Mike Mechanic Business Practice???

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by Kevron99, Sep 30, 2009.

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  1. Creative Engineering

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    Thank you Tedd!

    I hope that everyone who reads the comments from the guys who are local will understand that I do the best I can to get everyone thier parts.

    Thanks Ride65! Excellent advice!

    Tom...I have one of the three mile island wheels/bikes here. I'll have lookies...again...and see if I can figure out a way to do it. Even if I can't figure out a way to do them production style...I'll send you 2 custom pieces from the prototyping stage.

    Jim
     
  2. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    TOO COOL, Jim. That would be great. I was only kidding but I'd like to try one, if for no other reason that they look so cool.
    Tom
     
  3. skjjoe

    skjjoe Member

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    Oh man i ask first im jealous Tom
     
  4. Waterfowl

    Waterfowl New Member

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    Don't lie about when you will ship your products!!!!!!!!!!!!

    All your troubles would end if you were honest about shipping time!!

    This always comes back up and you disregard the fact that you do not ship when you say you will!!!

    Just say it takes 6-8 weeks and then everyone will know when to expect the part.

    Don't say "Goes out Tomorrow!" if it will not. How hard is this to understand?
     
  5. DOC BOLM

    DOC BOLM New Member

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    buy from someone else and stop your bit#%@ng.I have bought parts from Jim and got them on time.If you are looking for the clutch kit i have one i will sell you for $150.00,and thats what there worth.H.D.
     
  6. Creative Engineering

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    The word lie doesn't really apply here. It insinuates that I knowingly pass out false information, which is not true.

    I make a guess based on time available and where any given order is at the time the question is asked. There are too many variables. Delayed material shipments, hardware suppiers who are waiting on stock, worn cutters, machinery maintenance/breakdowns...etc, etc.

    Some days we are left alone and we get a lot done. Other days I spend far too much time on the phone...I have spent countless hours helping people who have not even bought anything from me.

    I don't feel the least bit guilty or troubled by any of it. Statistically I'm at 1% maybe 2% in terms of dissatisfied customers. I think I'm doing o.k. 1 or 2 out of every hundred is to be expected in any business.

    Jim
     
  7. Waterfowl

    Waterfowl New Member

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    That's the problem.
     
  8. HT2005

    HT2005 Member

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    This is the issue at hand. Maniac Mechanic has a virtual monopoly on the custom machine production of parts for our hobby. He creates things that we demand, but he manufactures products for other businesses too.

    If we want to get the products faster, someone else has to step up to the plate and offer to machine parts for us. As long as there's only one guy doing this, he'll take his sweet ol' time because he knows there's no serious competition.

    Jim, that's why you keep doing this. There aren't any abstract thoughts about competition as you work to create parts for us (so you work less quickly and less efficiently than if there were competition). You know that the orders will come in even if customer satisfaction isn't that great in regards to turnaround time.

    I wish for Jim's machine shop business to do well, but...
    Someone has to say this. It's basic economics.
     
  9. Creative Engineering

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    HT,

    I know you mean well, but until you have had first hand experience in manufacturing you could not possibly even begin to fathom what is required.

    I don’t mind constructive criticism…not at all…but it rarely is. It’s always the usual misinformed blah blah blah, which never addresses anything.

    You tell me how:

    Do I increase my prices so that I can guarantee a quick turn-around for the 1-2% who want it? Was I wrong in assuming that price is important?

    I’ve never had anyone call and say "If I pay you $100.00 will you make me an adapter and sprocket, Right Now”.

    Should such a small percentage drive the show?

    You tell me guys…do you want me to increase the price for a quicker turn-around…If 100 people tell me they will order sprockets & adapters at double the price if I can turn them around in 48 hours I’ll do it! It is possible to turn them around quick, but you are going to pay for it…not me.

    Tooling is expensive…high speed tooling is “Really” expensive. I could add another CNC machining center…the production speed would increase 10X…so would the price of the products. There’s your economics lesson.

    I do not slough around in the comfort zone of a monopoly. The fact that no one else is doing it does not mean I have a monopoly. I’m sure several have looked at it…if they have any sense at all, they’ll quit while they’re ahead.

    At this point in time, motorized bikes are a niche market. The demand, (read volume), for custom parts is not such that processes in a manufacturing facility can be taken to another level. If I was getting 100 orders per week, I would revamp the process and add another machining center to accommodate the volume. This in turn would drastically shorten production lead times.

    What’s important guys? Price or availability…you can’t have both!

    Jim
     
  10. BarelyAWake

    BarelyAWake New Member

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    I would like to chime in with the things Jim may have been too modest to mention...

    Quality and customer service.


    It's one thing to order a mass produced part and expect prompt delivery, no doubt there is some warehouse filled to the rafters with cheap parts made who-knows-where so if there is a delay you know someone is slacking. It's another story entirely to get such high-quality, custom parts made for you specifically and made by someone doing it mostly because they like to build things.

    That's a craftsman, a rare breed these days.

    Jim's work borders on art in comparison to most of what else is available, you should be thanking him for providing what he does. Any monopoly he has is because no one else is making what we need in the quality we would like. This means being patient. I'd hate for him to stop making what he does just because it became a thankless chore.

    Oh yeah, and when was the last time you could talk directly with the person responsible for making a part for your toy in any case? I for one don't speak Chinese and I doubt Jaingyan YuanDong mfg. would want to hear from me anyway. This is another reason to have a bit of patience.




    edit: I would like to mention I don't have any affiliation with his business, I don't even know Jim personally. I feel I've simply pointed out what should be obvious. Having ordered parts for projects in other "niche markets" as well as being responsible for making them I know how rare people like Jim are and how thankless a task it can be dealing with impatient customers.
     
