ECR Backed Up on projects - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old August 4th, 2008, 03:05 PM
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RYAN BEIS
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ECR Backed Up on projects

Hey guys, just wanted to let you know that ECR is full-up on taking on new projects. I sent them an inquiry about possible mods, and got the following message back:

Thanks for your email.
Right now we are so busy that we aren't taking on any more projects
until we get caught up a little, sorry.
We hope to be getting back to taking on new work as soon as possible,
but for now we just can't. We have to get the trucks we have already
agreed to do out the door.
Thanks and sorry we couldn't be more help,
ECR


It might be a blanket email, but knowing them, it probably isn't. I know these guys are great, but I just wanted to let yall know the scoop before yall send them anymore inquiries or emails in the near near future. I guess quality depends highly on patience.

-Beis
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  #2  
Old August 4th, 2008, 04:51 PM
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We are not taking on large scale projects like you requested.
Smaller jobs and such are still being taken in, but I can't take on the Beach Runner project you requested at this time.

We don't have any blanket emails. I try and answer each one the best I can.

I've also put a thingy on the front page of our web site that says the same thing that most of you have likely seen by now. Its been on there for a number of months.

Why is this in the Flea Market??
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  #3  
Old August 4th, 2008, 04:54 PM
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Donald McDowell
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While vacationing in Maine last month, my wife and I had the opportunity to get a tour of ECR's operation in Rockland, Maine. Mike and Holly were great showing us around and answering our many questions. I sent my D-90 to ECR at their old location in Warren and they did such a great job, I plan to use them again in the future, but it looks like I might have to wait awhile.
Like Ryan said, they are really backed up with D-90 and 110 projects. They had a parking lot full of trucks waiting their turn.
The facility is great and I felt like a kid in a candy store touring the grounds.
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  #4  
Old August 5th, 2008, 11:31 AM
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RYAN BEIS
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Sorry for putting this news in the flea market section. I just didn't know where else to put the news and certainly didn't want to fill up the forum threads on the other section. Just wanted to help people out.
-Beis
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  #5  
Old August 5th, 2008, 09:58 PM
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Steve Maietta
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Hey Ryan, you have a bigger picture of the yellow 90 crunched up under that truck? Whats the story with that? Id love to see it. ouch.

~Steve
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  #6  
Old August 7th, 2008, 10:09 AM
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RYAN BEIS
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Steve and all guys interested in my wreck,

I'll be sure to give a good write up of my wreck, and pictures to go with, in the near future. After relooking at the wreck in the pictures, I determined that the safari-rollcage saved my life. If it wasn't there, I wouldn't be typing this right now. They even came to pry me out with the "jaws of life", but I kicked out the door and walked out. Everybody was stunned. They were expecting to find a guy behind the wheel with some very bad luck. I will post info soon. What section should that go under?

-Beis
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  #7  
Old August 7th, 2008, 03:41 PM
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Keith Allen
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Misc Chit chat. Please send me a pm and let me know when you post the thread as I would love to see pics and hear your story.


Thanks
Keith
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  #8  
Old August 9th, 2008, 11:58 AM
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Mike Lynch
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I wonder how you "get in line" at ECR. Is there a number system? I've been wanting to send my 90 there for some time but everytime I try to get info it seems difficult. I've sent specific emails and pictures. I just don't want my Rover sitting in a lot for months waiting to get worked on. If it requires that I make a appointment for sometime in 2009, I'm ok with that. I was told in mid 2007 that no more projects where being taken and it's the same for 2008. I'm in no particular rush, just a idea of how (i.e. take a number or send a deposit?), when to get into the shop, estimated time for service/upgrades, and estimated costs is not too much to ask for. I've tried through telephone calls and emails and basically told "not this year." Oh well, I kinda gave up. Thankfully the 90 is running well now and the thought of what it "could be" will always remain.
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  #9  
Old August 9th, 2008, 01:30 PM
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Sterling M Archer
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ECR Wait

Mike, I do not know about ECR's current policy, but I asked Mike Smith if I could be on a waiting list without sending my NAS D110 there. He sent me a contract, I completed it, and returned it to him. I was told at the time that it may be two years before I am contacted about shipping my D110 to Maine.
I need new body panels, roll-cage, paint, 4.6 Pursuit, R380, ect... My D110 is fine the way it is, just not up to my standards.
I do not know how much it will be, I do not know when, and I do not know how long it will take to complete. What I do know is that I have very high standards and expectations. Many people say that I should leave it the way it is, because the dents give it character.
I want my ideal Defender a reality, and from all that I know about Defenders the best choice is ECR.
The wait is the hardest part!

