Consistency versus Accuracy

14 02 2012

Have you ever felt as if you’re moving along at the speed of life and recognize the only consistency you’ve secured is that which you’ve made every effort to avoid?  For example, you’re convinced that this is the week you’re going to do a series of things that have been overlooked to this point, only to find that you’ve consistently avoided them yet again.  Sound familiar?  These patterns don’t just create themselves.  In fact, we’re responsible for either following status quo or making a dramatic shift to effect positive change.  Moral here is that without accuracy consistency can take you only so far.

The reason these questions are being considered is because we recently completed a three year review of vehicles that were brought into our shop with the assistance of a tow truck.  You’re welcome to decide for yourselves what caused these vehicles to no longer operate as designed, but for sake of simplicity we’ll just tell you that what they had in common was their owner could not physically drive them here.  What we were able to conclude from these reports was alarming.

Would you believe that not one of these vehicles in severe disrepair belonged to our existing customers?  To be clear, disrepair in this case is being used to describe a broken ball joint, tie rod end, control arm, or some other absolutely vital component of a vehicle that protects its driver from eating the road, as it were.  Can this actually be true?  Yes, and not only does this truth reveal multiple signs of negligence but also in every case amounted to a much greater repair cost.

You see, it’s not as if we don’t have our regular customers come in for replacement of these parts – no, the difference is that our proactive and comprehensive inspection process catches “warning signs” before they become a threat.  Even referring to them as warning signs may be an overstatement, actually.  They may in fact be only points of concern when documented during a routine service visit.

What this tells us, among other things, is that these vehicles likely belonged to people that developed consistency but not accuracy.  Their owners were consistently overlooking the importance of regular and proper care.  They fit into the upper right corner of the illustration above.  In some ways we suspect their consistent efforts actually felt rewarding and may have even been convincing enough for them to feel they were doing the right thing.  The condition of their vehicles would suggest otherwise.

Is it possible that these customers had all the routine services performed at another shop and we simply didn’t have records to prove it?  Possible, but highly unlikely given the consistent (there’s that word again) nature of their deterioration.  So our curiosity got the better of us and we decided to look into this matter further.  We had a feeling the difference would be significant but our discovery proved this to be the case almost tenfold.  In situations where a tie rod end or ball joint is loose the average repair cost was around $300.  However, when a vehicle came to us by way of a tow for replacement of the same part(s) that cost increased to almost $1100.  This variance can basically be summed up as severe negligence of one important part often leads to a domino effect, whereby you end up having to repair/replace several corresponding parts.  Bottom line, you pay more.  For those of you contemplating whether we mean financially or emotionally, the answer is yes.

Our customers have been coached (or advised for those who prefer academia over sports analogies) toward accuracy for the greater majority of almost 40 years.  Our partnership is just that, an equally contributing force, where you ask for our help and we develop a plan together, followed by an inquiry on our part to make sure you understand next steps.  Our desire is for you to fully identify points of accuracy (touch points of service according to your vehicle’s manufacturer) and consistently pay attention to them.  We didn’t write the book, but we know better enough than to ignore it.

To bring this full circle, those routine service visits represent the darts in the illustration above.  Our expert team can assist in helping make sure that more of yours result in a bulls-eye (or what in this case is considered the “safe” zone).  Safe doesn’t exclude necessary investment, rather it promotes systematic responsibility that often results in less individual expenses.

The concept here is simple, plan ahead for paying now, or really pay later.  Again, the answer is a resounding yes.

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