A few months ago a pricing error was made when quoting a large order of linesets to a customer. Due to the volatility of copper, we provided pricing to our customer that was below our cost on the item.
When Ed Yakubik discovered the honest mistake, he took the initiative to solve the issue. The first thing he did was let the sales associate know of the issue so we could collaborate and discuss how to best proceed.
The sales associate informed us that the customer had made a similar bulk buy last year, and was an understanding person that would accept our explanation for the issue.
Ed decided to take it a step further and create a backup plan if the customer wasn’t as understanding as we anticipated. He let the vendor’s rep know of the error that was made to see if they could do any better on our price, so that we could hopefully reduce our loss on the sale.
The vendor immediately accepted, and agreed to lower our cost. Soon after, the sales associate reached out to let us know that the customer was completely understanding of our pricing mix-up, and accepted the correct price without issue.
Ed came into my office to share both pieces of news, and, with our Fundamentals in mind, we discussed “doing the right thing”.
Other companies might simply not mention to the vendor that the customer accepted the correct price, and make even more money than they would have made in the first place! It’s not lying, right? Maybe not literally, but is certainly dishonest.
As we know, Famous strives to be ‘Fundamentally Different’ from other companies.
To put this Fundamental into perspective, I think back to what was said when we rolled out our 40 Fundamentals last December; if you’re in a situation and don’t know what to do, simply ask yourself, ‘later tonight when I’m at the dinner table with my family, would I be proud to tell them what I did, not sure if I’d want to tell them what I did, or ashamed to tell them what I did?’. This can usually guide us to what the ‘Right’ decision is.
At that point, we called the vendor to let them know the customer accepted the correct price, told them we appreciated their flexibility, and would be glad to pay our standard price without the discount that was generously offered.
Our honesty and integrity is precious. It’s like dropping water into a bucket, one small drop at a time; it takes a while to fill, and can be emptied in an instant. My grandpa, Jay, told me once that the moment you betray someone’s confidence, it’s gone forever. You can work hard to regain it, but it may never again be 100%, full confidence.
While we “did the right thing” that day, there was still room for improvement in one small way.
The purpose of practicing our Fundamentals is so that they become second-nature; we don’t even think about them, we just do them naturally.
Let’s take this week to practice, and talk about, “doing the right thing” so that it truly becomes a part of who we are.
Some quotes to ponder relating to this week’s Fundamental:
“The first practice is the practice of undiscriminating virtue: take care of those who are deserving; also, and equally, take care of those who are not.” – Lao Tzu
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi