There’s an apocryphal tale told about Harris Group founder Robert ‘Pino’ Harris, often recounted when old friends gather to share memories of their mentor, or when the entrepreneur is remembered in the press.
Pino, as the story goes, was entertaining a high-level delegation of executives from Japanese partners Hino when the subject of a tricky engine problem came up – a problem that had dogged his Asian colleagues for some time. Pino is said to have left the boardroom abruptly, returning with mechanics’ overalls donned over his suit, whereupon he led the delegation out of the boardroom and into the workshop, proceeding to offer a hands-on demonstration of how to fix the problem.
It’s a story that tells a lot about Pino – not least his willingness to get his hands dirty – and underscores for us a value that we have carried forth in his name – that of integrity. Pino was not willing to allow a problem to exist until he had a solution found, even if that required his personal intervention, and in the spirit of partnership and cooperation his first thought was to share solutions with the people he was in business with. Not because it would benefit him directly, but because it was the right thing to do.
As described in our previous blog on Passion, the values that underpin the Harris Group are more than mere words, and in times of crisis such as these guide us on how we make decisions, every day.
And if passion is the fuel of our business, then integrity is the steely structure, the support system behind our goals.
Let’s take a look into how integrity forms the structural support of our identity.
We are taught as children that the definition of integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is looking. In times like these, that can look like keeping at least two metres away from strangers and loved ones, constantly washing hands and disinfecting surfaces, or simply staying home. These small actions might go unnoticed but, as we can see, make an enormous difference to people around us.
But integrity is not just about doing the right thing. It’s about being true to one’s core and letting actions demonstrate what’s really important. We admire this trait in great leaders, Pino included. He demonstrated honesty and integrity in how he worked with customers and partners — he meant what he said and followed through on commitments.
How do we maintain integrity?
- Honest dealing
We always strive to give our customers the best quality and the best price. Even during a pandemic, we still stand by this promise. These uncertain times have highlighted what’s essential in our society, the importance of each link in the supply chain, and not to take each other for granted. That’s why our quality vehicles, parts and service solutions are fairly priced to the benefit of our customers.
- Respecting others
We have taken immense care to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our customers and staff. We followed the Government’s advice and instituted clear social distancing guidelines. These policies include greatly increased sanitation and disinfection around the departments which remain open for essential services, like the Parts Distribution Centre and After Sales department. We have also implemented a remote working policy for team members to continue to safely interact with our partners and customers.
- Open communication
Ask any long-term married couple and they will tell you the secret to their relationship is communication. Open and authentic communication is vital, and even more so during trying times. As a commercial vehicle importer and distributor with supply links to China and Asia and in a pivotal position in the supply chain infrastructure of Ireland/UK, we have maintained open lines for customers to communicate with us as we wish to do all that we can to help keep Ireland moving.
We work to ensure that our partners, stakeholders, and customers have clear, up-to-date information to help them make crucial business decisions. When we have updates to how we operate, we aim to share them quickly and thoughtfully.
- Staying focused
Providing exceptional customer service has always been our goal. Come rain or shine, we keep a laser focus on our customers and helping them to stay on the road. We have maintained supply lines to ensure we have in stock the exact parts customers need when they need them. We have invested in training our workers so they are highly skilled to maintain vehicles. Our friendly staff will pick up the phone to answer any questions.
Our integrity is part of our identity – now more than ever. Please feel free to get in touch with us if you require our help or expertise.