If you are a sports fan, you have undoubtedly seen the rash of suspensions in professional sports for violations of a substance abuse policy. While sometimes you have to roll your eyes at the excuses some of these athletes make, I am sure there are cases out there of an athlete using a supplement they thought was safe yet had a banned substance in it. I can picture the pitch now: “this new supplement has a new plant root in it that will give you additional strength and stamina and is completely safe”. I am not an athlete by any means, but I can imagine the pressure to be the very best and how that may push some athletes to do anything they can to gain a possible edge.
The automotive aftermarket business is just as competitive. In particular, the engine and fuel treatment market is full of competition and manufacturers that are always looking for the next best thing! Walking through the iFlex and Car Wash tradeshow this past week, I got to see some of the latest and greatest products from several vendors. From quicker drying waxes, more sudsy soaps to new fuel treatments and installation tools. I got to hear some of the greatest pitches for what seemed like a pretty standard commodity! Some were great, others were just missing the clown suits! I started thinking about the lack of integrity some of these vendors have and how that could potentially harm not only themselves but the installers that are buying from them.
Sometimes it is difficult for people to grasp the fact that I wear several different hats. One of my main hats is as a Jiffy Lube Franchisee. I have been involved in my Jiffy Lube Franchise since 1993. I have been successful in this business because my business partner Ed Petrilli and I have always been focused on the three I’s. Integrity. Intensity. Intimacy. These principles were handed down to Jiffy Lube Franchisees by one of the original Jiffy Lube visionaries: Jim Hindman. For the purpose of this post, I am going to focus on Integrity. I have always held that Integrity means you do the right thing, even when no one is watching. It is not flexible. It is not negotiable. You always do the right thing. From ensuring our team members are performing every service thoroughly to only offering the highest quality products, we do not jeopardize our Integrity.
When I put my Throttle Muscle hat on and work with our team of great individuals, we continue to operate with the same set of guiding principles. Integrity is not flexible. Every product we develop must do three things: provide a consumer benefit, provide an installer benefit and provide an MDA benefit. If I wouldn’t offer a product in one of my Jiffy Lube stores, we will NOT move forward. When we developed our most recent product: FX805 Synthetic One Step Fuel System Cleaner, we did so by blending a proven product formula with the added consumer benefit of a synthetic lubricant. It provides the consumer with the benefit of a 2.3% fuel economy improvement (proven through real testing by a recognized third party testing company), it provides the installer the benefit of offering a proven product with a decent margin, and it provides the MDA the benefit of a built in donation. When I offer this product in my Jiffy Lube stores, there is no question the consumer is receiving a proven product at a fair price.
So where am I going with this? As an installer, I am responsible for what products I offer my guests and how they are represented in my Jiffy Lube stores. I saw products and special delivery systems on display during the iFlex show that would certainly jeopardize my integrity if I were to offer those in my stores. There are enough products on the market that provide great consumer benefits that don’t need any hocus pocus tools to cloud perceptions. My choice is to do what is right and only offer products in my stores that I can truly believe in. Remember: if it seems to good to be true, it probably is. Do right by your guests and don’t jeopardize your Integrity. Just like the professional athlete needs to be aware of what they are putting in their bodies, we must be aware of what we are putting in our customer’s cars!