I have an old inflatable dingy with the material around the oar locks deteriorating in such a way that anything or anyone that brushed against this area came away with black stains. Clothing, hands, arms, legs, etc. all stained black. This apparently comes about after years of use. The manufacturer was no longer in business. There is some advice on line suggesting adding oil, others suggested using a wax covering. Nothing seemed to work. At one point I even had a set of covers made to reduce exposure to these areas. I was emotionally attached to this inflatable that I purchased new a long time ago.
After a long search and discussion with friends, I finally found a local company that sells and services inflatable dinghies. After discussing the issue over the telephone, the business owner suggested that his staff was creative and would like to see the problem. My first reaction was that a possible solution was near, and I was thankful, even though this business was not located near an ocean, river, bay or any body of water at all.
A few weeks later I was able to transport the inflatable overland to the business so they could see the problem. Their initial reaction was not positive. The age of the dingy was a factor. A sales person suggested purchasing a new one for about $2500.00. One of the service managers said, there was a possibility of damaging the inflatable with some of the approaches I suggested. He also stated that they could try but would not warranty the work and suggested a price of about $600.00 to possibly create a repair as parts were no longer available from the manufacture. I asked that they try, but that the price suggested was more than I thought I would have to spend.
Three days later I received a phone call from the administrator of the business and she told me the work was completed. She informed me that they were able to locate a paint material and glue it in place over the faulty area of the inflatable, and the cost was just under $200.00, including a full check out of the dingy. Wow, was I pleasantly surprised.
The service manager told me he came up with this solution after thinking about the problem for a while. I thanked him profusely.
I have already recommended a number of people use this firm.
How creative are your employees? Do you promote their skills?
Steve Koenig, SCORE Counselor
Visit us at: www.scoresouthflorida.net