A few weeks ago, TKO completed the first of what we hope to be many fleet graphic installations for Ricker Oil Company. We were contracted to produce and install a wrap for one of their concession trailers. Upon completion, the wrap was not installed properly. It looked shoddy and it was shoddy. No one was happy. I’m going to break the rules and jump to the end — we fixed it. We fixed it right, and we fixed it fast. We took advantage of an opportunity. 

I asked Denny Smith, our VP of Operations, “When considering service, what makes a good company?” Denny answered, “I feel the way a company responds to an issue is what defines them as a company. We are all going to make mistakes from time to time, but it’s how we handle those mistakes that shows the character of an organization.” He added, “I think what sets TKO apart (from competitors) is we feel it’s a privilege to retain the business of our customers, and no matter the size of the job, we approach each one with the same passion for perfection.”

In an interview with Ricker Oil Social Media Manager, Jon Bausman:

Randy Clark: Jon, what was TKO hired to do?
Jon Bausman: We contracted TKO to wrap a concessions trailer, using our design.

RC: What were your expectations?

JB: I had high expectations. I expected it to be clean and flawless with no yellow (vehicle’s color) showing through. Everyone I had talked to at TKO was quality, so I expected a quality installation.

RC: Can you describe the installation?

JB: The yellow showed through in places, two inches around a bar and around equipment, like the lights.

RC: What else did not meet your expectations?

JB: The installer did not tell us when it was done, or let us know the issues around the equipment.

RC: I know I would be questioning my decision to hire TKO. What did you think?

JB: I did not question my decision, because of the integrity of the people at TKO. My friend, Jake, works there and he would not work at an unethical company. I was bothered by it, but I believed it would be resolved quickly, and the right way.

RC: What happened next?

JB: I emailed Denny (Smith) and my friend (Jake) at TKO, and before I could address my concerns, they had addressed them.

RC: What solutions were presented to you?

JB: Denny emailed me back with a production schedule to re-manufacture the entire wrap, and an installation date for the following Wednesday. Denny also shared how the installer was being addressed, and actions TKO was taking to avoid this kind of thing (in future).

RC: Was the re-wrap completed to Ricker’s satisfaction?

JB: Yes, and it was time sensitive — a little league needed the stand in two weeks.

RC: When it was complete, what was your impression of TKO?

JB: I was impressed with the attention to customer service. TKO pulled a rabbit out of the hat. Good communication, a good relationship, and they delivered when it counted.

RC: Will you use TKO again?

JB: Absolutely.

I continued my interview with Denny Smith:

Randy Clark: What was your reaction to the initial installation?
Denny Smith: I was concerned that our installer would leave a job that was not 100%, without communicating to TKO management or the customer.

RC: What actions did you and TKO take?

DS: I forwarded the pictures sent to me by the customer to Bill Moss, our Installation Manager. I asked that he address the situation with the crew leader — not that the installation was substandard — but about how to handle situations like this. Mistakes can be used as a learning tool if approached in the right way.

RC: What other thoughts do you have?

DS: Communication is vital in all phases of an operation. If a mistake is made and it is communicated to management, the customer, or both, then the problem can be resolved. If you don’t know about it, you cannot fix it!

I Later Talked With the TKO Installer who Resolved the Issue

Randy Clark: Mike, what caused the poor installation to begin with?
Mike Stoops: The initial installation team was under-informed and under-equipped. They did not have the tools to remove lights, bars and other equipment, so they cut around those areas. It would be similar to painting around a light switch, instead of removing it and painting behind the switch.

RC: How can this be avoided?

MS: Always carry all your tools. You never know what you will need, and you cannot have too much information. If you do have a problem, let someone know.

The lesson of opportunity

TKO’s opportunity was to learn from our mistakes, avoiding this scenario in future. What similar lessons can you share? Send us your thoughts and comments.

I would like to thank everyone for allowing me to divulge the details of this job. I would also like to thank Ricker’s for allowing us to resolve the problem, and for continuing to do business with TKO.