Look for the Broken

A case in point. I bought a new car this weekend. Talk about a process this is broken, awful, sad, wasteful, slow, inefficient, irritating, and ripe for a re-imagining (can anyone say Tesla?).

They have millions of dollars of inventory sitting out in the sun, snow, sleet, hail, rain just sitting.

You have to play a game with them to agree on a price. You know that whatever price they quote you is not the real price. They might tell you that you are getting a discount for some reason, but they can likely make that back up somewhere else with another variable (trade-in).

They low ball you on trade-in and act like they will have a hard time with that model, feature, color, type, etc. When you already know the trade-in value from looking it up online.

You agree on a price, but then there is another $199 in documentation fees.

If you decide you are going to leave, the manager needs to meet you and wants to know what he can do.

If you accept a deal, then you spend another hour doing paperwork. In our case, they had information from a prior car we had bought at the dealer that was wrong (address, email and phone) and no matter how many times we corrected it, the wrong data continued to show up on forms. They loaded a new email address into a system but they loaded it incorrectly and there is no way to edit it. The business manager lacks the mileage on our trade-in so she runs out to get it and it takes her 20 minutes while we sit waiting.

Throughout the whole process they keep telling us to rate them a 10 on the survey.

If Tesla, Uber, Airbnb and others can overcome entry barriers, they will crush these business models.

Look for the broken. And here is an article about doing it inside your own operations.

pablo

2 thoughts on “Look for the Broken”

  1. Hi Mark,

    One of the challenges I face in my day to day work is that for me it is not easy to recognize what is broken in the processes and projects that I am personally involved in. Any insights on how I can address that?

    Thanks,
    Saqib

    1. Good question Saqib. It seems like when things are inefficient, dumb, slow or wasteful or when they are stuck in the past or when people are irritated about them, those are things that are ripe for reinvention. The car buying process is full of such hints. In an office, I one has to fill out forms over and over with the same redundant information, or if one has to fax those forms somewhere, that might be an indication. Or perhaps when rules from the past prevent the future from arriving and prevent people from using the latest technology, that might be a hint.

      Wherever there is frustration, perhaps, might be an indicator.

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