The Devil Is In The Details
Some of you may have heard this old axiom from back in your youth: “The devil is in the details.”
I remember my grandfather saying this to me whenever he and I would work on building a plastic model airplane or a sailing ship model together.
As a young kid I never really knew exactly what he meant by that, but as I got older and (slightly) wiser the meaning became clear to me.
It is the littlest things in life that make the biggest difference.
The older I got, the more this trusted old nugget of wisdom became a truism to me.
There is literally nothing in the world that cannot be improved immeasurably by focusing on the detailed aspects of that project and making sure they are correct before moving on to other issues.
Your lube shop is a perfect place to begin. What details in your shop can you look at right now and notice that they need some improving? I’m sure there are many. Maybe there are so many that you have this thought running through your head, “Sure, there are a million little things that I would like to take care of, but I also have much bigger projects that need to be taken care of first. Get to the big stuff first, and do the little things later as you get to them.”
That is a very common attitude to take, and it seems to make perfect sense — but it’s wrong.
The reality in life is that there are no big things. Everything is just a whole bunch of details — little things — things so small as to seem almost totally insignificant.
By taking care of every little thing that comes along, you automatically take care of the big stuff. It just goes away.
Look around your shop and think about what you see. Do the walls need repainting? Is your menu board old and in need of replacement? How about the tool carts, computer stands or oil consoles; are they banged-up and ratty looking, or in need of repairing, repainting or replacing? What about the shop floor? How long has it been since a fresh coat of new and shiny non-slip epoxy paint was laid down?
These are all big projects to be sure, but if you just break them all down to single projects, they can be done with far less aggravation and frustration.
What are some of the details you may have missed when looking around your shop?
Let’s start with the oil guns:
• Are the rubber hoses leading to your bulk guns clean and oil-free? This seems to be something many shops never take care of. If you have overhead reels, then the hoses tend to be coiled up in the overhead cabinet, except when you are using them. If you have floor consoles, the hoses may typically hang in the basement through the top of the console when not in use. At any rate, they are usually not visible when not in use. However, they surely get filthy with oil and other residue over time. Pull them out, and clean the hoses thoroughly at least once a week, if not daily. They will last longer, look better when you are using them and, best of all, they won’t leave oily streaks on your customers’ cars as you work on them.
• Are your oil guns clean and in good repair? You know that dirty oily hands are touching these every day in your shop. Is the display screen (if digital) so dirty it can’t be read? Is the body of the gun disgusting with oily build-up? These should be thoroughly cleaned every single day.
Next, let’s move to the oil console: