I was replying to lilredweldrinrod's Rigid service review and realized I was rambling on, so I converted it into a blog…......currently I am in Chicago at the start of a vacation consisting of family vistis and a random road trip.
LJ’s are undoubtedly partially responsible for some the changes we see in the service policies of tool companies…...........
In the old days, quality seemed a matter of pride, and most woodworking machines were commercial. Commercial products have different duty cycles, and businesses are more likely to spend more for durability. As a business man, I can tell you that is a fact. In my business, equipment gets heavy use, and quality is actually much cheaper in the long run.
Then came the consumer move into the woodworking hobby and DIYing that really affected availablity and demand. And of course, then came the marketing folks, and CEO’s that only looked at the next few quarter’s bottom line…...there are some prominent universities and business school’s to blame for that. And those CEO’s just milked every buck out of the customer base, scamming them with shoddy quality with low overhead costs, and high prices. Those CEO’s knew that by the time the word got out, they would be long gone. Because they knew they would move up to another CEO job in another corporation, based on a short track record that looked good in short haul, but would inevitably destroy the customer base. In other words, they didn’t care about the corporation, the stockholders, or the customers. Greed and the get rich quick artists took over American industry, and we know what happened.
Japan and Europe took over the quality market. And eventually much of manufacturing.
News traveled slowly, there was no internet, and national news was covered in a few minutes on TV every evening by the big news networks. It not well understood that the quality movement, and understanding how to make quality products, was developed by an American, Demming. But most of our industry ignored him. Quality takes time and investment, and you couldn’t get rich quick that way. But Japan thought he was a real guru, had him come to Japan and teach, and implemented what he had discovered.
Now the new place to make quick and dirty stuff is China. Foist it off on the public, although there are some excellent Chinese products….......check out Lenovo computers. It is not all China’s fault. Merchandisers can get an excellent product out of China, but they will have to pay more.
But, the equation is changing. I rarely buy any significant tool or make any large personal purchase without looking at the reviews on the internet.
And the information travels fast, partly due to forums like this one. You can’t make a bad product, or give bad service, without it becoming public knowledge very quickly. The greedy CEO’s are having a tougher time of it. Quality is now selling products in the consumer industries, as well as the commercial product industries.
So if you post a bad product, or bad service on LJ’s, it is more than just venting steam or complaining. And you need to post about the good products as well. Because you are actually affecting the quality of products and services.
Is it perfect? No. But you can see the trend. You not only influence everyone that reads your post, but also those people go to other forums and make remarks. And if they purchase a product on line, they may express their opinion in a review on sites like Amazon. Hopefully the good products get good remarks, and the bad products get bad remarks. Although it is pretty obvious, some of the opinions are obviously plants by the manufacturer.
When I get back home, I am going to look very carefully to see if there is any products I can review, or comments about service I can make. I have made some small purchases, but I haven’t had time to test them well in the shop. But even commenting about the little things and well as the big things is important.
-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska