Athearn parts not available

Here is the text of a fax we received from Horizon today: We are unable to fill your request for Athearn parts at this time. As you know, availability of
Athearn parts has been scarce to say the least. We have a logistics team in CA attempting to solve the distribution problem. It seems that each time an order was received, an employee would have to physically go to the parts warehouse and pull the part(sometimes as small as $1.50) and ship it out. We are attempting to either automate the process or put it on a quarterly schedule, so that dealers can KNOW when parts will be available. This should be complete by June '04.
So, if you need Athearn parts you had better grab anything you can find and hold onto it. As for us, we will no longer sell Athearn parts out of our inventory. We will hold all the parts for repairs in our service department.
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Good Morning All,
While I am not a Horizon backer, I must agree with their response about availability to get Athearn parts. I work partime in a train store in the Philadephia area and we have had a TERRIBLE time trying to get Athearn parts for over two years. I never quite understood why but it has something to do with the way Athearn manufactures parts. I would suggest contacting Athearn directly to ask about parts availability.
Bob Rule, Jr. Hatboro, Pa.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (MGuill1224) wrote in message snip CA

I hate to break it to them but that's what generally happens when someone places an order. Someone goes to a warehouse, pulls it, and ships it.
Automate? Robots? Minimum orders? LMAO
Greg
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Greg Forestieri) wrote:

an order

I think is what they mean is that the parts come from the "production" stock, which may mean going over to the warehouse, find the guy who runs the forklift, get him to get the skid off the rack, dig through the skid to find the part(s) all for a $1.50 order. Ouch!!
So maybe they are trying to come up with a plan for a parts department with it's own stock, think room full of little plastic parts bins.
-Hudson
--
http://www.skypoint.com/~hudsonl

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Come on Neb Okla, we all *know* what to do!
...buy a crate of Legos, take out one piece for yourself, and sell the rest individually on eBay!
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Greg Forestieri) wrote in message

I hate to break it to you, but it doesn't have to be done that way.
Orders for parts -- especially small parts -- don't need to be shipped that way. Parts shipment can be put on a schedule and once every cycle of time (once a week, once a month, once a quarter, depends upon the logistics of the operations) ALL of the accumulated orders can be pulled and shipped at single time. That's far more efficient when it involves pulling small items like roofwalks and ladders. By staggering the pull and restocking dates for various items a continuus supply can be maintained and they can get a good handle on inventory. And it's a lot more efficient from the supplier's standpoint than going and pulling every small parts order as it arrives.
Bob Rule is right -- Athearn has been TERRIBLE about stocking and shipping some parts, and I never understood why, either.
A case in point: a few years back I ordered three small items from Athearn: a set of caboose ladders, roofwalks, and smoke jacks. Although Athearn had said to allow 4-6 weeks to fill the order, it actually took eight weeks and a few days; and even then it was only partially filled - the caboose ladders were not in the package. There was never any explanation in the shipment of why the caboose ladders weren't shipped... if they were backordered, etc. There has got to be a better system, and I hope Horizon can work it out.
[I eventually had to steal some caboose ladders from an old caboose I had. It's been three and half years since that order and the ladders never did arrive; I guess I should write that one off, huh?]

I guess I missed the 'robots' part. LMAO
-- Mark Mathu The Green Bay Route: http://www.greenbayroute.com / "I started out with nothing and I still have most of it."
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Mark Mathu wrote:

From what I understand, Athearn does (or used to) make their kits and extra parts for them in cycles. If the models or parts ran out before they made them again, then you just had to wait. This has been going on for years. With less popular kits, the wait could be a very long time. I waited about three years for some dummy diesel trucks, and similar times for specific models.
That's the way I understand it anyway.
Bob Boudreau Canada
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http://www.yahoogroups.com/group/MRPics
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No I do not. I have a couple of pages of Athearn Blue box kits in the production cycle. Horizon and Athern have every intention to continue these. Now the Ready to Roll Athearn built up from blue box kits in China is a big so what. These are assembled in China. The components as I understand it come from Athearn. Intermountain does the same. Kits are asembled offshore. Horizon products have always had excellent parts support. I have at worst had two week delays. Usually it's 4 days to receive items. In the case of a defective item they will ship replacement parts immediately if in stock at no additional charge to the shop. If not they then cannibalize kits on hand, third choice is to wait while they acquire more. I've never done this from the consumer side but supposedly they wil work with the end user of their products as well. Overall absolutely excellent product support system.
Dave Jacksonville, FL
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Dave Henk wrote:

This is actually a smart move on the part of Athearn and Intermountain. (Also MDC and Red Caboose, I believe.) It sounds inefficient, but allows them to maintain strict control over the most important part, the molds.
Peter King in NY
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Dear sirs, I don't know; an even smarter move would be to design the stuff to be profitably assembled here. I know some people would say it can't be done, but though that's a common thing to say about anything it never gets anybody anywhere. I think it can. You design stuff right and you can slam it together without thinking about it.
Cordially yours, Gerard P.
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and you

Thats precisely what they do in China but at U$0.60 per hour.
Werris
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Gerard Pawlowski wrote:

Athearn always WAS designed to be assembled cheaply. Look in an Athearn blue-box loco. It's all press-fits. No screws, no soldering. That's why they were able to keep production in the US long after many others had moved offshore.
Peter King in NY
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Greg Forestieri) wrote in message (MGuill1224) wrote in message

I last ordered parts directly from Athearn quite some time ago, but at the time "pulled as needed" meant that if someone ordered a package of gears, an employee went to the parts bins, counted out 12 gears, put them in a bag, and labeled them. I'm not sure if it's still done that way today, but it's a terribly inefficient way to do it.
It would be much more efficient to run a part, package some, fill outstanding orders, and put the rest of the packaged ones into stock to fill upcoming orders.
Just a guess, but that may be what's being corrected. And that's a good thing. Athearn parts were always difficult, any improvement will be welcomed.
Peter King in NY
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I fear the Horizon warehouse robots will end up flailing around wildly while saying "Danger! Danger! Warning, Will Robinson!"
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I am amazed that Horizon, or any business for that matter, could write such a ridiculous letter. The parts are 'scarce' because a 'logistics team' found that someone needed to 'physically pull the part' and ship it?
I nominate Horizon as the Penn Central of the model railroading industry.

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On 2/20/04 9:13 AM, in article snipped-for-privacy@mb-m04.aol.com,

Someone needs to physically pull Horizon's head out of their fourth point of contact. (Paratroopers will understand the meaning)
--
Brian Ehni


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At this point in your comment, I don't think being a jumper is required to understand the intent.
The Horizon letter is reminding me of the SNL skit, "we here at <blah> bank can change that 10 into 2-5's or 5- 1's and a 5 or ...".
Horizon: we just realized that we are in the spare parts business, do you realize that we would have to have spare parts to do that!? My God, we would have to know where the spare parts are, we're doomed. Do you suppose the MBA that drafted that letter is destined for a real job some day?
Paul

--
Working the Rockie Road of the G&PX

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Paul Newhouse wrote:

Maybe someone will give him a front office seat and a big share in the Texas Rangers; I hear the Harken Energy slot is available, too.
--
Steve Caple

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On 2/20/04 12:18 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@netnews.comcast.net, "Steve Caple"

Everything's about George Bush to you, isn't it?
When are you going to blame him for killing off the dinosaurs, or did I miss that one?
--
Brian Ehni


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