Profit seems to be the driving force of most businesses today. Integrity takes a back seat. I personally think, discarding integrity is the largest cost to business.
In this article I will discuss the auto repair industry. However, the theory applies to all types of business.
Years ago I thought the best way to get car repairs was to go to the dealer. The dealer is backed by the manufacturer and therefore any problem could be worked out with the manufacturer. Plus they should know your car better and have the best trained staff for your particular brand.
Today that is not necessarily the case. I have found that dealerships just want to make money. Especially in large cities, they have little concern about doing the job right for the best price.
Multiple computers and sensors
Modern cars have many electronic devices and computer controlled engine devices. They have sensors, switches, valves etc. just to operate an engine which was all mechanical in past years.
Diagnosing malfunctions is much more difficult and requires expensive computer equipment. I realize this, but some dealers seemed to have found a shortcut.
Just replace everything
If your A/C goes out, they don’t want to check everything in the system to find a switch or sensor that is bad. It is easier to just replace the whole A/C system. Don’t really have to figure the problem out if you just replace all the parts.
This also assures them that the fix will last long enough for any warranty on repairs to expire. You pay for the whole system of course which is multiple what the cost of an individual part would have been.
Same thing with emissions, if it’s too hard to diagnose, simply replace everything.
Integrity shines through
I have found an excellent auto shop which does not operate this way. The owner is honest and straight forward. He wants to fix your car with minimal parts. In the case of my A/C, he replaced one part instead of the entire system for a fraction of the cost. He told me another issue could come up later, but he felt he should only fix what’s broken and save me the money.
If he doesn’t know what is wrong with the car he will say so and recommend I take it somewhere else. Bottom line, he is honest. What more could you want? Everybody makes mistakes, but few admit it. I keep going back because if he makes a wrong diagnosis and the car fails again, he admits it. He refunds my money for the wrong repair and fixes it correctly.
This is why I say integrity is costly and profitable. It will cost a business occasionally to stick to the truth. They may have to repair cars a second time for free or lose money on a particular job. Overall, the customers will see the difference and the word will get around.
It has in the case of my mechanic. He is now hiring extra help and cannot keep up with demand. All because he chose to put integrity before profits.