Opinion | Commentary - Distribution

Search Autoparts/Aftermarket-business/Opinion-commentary-distribution/

A perfect automotive world

Monday, January 3, 2011 - 01:00
Print Article

I lay awake most nights worrying about things I cannot possibly fix. Just before I drift away into sleep, I begin to ponder the possibilities of life if our business were perfect, our clients were perfect, our suppliers were perfect, our government was perfect and most importantly, our employees were perfect. A dream, for sure, but what would this wonderful world be like?

Perfect clients
Well, for starters, they are pleasant. They always pay their bills on time, or at least close. They pay their bills in full, don’t short pay and don’t pay by invoice. They would prefer to have their statement e-mailed or faxed to them. For that matter, they all have a fax machine at the very least. Their people are genuinely concerned about turning in their paperwork on time. They actually know more than you do, about everything, and you can use THEM as a reference library. They never pit you against the competition in a pricing war. They never make obscene warranty claims. They don’t return 75 percent of everything they order. And finally, they always have the correct year, make, model and VIN number. Think about it. If a client possessed just two of these qualities it would at least make them a ‘preferred’ client.

 

Perfect suppliers
Again, they are at least pleasant, conscientious people. They offer a pre-pay discount for paying on time, or at least close. They employ people in authoritative positions whom can attain at least a 12 on an ACT test, or a 300 on an SAT test. People who can walk, talk and chew bubble gum at the same time. If they are a specialized supplier — for instance ring and pinion, 4WD components or snow plows — be SPECIAL, and not just another warehouse. If you are a multi-line warehouse, be a warehouse that actually stocks something. If you are a warehouse representative, know something about each line. I detest a warehouse rep that shows up, takes my time and has nothing new to show me. Oh, and enough already about my returns percentage. Since I don’t have perfect clients and/or suppliers, I can’t fix it. Give me an extra 2 points on everything I buy, and I’ll reduce it. Maybe.

PAGE 2

Perfect government
@!%.&#@. If I ponder this too much, my mumbling results in an elbow from my sleeping wife and causes me to get out of bed and take an Ambien. Let me just say this. If I had the taxes, insurance fees, state taxes, property taxes, fire fees, school levies, workers’ compensation fees, B & O taxes, unemployment fees and payroll tax fees, I would live far better. To rub salt in an open wound, the people responsible for collecting these fees make more money than me and are totally indignant to our plight. It’s never going be perfect, but I think we all agree. It can be better.

Perfect employees
Some would say that your employees are a direct reflection of yourself — the employer. If that’s the case then I must be seen as a foul-mouthed hypochondriac who holds both a right and left-winged stance while still being anti-establishment. I am a pony-tailed, tattooed hippie with extensive automobile knowledge and a preference for both arriving late and leaving early. Don’t laugh at me, you have the same people as your employees, and you hired them.

What does it all mean you ask? Nothing. I’m just trying to make you feel better this holiday season by knowing that the rest of us are just as messed up as you are. There is a certain freedom in acknowledging that your life is not perfect, our business is not perfect, the people we depend on are not perfect and neither are we. But we all strive for the façade of perfection, and just underneath the surface, we are all human. Perfect imperfection. I hope you all have a “perfect’” holiday, as I am sure you will.

I lay awake most nights worrying about things I cannot possibly fix. Just before I drift away into sleep, I begin to ponder the possibilities of life if our business were perfect, our clients were perfect, our suppliers were perfect, our government was perfect and most importantly, our employees were perfect. A dream, for sure, but what would this wonderful world be like?

Perfect clients
Well, for starters, they are pleasant. They always pay their bills on time, or at least close. They pay their bills in full, don’t short pay and don’t pay by invoice. They would prefer to have their statement e-mailed or faxed to them. For that matter, they all have a fax machine at the very least. Their people are genuinely concerned about turning in their paperwork on time. They actually know more than you do, about everything, and you can use THEM as a reference library. They never pit you against the competition in a pricing war. They never make obscene warranty claims. They don’t return 75 percent of everything they order. And finally, they always have the correct year, make, model and VIN number. Think about it. If a client possessed just two of these qualities it would at least make them a ‘preferred’ client.

 

Perfect suppliers
Again, they are at least pleasant, conscientious people. They offer a pre-pay discount for paying on time, or at least close. They employ people in authoritative positions whom can attain at least a 12 on an ACT test, or a 300 on an SAT test. People who can walk, talk and chew bubble gum at the same time. If they are a specialized supplier — for instance ring and pinion, 4WD components or snow plows — be SPECIAL, and not just another warehouse. If you are a multi-line warehouse, be a warehouse that actually stocks something. If you are a warehouse representative, know something about each line. I detest a warehouse rep that shows up, takes my time and has nothing new to show me. Oh, and enough already about my returns percentage. Since I don’t have perfect clients and/or suppliers, I can’t fix it. Give me an extra 2 points on everything I buy, and I’ll reduce it. Maybe.

Article Categorization
Article Details
blog comments powered by Disqus