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Davis In SC
08-21-2005, 10:32 PM
Friday, I had a customer (?) bring a job to my shop. It was a mold, for a Medical part, that makes a part for a well-known Co. The mold was built in China, & there were issues with the surface finish on the molded part... I told him I thought I could fix it, but before we got around to discussing price, he informed me that there was no money in the budget, that he expected me to do the job for free... Needless to say, I got on my soapbox , & he left in a huff...
What has happened to business ethics??? When I send work out, I want the vendor to make a profit... Sometimes, if I feel his price is too low, I offer to up it a little, so he will be there to do work for me in the future...
Do others have see the same thing happening ???

ibewgypsie
08-21-2005, 10:35 PM
What he was actually saying was it would be his job if he had to get more money from his bosses to repair the shoddy work he was responsible for aqquiring from china.

#Engineering Translator.. Bullcrap and big words means exactly what they are thinking. Hoping you'll give up and go away.

CCWKen
08-21-2005, 10:49 PM
If it was a mold for breast prostheses, I'd like to see pictures! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Davis In SC
08-21-2005, 11:39 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by CCWKen:
If it was a mold for breast prostheses, I'd like to see pictures! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif</font>

All kidding aside, a few years ago, we built a prototype mold for a "Ladies Athletic Cup"... The customer had 5 women of various builds & sizes to model, so we could get measurements... Unfortunatly, my business partner was doing that project, & forgot to invite me to the fitting... I still remind him of that....

fencepost
08-22-2005, 06:07 AM
Used to work with prosthetic limbs and devices, we were professionals, worked with each client with dignity, we tried to be sensitive to their feelings as they were already sensitive about losing a limb – or more. Here were some who you enjoyed working with more than others, but still we were professionals first and foremost. You definitely walk a thin straight line and are on your toes constantly to make sure you don’t say anything wrong, or do anything that may make the patient uncomfortable. Sometimes they had to be positioned in some undignified positions, or had to disrobe in front of total strangers (we were strangers until they got to know us, we tried to treat everyone as a true friend).

That does not mean every now and then there wasn’t one who would capture your attention. Distraction, think distraction.

Axel

pgmrdan
08-22-2005, 07:33 AM
Distraction: "Margaret Thatcher naked on a cold day." http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Gotta love those Austin Powers' movies.

fencepost
08-22-2005, 07:50 AM
One of the worst to fit is someone who is "heavy", especially women - but men fit this catagory as well. Fat moves, it compresses to a certain amount. What gives a good fit today may not be a good fit next week.

I marveled, and learned, from prosthetics manufactured in India, heez, they'd crank out an artifical foot for a child in short order for just a few dollars. Appearance may have been lacking, but the patient was up and running in no time. I looked, I saw, I studied, I learned, I am humbled.

As an aside, I got a call from my good friend who I worked with many years ago. He's covered up, wants me to come back. Apparently the situation in the Middle East has been excellent for his business. My problem is the emotional side, having to work with people who have had their world suddenly significantly changed in the blink of an eye. Some handle it well, some never cope. The emotional toll was, and is, too great for me to bear anymore. Beside, right now I have my own health issues to deal with.

Now, if Pam Anderson needed a new custom fitted sports bra I might consider doing some consulting work. Photos, we need lots of study photos. High speed film of her running might help too - hours and hours of her running - topless - on a beach (lighting you know).

Bob-O
08-22-2005, 08:15 AM
Getting back on topic, yes I do see the same thing happening, in addition to people not paying invoices on time, if at all. It's getting to the point that you're not getting paid until they need your services again. Time for C.O.D.
Bob

fencepost
08-22-2005, 08:24 AM
For "good customers" every now and then I will do a freebie or reduced cost, as long as it's small and doesn't take much time. Correcting the errors of others? Not a chance. Maybe they can send it back to China and have it corrected? Is someone's job on the line? If I know them and they are a friend I "may" try to help - but then maybe not.

Sometimes youse gets whats youse pays for.

As the lawyer says, The phone call is free, the advice is free, so what do you have to lose?".

