At first, it may appear that telling the truth and now holding back critical information in business will subtract from you, but in the long run honesty will multiply back to you by Gary Shotton #000294
Day Old Bread
By Gary Shotton
Hello, my name is Gary Shotton, and I’m sure happy to be here with you as a part of Inspiring Better Business. I’m sitting here at my machine shop and I’m a little bit proud because we’re just installing this robot that’s feeding tube machines to assist our efficiency and our production. It’s a part of continual improvement.
Now, today, I’m going to talk about a subject that came up because of a question that was asked us by our peer groups in a foreign country, East Africa. And the question was this, what would you do in regards to selling bread if the bread got older and older and older and it wasn’t fresh? Wasn’t that the baking of the day? Would you tell the customer? And I had to say, you know, the word of integrity. That’s how we get the name of this lesson, a day-old bread, because you can never go wrong with the truth. You might get by without telling the truth, but you might not. And eventually you probably won’t.
You’re not, like, directly lying. That’s the problem. You just didn’t tell everything. And, you know, I’m not trying to present this as I’m Mr. Perfect. And I don’t do anything wrong. I don’t think about doing something wrong. I’m human just like you. But here’s the truth of the matter, that when you as a company providing a product or service, become a rep, you have a reputation of high integrity that stays with you a long time and will benefit you greatly. But as soon as you get a little bit of a reputation with your customers and the community, that you’re not quite honest, that you’re not quite telling all of the truth when you should be, then you’re going to have that stuck on you. And that’s going to hurt you. It’s going to hurt you big time.
So, we’re trying not to be, you know, again, unrealistic in this. But telling the truth, as simple as it sounds, may be more difficult than when you get into business, because a lot of times when you tell the truth and something didn’t go well, it’s going to cost you money. In this case, it was on bread. And I said, you know, I would suggest that you go ahead and bake a new day’s bread or however you want. Quantity wise and identify that this is your fresh bread made today. And you can list over here in another category, on another rack, the day-old bread or older bread and just make a note up and it’s going to be a lesser price. You see, some people will come in and that’ll be okay with them. They bought what you advertised. Day old bread. My mom had a doughnut shop. She had clearly frozen donuts that she didn’t sell one day and she sold them day old or frozen at a lesser price.
So, you can do this because you’re telling the truth. Let the customer make their choice. Now we have a particular convenience store in our town that’s actually a gas station where they sell a lot of food and in their case, they had donuts. That’s a sweet roll. And they are fresh every single day, but they were really pretty smart. They ate and they put a sign up that says anything that’s in the rack as of four o’clock on that same day is half price. For a long time, they didn’t do that. And this older pastry, which were now not days old, but just older in the same day, would be older. And they wanted to sell most if they don’t sell them, they actually go in the trash. There’s no benefit at all. So, they made a category of fresh and after four o’clock half price. Well, what’s better to get half price for a donuts or a pastry or nothing at all? I know about pastries. It doesn’t take much ingredients. It’s already made its way better to end up with half the money. Think about it. How can you do that?
Let me apply it in my business. I’m going to show you a part here. This part was a part that we made for a customer X. Actually, if you look closely, it’s some gears. We started with a piece of brass and we cut the material first and then we cut the teeth on this to the like a gear and a true story in this regard. It was several years ago that in our business we’re required to keep track of the material that that was made in every single part and explain it further. If I made about an order of 20 of these and there’s about 15 of these were made from one bar stock and the other five were made from another bar stock in another batch of material. My business requires that I keep them separate. It would be like I have in this box the 15. This is the box with a 15. But in this other box, I have the other five. And in that box is the other five made exactly the same. Exactly. You can’t tell it by looking at it. There’s hardly any way. They’re just made from a different raw meat. Same specifications, but a different batch of raw material. Well, unfortunately, we had a driver that didn’t understand the importance. And when we deliver these, we would deliver them separately. Here’s the box of total twenty. Here’s fifteen in this box and five in this.
What they would do with it at that point is totally up to them. But I delivered it separated and traceable. Well, what this driver did unfortunately didn’t think or didn’t know what he was doing. And he took those. And he just mixed them together, all mixed up. Oh, I have a choice. Do I tell the customer the truth or do I actually say, listen, there’s no way I can separate those two? They have now been mixed together. The five plus a fifteen. There are 20. Here’s your whole order. I was ready to deliver, but I’ve got to start all over. I have to buy more material. I’ve got cut more the machining than I’ve got to cut the teeth. And these were selling maybe for 80 or 90 dollars each. Let’s call it a 100. So, if there’s 20, that’s two thousand dollars that I’m getting paid for this box of 20. But do I tell him the truth? That I mixed up the truth? The reality, not the truth. The truth is they’re mixed up. The reality is they will never, ever know because you can’t tell the difference. You can’t see the difference. They would not go make a test of the mature is just not going to happen.
But I took a position at my company knows this. Tell the truth. Well, I was the one that actually delivered. I said, we’re going to have to start over. I’m sorry. It’s going to take us another four or five days. There’s going to be late also. And, you know, they looked at me and said, are you kidding me? They were surprised that I told them the truth. That’s how. And that stuck with them. And we got more business and more business. I can tell you that my customers can trust us. They know they can trust us. We could do a lot of things to deceive them. They can’t. They can’t keep track of everything we’re doing. We can do a lot of things. And many of those things would be. Apparently saving me money or putting money in my pocket. In other words, delivering something that substandard and calling it standard calling. Good. Don’t do that. My quality department and my operations. No. If they asked me to make a decision on this. The answer is always no. Tell them the truth. Sometimes the customer will accept that. And it’s not a big deal. In this particular case, when I did this part, it was really interesting because it was a real test. I said, no, never. No, they will never, ever know that they’re mixed. But it’s not true. Well, in this particular case, this customer in the process of getting ready to make the replacement, they found out that there was a dimension wrong on there and they would have had to have a make them again anyway.
And so, they were so impressed that we tell the truth and High was wanted to meet them halfway. I said, let’s go ahead and make you an essence. Sell you and make the new product. And bear berry at 50 50. In other words, the extra cost that I’ll make, I’ll sell you the new the new product made correctly. But they actually paid me half price for those 20 that I had actually mixed up together. Wow. That was a confirmation that God was on this. And I should tell the truth.
Well, you’re going to be faced with that is a day-old bread. Is its fresh bread? What they’re saying there is somebody is going to ask you a question. And where did this material come from? A source of your cloth in the cloth business or in the style business? Where did this material come from? You know that if you can tell him it came from a better source, that’s going to be viewed as more profitable, more expensive, and so you can charge more. You’re going to have an opportunity. Oh, so many times I’ll say it in the United States. You have an opportunity to cheat on your taxes. You can do that. But, you know, between you and God, you know the difference. God knows the difference. And I believe you start losing the favor of God when you start down this path of not having integrity, not intentionally having integrity, things happen. I don’t know about. I just do my very best. But if I intentionally decide to deceive or falsify, are not tell the critical things that are important to my customer, then I’ve gone down this path. The end of that path is not good. As if you go down the path of temporary pain, temporary cost. But at the hand you stood the ground of a test of integrity.
I hope this helps. Please don’t think I’m trying to judge you or anything you did in the past. Just start from now and be a company of integrity. Thank you for being a part of inspiring better business.
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