I'm revamping a 30-year-old Nationwide trailer into a mobile sauna/camper I call "The Freedom Capsule"_. This has been a 6-year dream, and finally, the pieces and people showed up to make it a reality. I mention this personal project on a business blog because I always learn something valuable about the reuse/recycling markets with my art/building projects.
This time, the lesson was at the Pick n' Pull and the Wild Cat Mopars both parts dealers, or junkyards. This is an old idea and a simple system of reuse, but what struck me this time, was how this process could be more effective to increase reuse and my service experience. I saw a job creation opportunity that I think would pencil out. Instead of me going in with my tools to pull parts myself with no incentive to be careful not to ruin other parts, I would have loved to browse what parts were available and/or already pulled for me either in person or online. Wild Cat was close to this model of service. You could walk their organized and interesting yard and point out the part you wanted to them and they would remove it for you with much more skill and finesse. They did this for people calling them from around the world and had a robust online business.
The difference between the services provided by these two organizations shows in my experience observing them that more reuse, jobs, and revenue are created when the service model is just right. For example, I pulled a triangle window from a 1967 Volvo, but my design changed and now I don't need it, but I can't take it back. So if I needed to get rid of it I would have to spend a lot of time to recoup my money or give it away. This shows another missed business and waste saving opportunity through a simple smart service redesign. Many businesses and organizations will say they don't have time for any changes to their systems, but that is like saying you don't have time to stop and refill your gas tank but you want to keep driving.
This is a simple example but I hope it gets you thinking about tweaking your service design to build in less waste and hassle by looking at who is ultimately incentivized to care about your assets and what risk can you and should you manage. Do it yourself isn't always the answer, especially if you are caught in not seeing your service process from the angle of a new customer.
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