So after working until 10:30 PM on a gunlock fitment problem and still not finding a solution, one of my leads and I hung our heads in defeat. What to do? We tried two different gunlock solutions in multiple configurations. As we locked up the shop we were quiet. Both of us were lost in thought - as we had been the last two hours of fighting gunlocks. It seemed no matter where or how we mounted it, the foot would not allow the vehicle’s printer to open up, which made the loading of paper impossible. Or the barrel of the gun would rub the headliner. Of course, both predicaments are unacceptable in the KELTEK world.
On my 45 minute drive home I replayed all the options we had tried, and as I ate a late supper I did the same. As my day started rolling into the 19th hour I was feeling wiped out and headed to bed. An hour later I was still awake wondering how we could make it work. The rest of my night was pretty much sleepless dozing in and out of a recurring dream of gunlocks.
As 4:30 AM rolled around I was wide awake and ready to get back to the shop early, the customer was taking delivery today and we still had no solution. As I arrived earlier than normal, I grabbed a part of our sales team to get some ideas on how we could conquer this problem. Did I mention he wrote the book on how KELTEK up-fits a car?
He had a solution in minutes - a quick turn of the lock sideways by changing a couple of brackets, but after mocking that up it still did not work as we wanted. Ugh.
So I grabbed another team lead, as my lead from last night was wandering in groggy, talking about not sleeping well due to thinking about this gunlock all night. Our new set of eyes looked at it, threw out an idea, while the initial lead hopped in to re-engage in this unsolvable project. Feeding off of each other, building on the initial suggestion from our sales team partner, they dive into full brainstorm mode with a sudden “yep, that's how we will do it!” Crisis averted and a working gun lock is created as if out of nowhere.
As others rolled into work knowing the customer was expected around 9:00 AM, they started lending a hand, some wiping down seats, some vacuuming and some loading old removed product into the truck bed. Anything to give the customer what they expect from KELTEK and their new KELTEK vehicle.
As a shop manager, I can tell you this story carries significant relevance to your KELTEK experience. The lead and I worked late into the evening with no solution as a reward - while most would have succumbed to defeat, we were not defeated at all. We just needed a break and a brainstorming session. We both thought about it through the night and came in early to solve the problem and then others wanted to be part of that solution also. They wanted us to succeed, because if we succeed the team succeeds.
To me, this is the KELTEK difference. Have no doubt - up-fitting squad and command vehicles is not the easiest gig on the planet. To do it and do it right, it takes a special breed. And to be on the KELTEK Install Team, we simply expect more from our employees and each other. We look for passion, drive, and those looking for more than a ”job.” Each person here is an employee-owner who has a vested interest in this company succeeding as a whole.
There is no halfway for us - only all or nothing. This made me wonder what the rest of my team thought. So I posed two questions - 1) “How does KELTEK differ from other up-fitters? “ and 2) “ Why do we consider ourselves the best?”
Rather than hearing more from me, this article is easily summed up by our team’s quotes below.
“It’s the ideals this company was founded on that make us different, we serve communities and those who protect us. It is also very family-oriented.” -Koby
“Integrity, attention to detail, quality & putting the customer first. We also have significantly better response times on service work - usually within 24 hrs.” - Brett
“Customer relationships, skill-sets, & quality really make the difference. We believe in our face-to-face interaction and taking something thought to be impossible and making it a reality - because we care about our customers.” -Robert
“Our competence and drive set us apart because we care about our work.” - Cale
“We are very efficient and focused on time management. We tend to finish our builds faster with high quality in mind.” -Tucker
“How we build our cars, our standard allows for further customization and upgrades. I also think our finished product looks better.” -Heather
If you are ready to experience the KELTEK difference, it starts by reaching out to our consulting team to have a conversation about where you’re at with projects, what you love, and what you don’t love. With absolutely no obligation. We would love to get to know you and your department better!