Ever since China started competing against American machine shops, suddenly America changes the rules and says "it's all about the quality". We always change the rules when it seems we might lose, that's part of being American. (why we always win)
However, since everything is relative, quality is really hard to define...so ISO9000 shows up in our lives. Basically a definition of quality. Or a definition of "quality improvement". Or something like that anyway. (extorsion)
But there's a real problem with that. Quality isn't always what is wanted. I know it sounds strange, but it's true, even at the same price.
Here's an example: You build a car for 10,000. It's equivelent to a mercedes benz. Very high quality. Your competitor builds a car for 5,000. It's a pinto.
At first we think everyone wants a mercedes but some cant afford it, so they settle for the pinto. Everyone agrees with that.
Here's where it gets tricky in the machining trades. Not everyone wants a mercedes, sometimes they want a cheap car. So...like the place I work and lots of other quality driven shops they build the guy who paid for the pinto a "mercedes", thinking he will be very happy paying for the pinto but getting a mercedes.
That is very bad thinking and a good way to really piss off your customer.
The customer paid for a cheap car...period! If you go ahead and make him a mercedes(on your own dime) he will be MAJORLY pissed off, because HE PAID FOR A CHEAP CAR DAMNIT!.
Here's what your customer will think: "I didn't want a mercedes, I wanted the cheap car, they charged me too much!" Yep, even though you absorbed the extra expence the customer will always think if you made him the cheaper car it would of costed him less...hence...you ripped him off.*********** Here's my personal experience proving this... We built a mold for a bullet maker, 32 cavities. It was a gage. It was a work of art. WE LOST OUR AZZ!!! But...the owners are ok with it, this job will mean literally a hundred more at 70 grand a piece. I seen the logic, lose a little to get the future jobs, made sence to me.
But here's what happened, the customer said if you want the next one drop the price, we are paying too much. So we dropped it 100 dollars a cavity. Got the job and built another gage. AND LOST OUR AZZ! Customer called back and said your ripping us off, drop the price if you want the next one. Again we dropped 100$ a cavity, got the job and LOST OUR AZZ! This went on for like 4 or 5 times at least. We started at 1200 a cavity. Now we are at 800$ a cavity...losing our azzez each time.
I get called in the office, I was told they will pay 685$ a cavity, and Im supposed to figure out how to make it that cheap. So I talk to the customer and try to get things I can slide on, surface finish, accuracy, etc...
Then it dawned on me, this guy is pissed at us, like we are ripping him off. This is a giant worldwide company and this guy is just a salesman, but I can tell they are pissed. So I figured it out, we aren't giving them what they want. So I tell my bosses the salesmen are getting into trouble from their bosses for having gages built, price has no meaning, they just dont want gages. So...against the grain of the shop, we build this piece of shit mold. It ran great, made a great part, but we used a course wheel when grinding the parting line blocks, and made the edm finish a LOT rougher. Vents were ground and had some burn marks in them, stuff not chamfered, etc... (this was very hard to do where I worked, very political but I pulled it off, even though I was treated like I was sinking the ship).
Well, next thing you know we get a letter hanging on the board that literally said "Finally, your guys gave us what we wanted, awesome tool!".
Now we make 3-4 per year ever since at 900 a cavity.************ Now its a few years later...and guess what? We built three of those molds this year and LOST OUR AZZEZ on them because...they are gages, they are beautiful. When I bring it up..I am told we don't build junk by the current management. *************
Now, put yourself in my shoes, do you just ignore it, paid by the hour gimmic? Cry like a little bitch to the owners?
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