Rustystud
08-22-2005, 08:53 AM
Davis in SC:

Your customer has already displayed poor judgement in having the mold made in China. Tell him to ship it back to China for the repairs. You did not make the mold to begin with you did not make any profit in the manufacturing now he expects you to not make any profit in the repair. Show him the door and tell him you can't afford to do his work. Tell him you have to keep your business open and you have paying clients to take care of. He may find some other sucker to do his work for free but they too will soon run off the freeloader. Tell him you don't run a charity.
Rustystud

imakechips
08-22-2005, 09:25 AM
So if I have this correct you
A. have a business independent of the "customer" and
B. the "customer" wanted you to work for free?

WTF? It sounds like someone was trying to cover up their failed attempt at saving the company money. I hope it costs that person his job for sending the work to china in the first place.

The company I work for had a couple of stamping dies built in Korea. Neither of them would run an acceptable part when they were recieved, and basically had to be redesigned by toolmakers in our toolroom. One of those stamping dies had(literally) beer can shims in it. A couple of die cast molds have been the same way. Why is it that the office people can't understand that you get what you pay for when it comes to machinery, tooling, or production equipment?

Paul Alciatore
08-22-2005, 11:21 AM
Un-****** believable!

You would think if his job or rep was on the line he would pay out of his own pocket. But then, considering some of the ones I have worked for/with, ...

I heard a long time ago that nice guys finish last. I am starting to believe it. The pity is, he probably will find some sucker to do it free.

On another thought, I know you can outsource a quantity order to China and save big bucks but how does that work for a single item?

Paul A.

dvideo
08-22-2005, 05:50 PM
I did some work for a customer last fall-winter. They paid 90% of the bill - on time, cheerfully - no problem. Last 10% doesn't seem to be happening. Multiple assurances to pay... "just do this last item" - but it does not happen. The work did require support, but they got it...

Now, it is like they find some kind of pride in not paying the last amount due. Like they are saving the company money...

Since this was a design project, I could just clean it up and sell the IP on Ebay. Comments? Really bothers me to have to do this - Really, Really can't understand the "pride in not-paying" part....

--jr

wierdscience
08-22-2005, 06:41 PM
I would have told him to send it back to China and see if it was under warranty.

Your Old Dog
08-22-2005, 06:50 PM
Of all the engraving clients I had only one stiffed me. I gave up after about 3 months. I run into him 2 years later at a gun show and he ask me if I want to cut another gun for him. Like a fool I said, "sure, soon as we square up on the last one I cut for you." The correct response should have been, "absolutly, got nothing on the bench now. Bring it over and I'll get right on it!" Then at least I'd have one gun to hold as hostage for my payment. Live and learn.

mochinist
08-22-2005, 07:13 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Paul Alciatore:
On another thought, I know you can outsource a quantity order to China and save big bucks but how does that work for a single item?

Paul A.</font>

It is cheaper to have single molds made there too and their turnaround is quicker than your average American moldmaker. We do repair work for a local plastic injection shop here in Phx, the guy was telling me it is cheaper for him to order the mold from China and then have a local mold shop fix any mistakes they made. He also said he is not the only guy doing this, I don't know if this is true everywhere it is just what the guy told me.


On to the original topic I do alot of work for a rather large company's research and development department's. There are about 100 different nice guys and gals that I work with there and one pain in the ass. He is the type that will want a assembly made but has minimal mechanical design skills, so he wants me to design it and oh yeah could you give me a qoute right now. He constantly hounds me and will keep saying things like "this part is gonna be free right". If this was just a single guy at a small business I would tell him to go screw himself, but one bad contact at this place could lose us alot of business. I usually just try and guess what it is gonna cost and then hope the rest of the work we get from there will even it out.

Davis In SC
08-22-2005, 08:30 PM
Sounds like I am not the only one... This year, I have seen a big trend of what I call "Cost Based Purchases"... As a rule, the purchasing folks make the call to buy cheap, then the Engineering & Technical personnel get the pressure to make things work. I recently was involved with a project that was built in China. It was a mold, to make 4 small, close-tolerance parts for a Luxury/Performance Auto maker... The steel used for the mold was so soft, the mold was absolutly useless. I did some inspection on it, sent it back to them, suggesting they just start over...

