Covid-19 has unquestionably had a large impact on the world, on people’s day-to-day lives, and will continue to echo through our economy and lifestyles for a long while. We are not yet in a position to look back and see all of its effects but we know they will be profound.
Businesses have responsibilities to multiple groups of people who are stake-holders in their business affairs. For us these groups are: our clients, our staff, our vendors / creditors, our business owners and the community of Gig Harbor as a whole. We are an integrity first business and will not compromise on any of these relationships. Specifically:
Clients can expect no reduction in quality of service. Unfortunately, businesses whose backs are against the wall often sacrifice here. Watch an episode of Kitchen Nightmares and you’ll see great examples of how businesses in trouble can make their clients pay the price. This is a hidden cost that consumers pay when a business struggles and that paradigm goes strongly against our values. Be wary as time passes and things “return to normal” – the quality you expect from your purchases will require close inspection as some businesses may have had to make the choice of reducing quality in order to remain open. Smart consumers can ‘smell’ this and have the wisdom to stay away from deals that are too good to be true. We are adamant: we will not cut corners – our clients deserve our best.
Our shop will remain clean and our processes – already very tight – will do nothing but improve as we take the extra time afforded to us by this pandemic to shift more effort to working ON our business when not working IN it.
We are, of course, very aware of the risks posed by this virus and are taking the recommended extra precautions of using more sanitary wipes, washing our hands regularly, and keeping all ‘touch’ surfaces sanitized. We will be doing so with our clients’ keys, door handles, steering wheels, etc. We take pride in our shop’s cleanliness and our clients have noticed. Additionally we have a very modern (and expensive) clean-air handling system that ensures the air in our shop is clean and healthy.
For those at higher risk that want more distancing we have a key-drop and pickup system, the ability to run payments over the phone, and our paperless invoicing and inspection systems. EVERYTHING we do can be done without face-to-face interaction if you desire.
Staff will remain employed and paid. We have not taken any government help for payroll and hope to not have to. Thanks to our proprietary shop management systems, we run a lean business and get more done with less people than most in our industry. As a result, we can afford to suffer payroll expenses in lean times better than most. Our people are our business and we will look after them.
Vendors: We are on great terms with all of our vendors. We are current or ahead in bill payments and have enough cash reserves to remain so for a while. Should we need to seek help from creditors, we are confident that our history with them will speak for itself and afford us flexibility if needed. We are not expecting to pursue this. Remember as well: businesses struggling to keep things together will take their eye off the ball and this will start a spiral of quality compromises. Our clients pay our bills and deserve our time / we will continue to respect this.
Business Owners: “Responsibility” is a hallmark and core strength of our business. We take our responsibilities seriously and will shift our resources to best protect those we are responsible for. This is not new: we own everything in our shop – our burdens are as light as possible and we will keep them this way. Our overhead is intentionally low, business proceeds have been reinvested for years and thus we have a great business with great resources. Business Owners need to be paid as well, and they will, but we have sufficient reserves to not panic for a while.
Community: We are your neighbors and understand that what we do impacts our community. You can be confident that we will not allow unsafe or unwise practices to take a toll on the community we all enjoy. Although we are not in the direct line of fire, we stand ready to help and will remain an open business and an asset to Gig Harbor. Auto services have been deemed “essential” and we will uphold the responsibility of keeping your vehicles safe and reliable and thus our community a little better off for our efforts.
Finally, we would like to say Thank You to all that are fighting this fight. Our medical people, of course, are today’s heroes and we are very grateful to them. Leaders: local, national, and global have tough jobs and we are grateful that they are not shunning the fight. Grocery store employees are willing to put themselves at risk so that we can all have the food and household products we need to survive. Responsible community members that are taking precautions and helping those in need: you are also front-line and your impact, although not always obvious, is big.
As a company we feel our best approach to helping during this pandemic is to Stay the Course and to hold to our values. We will tighten our belts as needed but you can be confident we will not forget what we promise – we will not compromise in our quality of work or customer service.