Adapting on the Fly
2018 was a very exciting and stressful year for me and I am happy to say that with the help of my managers, I made it. With the addition of a second store five hours away and continual construction at our main store, I have had to deal with new issues on a daily basis.
At our main store in Leavenworth, we just completed phase three of our expansion. Phase three was challenging, to say the least. It was a 50-foot by 90-foot building that was constructed right in front of our body shop offices. This phase moved our accounting office, BDC, my office, and the body shop offices. We all moved in just before Christmas.
After the move, construction started to concentrate on moving the service waiting area. This was the last thing we need to account for before we started to remodel the main building and the sales floor. The idea was to move my quick lane advisors onto the service drive and remodel the quick lane office to be just a waiting area, since it is on the other side of the service drive away from the main building. This was all done with the hope that the construction wouldn’t be intrusive to for our customers.
Unfortunately, as with everything we try to do on the main building, it was easier said than done. The engineers found out that a pipe had burst or cracked under the service drive and had created a sinkhole under the concrete. The only time we would be closed long enough for the concrete to be set up was over Christmas weekend. We closed down our service department on December 22 and our construction crew started tearing out the concrete the night of the 21st with the hope that most of the demolition would be completed before our sales department opened on the 22nd. It was not.
Our contractor ran into several issues besides the pipe. There were electrical lines embedded into the concrete, which were ripped out, causing a power loss to half of the building. They had to stop demolition and get an electrician out of bed to come fix the electrical issues so we could open in the morning. This meant that the demolition would have to continue the next morning—and it did, loudly, with dust everywhere.
We decided that we would leave our quick lane open to handle our customers that were trying to get out of town for the long weekend. Proudly, I can say that our employees adapted and overcame all of the confusion and handled our customers as well as they could. Our customers understood the issues we were having and, for the most part, did not complain about their inconvenience.
They got the service drive concrete done by the morning of the 23rd and were even able to fix the walls and paint before we moved back in the 26th. I have got to say that I have good—if not great—employees. This was just one of the issues that they have had to deal with over the past year and they all handle these issues professionally and get the job done. I have had no one complain to me about all of the on-the-fly adjustments I have had them make to continue with our constructions. As for the past year, the thing I appreciative most, besides my wife who has had to deal with me being gone more the 100 days this year, is my managers and all of our employees.
The opinions and views expressed in this column are those of the columnist and do not reflect the views or opinions of FIXED and its staff.