    #30 BarelyAWake, Oct 3, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2009
  11. Kevlarr

    Kevlarr New Member

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    Jim has a monopoly on a CUSTOM hub adapter that WILL fit your hub for under $50 with a sprocket not hub adapters in general.

    If you don't like Jim's product or business practices go on ebay and buy one for $60 that might fit/ might fit with shims or will fit after you pay a machine shop to make it fit and bolt it to the sprocket that came in your kit.

    I like the attitude that Jim is holding the motorbike community hostage by not producing his products in a "timely" manner, no one is forcing you to buy from Jim so if you don't like the way he does business use the rag joint.

    I for one understand not everything can be done in a set schedule and things get delayed. Would you rather that Jim spend down time maintaining his equipment or contacting every single customer to tell them there will be a delay? It's not like he has a multitude of minions that do the machining while he just sits back on a pile of adapters and laughs at all the poor motorbikers that he's making wait around for their products.

    And guess what I've never ordered a hub from Jim but I plan to and I'm willing to wait for the quality work that he does and if you whiners piss him off to the point he throws in the towel before I order my adapter...
     
  12. fasteddy

    fasteddy Well-Known Member

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    From my 46 years in business I've noticed the biggest complainers are people who buy a $75 engine off e-bay then cry because it doesn't run like a Honda.

    If anyone thinks Jims parts are late arriving or they can do better, take that part to your local machine shop and tell them you want a price on two of them in two weeks.

    Then rush home and order a bunch and sit back and wait for them before Jim and his wife get tired of the constant sniping. If you can't do it, give the people who can, credit.
    Want it faster stay off the phone or ask if you can volunteer to man the phone so they can keep working.

    If the machine shop would do it for you I can bet the price will scare you so bad you will be a week getting back to reality.

    I worked in that very enviroment. Getting machinists to make products so we could produce ours. Today it's a lot less hand set up but that has come at a very high price.

    Jim you and your wife are to be thanked by all of us. All you folks have done is buy yourselves a job.
    Yes I'd put in the high speed equipment and tell everyone the price increase. Free's you up to do other things and eases the stress.

    At double the price the workmanship and quality are a bargain.

    Steve.
     
  13. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    'Quote from previous post'

    "Tom...I have one of the three mile island wheels/bikes here. I'll have lookies...again...and see if I can figure out a way to do it. Even if I can't figure out a way to do them production style...I'll send you 2 custom pieces from the prototyping stage."
    Jim

    You do realize that it's been almost two days since you promised this. So...where are my parts?

    Tom
     
  14. HT2005

    HT2005 Member

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    Jim,

    I understand everything you are saying and agree with you (except you do actually have a defacto natural monopoly, which differs from a government sanctioned monopoly).

    Most people that order from your site expect turnaround times to take a few weeks at most. Try giving them an idea how long it will take for you to produce the part that is ordered (tell them over the phone or put a disclaimer on the website), then send it out afterward. This will discourage people from complaining about long wait times.

    Here's a good suggestion: charge extra for an expedited manufacture of a part and guarantee the shipping date. This way customers will have two options: be put in a pool of 1-3 weeks, or 3-day express manufacture (these are made-up examples).

    Another suggestion is to try to find ways to make your business and production set-up more efficient and less labor intensive.
     
  15. fasteddy

    fasteddy Well-Known Member

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    HT2005, then what happens to the people who are willing to wait as they get pushed further back while the ones who pay to be in front, get thiers?

    Put in the new machines and everyone is on a level playing field.

    Yes, they have a monopoly simply because they are willing to work hard for short money.
    If the parts were $150 a set a few people would be in the running, mabe.

    Steve.
     
  16. HT2005

    HT2005 Member

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    A higher price could incentivize Jim to work longer hours or work faster to bring in the higher profits and keep the customers happy. The people who wait longer would spend less under my example. It really depends on the agreement between customer and seller. That's why posting wait times is a good idea. It prevents customer frustration, Jim's frustration, and prevents needless contact.
     
  17. Kevlarr

    Kevlarr New Member

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    laff laff laff
     
  18. HT2005

    HT2005 Member

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    By the way, I've stated before that I would buy a sprocket adapter from Jim. I still would, and I would prefer to bolt one of his sprockets on to my wheel rather than install one of the HD axle hubs and the accompanied messing around with the spokes.
     
  19. bairdco

    bairdco a guy who makes cool bikes

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    i ordered a 32 tooth sprocket and an adapter from jim on september 22nd. i got it today. the problem is, i spent all day putting another bike together YESTERDAY! i mean, i figured jim woulda known that i needed it YESTERDAY, not TODAY! SERIOUSLY!

    jim, couldn't you sense my frustration at putting another rag joint on a wheel, when i coulda been putting on this friggen amazing looking piece of aluminum in a fraction of the time? don't you care about me? doesn't the customer always come first?

    why didn't you get out of bed a little earlier, get down to the post office a little earlier, and mail me the goddang thing?

    sheesh, i'm never gonna buy another one of these from jim again... lazy bas****.

    (in case you didn't notice, this is sarcasm. from order to my door in 11 days. no questions, no problems, no worries. and this thing really is beautiful. thanks jim.)
     
  20. Bikeguy Joe

    Bikeguy Joe Godfather of Motorized Bicycles

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    Alrighty guys....I think this deja vu has run it's course.

    Say "Goodnight Gracie".
     
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