Open the Flood Gates


  Today's successful product isn't a creation of chance. It is the outcome of years of experience and investment in research and development.

    The advent of computer generated hull, engine, and propeller design, combined with high tech electronic controls and accessories has increased the need to convince consumers not to use old solutions to maintenance, repair, and operation of their product.

Just as I will never be a good Plastic Surgeon, I have a good customer who will never be a good marine mechanic. The complexity of being a good doctor is universally understood. A good doctor will take advantage of his strengths and use as many specialists as he can to help solve the complexities of medicine. This  doctor also uses this approach in his use of professional services to maintain his boat. It's not that he couldn't do it, if he tried but, he knows that it is safer and more economical in the long run to utilize the professionals around him.

Flood the consumer with technology
Several of the top computer software companies have moved to open source. And for some strange reason their success has increased right along with these releases. I don't know about you but this access to computer code hasn't made me want to go out and do it myself, rather it has given me more respect for the industry as a whole. In their attempt to educate and invite people into the computer business they have also succeeded in informing most smart computer users that it is difficult and dangerous to tamper with their computer systems.

Develop our Skills
   The old school used to say that it would scare off the buyer if we told them how complex the product is. The computer business has proven that theory wrong.  If every concept of design, procedure for repair, warning, and recall were posted more people would accept the complexities of their boat and at the same time realize the need for professional help. To increase demand for professional services, the purchasers of today's products need to be flooded with the technology. Smart consumers will know that Doing it yourself will cost more than having trained technicians maintain, analyze, and repair their product. I don't know about you but an informed boat owner is my best customer.

What to do...
Most consumers don't know what is involved in maintaining and repairing a modern marine engine. They have come to accept this fact with their cars and our industry needs to do the same.
If you're Nigel Calder, you sell them a copy of your book. The rest of us need to respond to each request for information assistance by making sure we supply the consumer with all pertinent information. Don't simplify it. Tell it like it is. You will be doing the customer a favor if we insist they get a manual and read about the product and all the technical and safety warnings involved concerning repair. In most cases this knowledge will encourage consumer use of professional help because the consumer will be familiar with the need for special skills and tools to perform a repair properly.

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