Uncommissioned Sales

Bit by bit, we move to the tipping point. Today, I did my bit.

After taking my kid to hockey practice, I went to Canadian Tire because my engine light was on. Canadian Tire is probably Canada's largest automotive service chain for the general public - it doubles as an everything store, from bicycles and camping gear to lightbulbs and lawn chairs.

While there, I took the opportunity to politely direct the service foreman (the guy in charge of the shift of technicians) to MVIS' website. He was about 50. We had only a brief chat (intentional on my part as I wanted to pique his curiosity without rubbing him the wrong way). He liked what he saw (technologically) but was initially unsure how it would be used ("it's cool, but we're fixing cars here"). Then he mused aloud, "I guess it would help in taking cars apart". I agreed, and suggested that it had been shown in tests to increase throughput by up to 40% and could help turn novice technicians into experts fairly quickly. Without me prompting, he saved MVIS' site as a favourite. I recommended that he browse it later assuring him he'd find it useful and informative. Then off I went, another seed planted.

Because it all happened in passing, I did not point out what he had said to me at the beginning of our conversation, when I first came in: that they could do a diagnostic on my car, but would not be able to undertake any significant repairs today as they were backed for up a couple of days.

Between you and me, I can't easily do without my car even for a couple of days. Tomorrow, for example, I have to drive to another city by 930 am to arrange the release of an old lady under arrest. Luckily, there was nothing important amiss with my car. Had it been otherwise, the service center's two day delay would have sent me looking elsewhere or left me feeling in the lurch.

If Nomad does in practice what it appears to do in tests, it will inevitably be drawn into broad usage in the industry. The reason is simple: nature abhors a vacuum. A service center's incapacity and a customer's unmet needs add up to a vacuum.