Consistency is an essential element for business success. Customers expect the same great service every time they do business with a particular organization, even if they visit different outlets or stores owned by the same company.

It is therefore imperative for businesses which operate multiple stores to make sure that customers receive the same high quality of service irrespective of whichever outlet they visit. VIP Parts, Tires & Service, an automotive parts and accessories chain, wanted to make sure that each of its 56 stores throughout Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts delivers the same, consistent experience. When the current owners acquired the 55-year-old company in 2000, they wanted to turn it from a discounter to a high-caliber company that differentiates itself by delivering great customer service.

A crucial element in achieving this change was to train staff members to use the hundreds of different parts that the company uses, a complicated and lengthy process. Aaron Hackett, director of operations and administration, notes that although the company employed a trainer in the past, VIP Parts, Tires & Service didn't fill the role after the last person's departure from the company, leaving employees with no official or structured training system. "You learned from the guy next to you, and hopefully he was doing things right," Hackett says.