My tool box theory
When I got my first bicycle, I purchased an all-in-one spanner, two tyre levers and a puncture repair outfit.
When I got my first computer, it came with an operating system.
Later, I got a racing bike and purchased an adjustable spanner, some pliers and a screwdriver.
Later, I bought a basic spreadsheet, word processor and a few games, which I played for hours.
Then I turned 16 and purchased a Lambretta GT200, so needed a few more tools: I found out why I needed circlip pliers, some ring spanners and some open ended spanners. For Christmas that year, I received some box spanners and a tool box, for the first time.
Then I upgraded to a bigger computer, which came with my first copy of MS Office.
Seeing the wisdom in four wheels, I went on to purchase my first car along with a workshop manual and a few more tools. In those days, cars were fairly basic and a whittled down broom handle could function as a clutch alignment tool when taking an engine in and out. My first experience with Car Garages involved getting MOT’s and the remedial work that accompanied them. My car regularly broke down and I learned how to fix it by the roadside, carrying my toolbox in the boot of the car.
I saw that I should learn some basic programming, to help me to understand how these programmes (that I had been using) were put together, so purchased a copy of Visual Basic.
Then I got a good job and had far less time. I could not afford a car breakdown and possible delay to arriving at a key meeting, so started asking my local garage to service the car at regular intervals.
Then I got a good job and had far less time. At work we purchased adequate computers with Spreadsheets, Word Processors and Access. Some people wrote simple programmes in Access that helped and, after a while, we found a supplier who made great programmes specifically for our Industry and geared to the solving the business problems my department addresses for our Customers.
Over the years, I have found a garage I can trust with simple questions like “Is it worth keeping the car for 2 more years or should I replace it?” They advise me on costs and other aspects that I may not have considered as they have knowledge that I do not. Recently, I spent £1,000 on the air conditioning system, allowing me to keep the car for two extra years and that balances against the depreciation that a new car would suffer over the same period (£10,000)…good advice and not untypical of my garage.
Over the years, our solution supplier has fully participated in our industry, gone to the events we go to, read the articles we read and embedded functionality into our solution required by Legislation, Codes of Practice and Best Practice in my domain. We sometimes purchase extra modules, but work with our supplier to calculate the ROI before we place an order. We trust this supplier.
My tool box evolves into a truly Symbiotic Relationship
I no longer own a Workshop manual and my tool box is not used except for the most simple of tasks – change a tyre, fill up with oil and so on.
I no longer know how to write VB code, or create Programmes in Access and my PC is functional. I use it to deliver my organisation’s products and services to our valued Customers.
If I had another make of car, I might use another garage. My garage own specialist tools that I could not afford, nor would I want. They certify their staff externally as capable of analysing what is wrong with my car and putting it right with genuine parts. I trust my garage to help me keep the cost of owning a good car to the absolute minimum.
If I worked in another department or another industry, I might use another supplier. My supplier saves me large sums of money in a truly symbiotic relationship. They certify their staff, externally, as capable of executing their role and keep them in touch with my industry trends and changes. I trust my supplier to help me keep the cost of owning a good system to the absolute minimum whilst showing a proven return on my investment.