C. Tate
08-22-2005, 08:55 PM
I can't imagine asking someone to do something for free. My company pays on 60 day terms and they are very up front about it and I stili feel bad asking vendors to accept 60 day terms. On the bright side we don't mind forking over big money for good work or machines.

CT

larry_g
08-22-2005, 10:06 PM
Davis
I would have to ask you how many dollars of business did this 'customer' do with you last year and did he expect you bury the cost in some furture project. I work for a very large company and literally do millions of business with a few vendors and they and I know that sometimes its easier to shift dollars around than it is to get a few hundred dollars for something outside the ordinary.
That said I would not have the gall to ask one vendor to fix someone elses mistake without compensation. I have at times gotten two competing vendors to team up and get a job done for us. I'm up front and honest laying out the facts of what I need and usually get what I want. I really try to keep my vendors happy. Some of them I've worked with for 10+ years and we are still working together.
lg
no neat sig line

Davis In SC
08-22-2005, 11:00 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by larry_g:
Davis
I would have to ask you how many dollars of business did this 'customer' do with you last year and did he expect you bury the cost in some furture project. I work for a very large company and literally do millions of business with a few vendors and they and I know that sometimes its easier to shift dollars around than it is to get a few hundred dollars for something outside the ordinary.
That said I would not have the gall to ask one vendor to fix someone elses mistake without compensation. I have at times gotten two competing vendors to team up and get a job done for us. I'm up front and honest laying out the facts of what I need and usually get what I want. I really try to keep my vendors happy. Some of them I've worked with for 10+ years and we are still working together.
lg
no neat sig line </font>

Larry, I do "cost Shifting" all the time.. I have no problem doing that for engineers that are caught up in the budget system... I understand that some projects run over, & others run under budget.. Bad thing is, this customer only shows up when they are in a bind, they never ask me to quote on new work... In the last 10 years, I have done less than $5,000.00 in work for them... They picked up the mold this morning, I guess I will not be bothered by them anymore ...

TGTool
08-22-2005, 11:20 PM
Sometimes you get to smile when you hear a "goes around, comes around" story. I knew a guy who did mold design at home on the side. One mold shop he did a design for did the short-payment trip with all kinds of mealy-mouthed excuses about design problems. He tried to address any issues they had, but never got the last payment.

Well, it happened he was a hunting buddy with the mfg mgr of a moderately large company in the south of the state, and the story of his problems with the mold shop got told.

Not long afterward the mold shop was visiting the manager trying to promote some business. Never did get a dime of business over a couple years of sales calls. Think the mold shop lost more $ in potential business than they saved jerking around the designer? Yeah, still puts a smile on my face.

Jan

Rich Carlstedt
08-23-2005, 01:03 AM
A friend made a special function part for many years and sold all over the USA.
He was the inventor and sole provider for this quality part.
One day,a "customer" called him up and complained of a failure, so he said "send it in "
When he looked at the unit, he thought that he was getting sloppy in his old age, as some of the workmanship was inferior and caused the failure..till he realised that the unit was a forgery and was made oversea!. They even had his logo on the side.. the "customer" admitted his false purchase when questioned in depth, but felt my friend should still repair it since it was "HIS idea" that was copied ...some people have no conscious...or moral values !

bob308
08-23-2005, 07:03 AM
there are more of those kind of people out there then you think.
3 years ago i went full time for my self,welding maching. well it seams like every freeloader has tried to hit me up. and some of the companies i used to do bussines with have forgotten me.

chief
08-23-2005, 08:28 AM
I had many friends and everyone knew my name when I did things for free but now that I have to charge for work, I live in friendless obscurity.

madman
08-23-2005, 10:34 AM
I never did jobs for free and also never had a customer not pay. Sometimes you have to be a bit aggressive in order to deal with stupid customers. But a stupid or smart customer has what you want his money so try to ballance out stuff. If one customer gives you 30000 dollars a month and wants a small favour charge him double on the next bill. HaHaHa.