Sorry to hi-jack the post, but maybe this discussion should be moved to Misc. Chit-Chat???
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1993 NAS Defender 110 #375/500: Sold
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1991 Range Rover Hunter Green: Sold
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1993 NAS Defender 110 Beluga Black #215/500: sold
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  #10  
Old August 9th, 2008, 02:56 PM
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Mike Lynch
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Very interesting Jon. Thanks for the input. I can appreciate your thoughts on high standards and expectations. I am the same way. Hopefully it works out for you. Maybe ECR should post their "policy" on their site. Nobody at ECR told me about a contract. I would be interested in the "terms and conditions" if that is the only way to get service done...now or two years from now.
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  #11  
Old August 9th, 2008, 03:22 PM
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jason
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Im in the same boat as you Mike. I have sent several emails in regards about getting "in-line"

Never heard back from them. I know they are busy and maybe they have alot of tire kickers and best way is to call the place.

I just feel like id be bothering them.

Maybe my project was to small for them, some paint work,electrical and their ROX bumper with lights.

Jay
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  #12  
Old August 10th, 2008, 09:28 AM
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Sterling M Archer
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ECR Work Agreement

The contract was more of a list of rules in regards to billing, warranty, and sales tax. This is a work agreement that applies when your Defender reaches ECR.

Mike, I hope it was ok to mention this... "No soup for you!"

I think that Mike in inundated with calls and emails, and most are tire kickers.

I had a hard time at first getting a response from Mike as well, but it turns out the communication break down was the fault of SBC Global. My email provider had placed Mike's email responses in a Bulk in-box. It was not until I posted a want ad for restoration that we connected again.

I did not want to have my D110 sitting for two years in ECR's parking lot, nor does Mike want it taking up the space. Although, sometimes I think about sending it there before I am contacted to reassure that mine does not get skipped.

There are gigantic trust factor that exist, although not a unique one with this D110 project.
1. I have to trust that in two years or so I am actually contacted and my wait was not wasted. 2. I have to trust that I am not over charged. 3. I have to trust that it does not take forever to complete the work. And 4. Most important, is that the work completed is satisfactory.

A lot can happen in two years, not to mention the time it takes to work on the Defender. I wish I knew more about the process too. It is from the postings on this site by Mike, ECR's reputation for their work on Defenders, and our correspondence that this trust has been built.
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2009 Range Rover Supercharged Black/Black: Current

1993 NAS Defender 110 #375/500: Sold
1995 NAS Defender 90 Soft Top Beluga Black #2556: Sold
1991 Range Rover Hunter Green: Sold
1997 NAS Defender 90 Station Wagon Portofino Red #128: Sold
1993 NAS Defender 110 Beluga Black #215/500: sold
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  #13  
Old August 10th, 2008, 10:37 AM
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OK, I don't really feel this is the place for this... but in an effort to only type it once here goes:
I tried to make it clear on the web site that we are not currently taking on any new projects. If you need some LEDs installed or something very small to get you out of a jam we'll do our best to help, but if you need a good pile of work done we are not accepting those projects. At this time the shop is so backed up with work (ask JimC how many Defenders he saw at the shop Friday) we can't even think about new work. That means currently you can not get on a waiting list. The waiting list has been suspended until we get caught up some. We have old projects we need to button up and customers that have been waiting patiently for years. We are going to work for those customers only until we get close to the end of that list. So if you call Monday Holly will give you a polite, but firm, "Sorry, we are not taking on any new work." Its blunt, I feel bad about it, but that is the choice I have made. Its time to clear our boards of projects, then take on new ones. She isn't being rude or telling you your project is not big enough, its just that we are not taking on new work.
As for contacting us: Holly is at the shop during all business hours, both she and I check email daily and try to answer all we can, but with all the free tech support questions I have to answer daily I rarely get to all the emails. 1 guy, 100 plus emails a day to answer (plus all my other work). I just can't get to them all. Some of those are potential customers that get lost. I do try, but a good number fall through the cracks. If you call (a better option) you will get Holly unless she is taking a vacation day or is on an errand. If that is the case the phone will just ring. If it just rings I suggest you call back the next day, not 10 seconds later.
The office at ECR is a one woman show. ECR is not GM. There is one Holly and 5 workers.
As for the "list": Holly has a computerized list of all the projects that she and I have spoken about. We have a short meeting each morning and evening to discuss what project is where and such.
The list is done in order via the customer's name. As projects get done we cross names off the list and move on to the next one. There are 2 list, 1 is a small project list (install a bumper and fix a gasket) and the other is a large project list (new frame and such). The "contract" is just a work agreement. It just lays out what we expect from you and waht you can expect from us. Depending on nothing at al you may get one or you may not. The only thing certain is that before we start your project you will get one. That could be early or just a few weeks before we start.
On projects we are working on each email you send is printed and put into a file. We may have to go back and read the file some to know who you are and what your project is, but everything is tracked.
Once the project gets closer we work closely with you and you'll here from Holly or myself just about daily. If we aren't working on your project and you are in the line up, you won't hear anything from us. Like Mike, he is on the list, but so far out we don't have anything to say other than, "Hey, you are on the list." Same with Jon, he is on the list, but so far out there is nothing to discuss. If he wants to make a change to his desired list he can email me and we'll chat about it, no problem. If he asks me when he truck will be worked on I'll tell him "Right after the one ahead of him is done."
If Jon or others get sick of waiting then no worries. They just call or email telling us that, no problem.
Estimates of cost: We don't give them until we go over the truck. Many many many times I have been hosed by offering a number over the phone or email and then I see some POS truck show up that needs 10x the work to actually complete the job. Now the number I gave is wrong and the customer is unhappy and I get the "But you said it would cost X". I can't give any realistic prices to a customer until I know what we are facing, therefore, no email or phone estimates.
Call a contractor and tell him you bought an old farm house and you want it restored. Ask him for a price without him coming out to see the house... that sounds crazy right... same thing with an old truck.
Time estimates: They are not possible. Example: 90 comes in for a new hood and some paint work due to an oil cooler line fire. When we put it up on the lift we find the frame is swiss cheese from running on saltwater beaches. So now the project adds new frame, etc etc etc etc. If we had a time schedule for that project it would be blown out of the water. Multiply this by every project that comes through the door and the "While my truck is there why don't you..." factor and it is impossible to keep to a time schedule. therefore it is next in line. When truck A is finished we move on to truck B.
There are some projects that fell through the cracks during the mess of a move to the new place. If you need to know where yo are on the "the list" call Holly, she'll count the names and tell you where you are. If you fell through the crakcs we'll adjust things as we have copies of all those emails and can trace it back easily.

