with fewer risks to operators – they run quieter; they integrate advanced technology like machine learning to prevent against dangerous events like kickback; they incorporate ergonomic design, fitting smaller in the hand, being easier to hold and operate, etc. Smart power tools also have standard Bluetooth® tracking functionality that includes remote lockout functionality for added security and peace of mind.
Further, cordless smart power tools offer (depending on model):
- Mode Customization for application-specific repeatability. The mode library allows for virtually unlimited customization. We’ve seen end users such as heavy-duty mechanics use our impact guns for mode customization, allowing for near-certification-level fastening tightness.
- Utilization Data and Reporting allowing users to sync recorded events on-tool, back them up to the cloud, and create customizable reports for customers, inspectors, and the like for quality assurance purposes.
Service Maintenance of the Team’s Tools
A final but important thought is how the service team looks after service of the tools they’re using to do their work in the shop. These are the important checks and balances needed to ensure uptime is maximized in the shop.
Just as a digital twin may help a large-scale manufacturing operation pull on advanced technology, like artificial intelligence, to predictively root out and fix a potential breakdown before it causes costly downtime and ensuing project overruns, the service team can take advantage of:
- Unlimited documentation to chronicle maintenance, stay on top of service, as well as store important receipts and warranty information
- Set up service reminders to automate service intervals and prevent equipment-related breakdowns due to letting maintenance of tools slip
Jax Could Have Gone Legit
In addition to legitimizing the Teller-Morrow business on the surface, there are multiple ways Jax could have ultimately legalized the business.
- Expanding the business into new product categories – e.g.,
- Dethroning Clay and reinstating Cara Cara
- Car rentals, towing, car sales, perhaps MC airport caravans and security services
- Maybe tap into Bobby Elvis’s King of Rock & Roll impersonation talents by creating a presence on Cameo, offering singing engagements, or limo chauffeuring
- Further investing and expanding the Teller-Morrow enterprise, perhaps even rebranding Teller-Winston
- Using those once-ill-gotten-gains to stay the course toward legitimacy and invest in technology like automation to improve in-shop processes for maximal productivity and work output
- Subscribing to lean management schools of thought that could help him assess the business holistically, while identifying opportunities to eliminate waste
- Increase collaboration (e.g., inviting the team to join his multi-user account – perhaps he could assign Opie as a trusted tool manager or additional admin – assuming he could save him from his untimely fate!), and add accountability for the group-management of the shop inventory and maintenance
- Increase financial transparency and business practices, looking at ways to reduce overhead
Custom Tig-Welded Motorcycle Luggage Befit for a Nomad
All this to say, had the Sons’ mythology played out such that Jax could live on by detaching himself from the club, the modularity (and durability) of PACKOUT storage repurposed for motorcycle luggage is a growing trend that I myself am a bit envious and dreaming of retrofitting my Road King with.
Here are some of the examples we’ve seen:
Perhaps in an alternate timeline, Jax would trade his Super Glide Sport for a Pan America 1250 Special outfitted with a compact PACKOUT saddlebags.
He might also consider using the One-Key app and the kitting feature discussed earlier in conjunction with Bluetooth tracking tags affixed to his belongings inside these utility, Mad Max-style “saddlebags.” A main Bluetooth tracking tag, attached under the lid of either bag, could be scanned and help him check to ensure everything that he’s indicated to exist in that “kit” is there. If something is missing, he’ll know somebody needs to get a shakedown – that said, if that item has been tagged, he can flag it missing and our virtual “club” network will start to help finding where it’s headed.
While mostly tongue-in-cheek, the surface-level “legitimate” business, Teller-Morrow Automotive Repair, sees similar problems that real service departments can solve with technology. Had he not ridden his familial vintage Panhead (that was rebuilt multiple times – still broken up about that!) into this bizarre fate, he might have seen John Teller’s vision for the club through.
- Sutter, K. (Writer), & Hunter, H. (Director). (2008, September 10). Giving Back (Season 1, Episode 5) [TV series episode]. In Sutter, K. (Executive Producer), Sons of Anarchy. Fox 21 Television Studios.
- Sutter, K. (Writer), & Barclay, P. (Director). (2012, September 11). Sovereign (Season 5, Episode 1) [TV series episode]. In Sutter, K. (Executive Producer), Sons of Anarchy. Fox 21 Television Studios.
- OSHA. Hand and power tools. (2002). U.S. Department of Labor. https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/publications/osha3080.pdf
- Department of Environment and Climate Change NSW. Environmental action for automotive servicing and repairs. (n.d.) https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/~/media/EPA/Corporate%20Site/resources/clm/200877_auto_servicerepair.ashx