Applications of the Scientific Method: Motorcycle Repair Shop
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The scientific method is a six step logical process that assists in solving a stated problem (Max, 2003). It consists of systematic stages that start with the statement of the issue in the form of a question that forms the basis of the whole process, and the end results should shed light to the formulated question. Next, research is carried out to receive background information about the context of the problem. One can obtain this information from interviews, reading online or offline resources, or handing out questionnaires to be filled out by a sampled population. Consequently, a clear hypothesis is formulated and proposed. The hypothesis should provide a direct answer on the previously stated problem statement (Mak, 2011). It serves as an ‘informed guess’ to the posed questions at the beginning of a study. In the end, analysis is conducted on the data collected and the results are used to make a conclusion on whether the hypothesis was true or false.
The next step involves coming up with an experiment that is purposely designed to test the stated hypothesis. Here, details of how the process was set up are recorded. They include where and when the experiment was conducted, who were involved in collecting and recording the data, what methods were used to collect the data and any equipment used during the experiment. After the test is designed and started, data collection begins. From the first till the last day of the experiment, observations are made and recorded and timing information is also noted. It is advisable to use tables to record data. Additionally, charts and graphs can be incorporated (Asmis, 2009).
The data obtained is then studied and analyzed with an aim of drawing a viable conclusion. Actions in this step involve examining the recorded information, finding connections between the incidences, the corresponding dates when those incidences occurred and data reviews. In this step, a conclusion is deduced with the aid of the analyzed data results. The conclusion statement should be heavily supported with the analyzed data.
Finally, the results of the xperiment are reported. According to Asmis (2009), this is done through the evaluation of the validity of the stated hypothesis. If the latter was correct, it should be supported with the data analyzed. If the hypothesis was wrong, the data should support that fact.
Motorcycle Repair Shop
After making a decision to start a motorcycle repair shop, it was important to determine whether offering free motorcycle maintenance services would provide a competitive advantage comparing to existing competitors. It was significant as there are many similar shops in the neighborhood and offering a unique service would be instrumental in attracting and retaining customers.
The collection of information in the context of the problem statement was carried out through online sources and interviews of potential clients. From this, it was established that most motorcycle owners neglected frequent maintenance service of their motorcycles until they had to visit a repair shop when a major incident had occurred. The most common motorcycle maintenance services were checking tire pressure, checking the chain’s tension and lubrication, checking the amount of coolant in the motorcycle’s expansion tank, replenishing the motorcycle’s oil, adjusting the spark plugs’ to the optimum level, and testing the braking system and general cleaning.
The initial collection of information and making the final decision on the start-up were followed with the formulation of a hypothesis. The proposed hypothesis was “If free motorcycle maintenance services were offered every last Friday of the month, then the number of customers would rise in the following days, in comparison to competitors.” The experiment was then conducted to determine whether this statement was right or wrong. In the first month of operation, the free services would not be offered. The customer turnout would be compared with that of competitors throughout this period. Consequently, the number of clients was observed and compared after the introduction of the free maintenance service. This was done during the days following the free maintenance servicing on Fridays and it was determined that there was a rise in customers compared to the competitors. The study examined that the number of clients per repair shop were higher before the introduction of the free maintenance service. Tallying up the number of customers in the repair shops was also done after the introduction of the free service.
The repair shop engaged a group of individuals to conduct the study, who had to record the number of customers who entered every repair shop during the operating hours. The individuals were stationed at the shops before and after the implementation of the free services offer for clients who visited the new repair shop. The data obtained from other shops was processed and an average figure was computed to facilitate comparison of the number of customers who visited the new shop.
After the evaluation of the results of the study, the free maintenance service offered at the shop would be deemed successful if the number of customers in the new repair shop was higher than the days before its introduction as well as higher than the average number of clients served in the other shops.
The results of the study were recorded for the shop and its competitors and the following charts corresponding to the periods before and after the introduction of the free motorcycle maintenance service were generated. It was determined that the number of customers rose and surpassed those of competitors in the four-week period after the free maintenance service was introduced.
The outcome of the study indicated that the program was a success. This was supported with the data analysis showing that the number of clients visiting the repair shop increased in the week after the free maintenance service was offered compared to the competitors. Therefore, the proposed hypothesis, “If free motorcycle maintenance services were offered every last Friday of the month, the number of customers would rise in the following days, in comparison to competitors” was determined to be correct.