So being busy always seems like a good problem to have, but I personally think it sucks. That is why we are not taking on any work now and when I re-open the shop to new projects the wait time will be more realistic.

Hope that explains it. I wish I could do all the projects that call, but we can't. If we don't work for you there are other shops out there and we suggest them to people daily.

If you need any more information, just call Holly.

Follow-up Post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Firefighter2904
Im in the same boat as you Mike. I have sent several emails in regards about getting "in-line"

Never heard back from them.
Jay
May I ask what email address you are using?
I need to find out why you are not getting an answer. I answer 99% of all my email.
Tell me the dates you sent the request so I can find out why you did not get a reply.
Thanks.

Follow-up Post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon_Winningham
There are gigantic trust factor that exist, although not a unique one with this D110 project.
1. I have to trust that in two years or so I am actually contacted and my wait was not wasted. 2. I have to trust that I am not over charged. 3. I have to trust that it does not take forever to complete the work. And 4. Most important, is that the work completed is satisfactory.

A lot can happen in two years, not to mention the time it takes to work on the Defender. I wish I knew more about the process too. It is from the postings on this site by Mike, ECR's reputation for their work on Defenders, and our correspondence that this trust has been built.
This is why we post images of projects and why we have the feedback from past customers on the site. Any customer that seems serious about a large scale project is welcome to ask for past customers names and numbers. We are proud of our reputation and you are welcome to speak with past customers. The work is top notch and it is done as fast as possible because we need to get on to the next truck. The only thing we can't do is speed up the process. the new shop is speeding up the process some, but car restoration is a slow task. 5 guys... 30-40 trucks... when you do that math its scary.

I also suggest strongly that anyone going through any restoration at any shop that they fly or drive to the shop. Meet the people, shake the hands. I know that once people see my shop, meet my staff and see projects in progress at ECR that if their fears will be gone.
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  #14  
Old August 10th, 2008, 12:14 PM
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Mike,

I am a year into starting my own Architect firm. It is going well. Trying to successfully run my own business gives me GREAT respect for others that have done it.

I think it is fantastic that you have built your business, have an incredible reputation, and have a wait list, and can control what you do and how you do it.

I also think it is great that all of us on the site, can read advice and tips, from someone with your knowledge. Thanks for taking the time......

Flagg
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  #15  
Old August 10th, 2008, 05:54 PM
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Thanks.
I'm not looking for compliments though, just trying to explain the business decision side of it so that people don't get any rumors going about why we aren't taking projects, etc.
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  #16  
Old August 10th, 2008, 07:37 PM
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My feelings werent hurt, I know you guys are mad crazy and backed up.

I figured I would call in the fall to see when might be a good time.

The response you gave definetly shows how busy you are and how much you care about your business and its customers.

I was using the email info@eastcoastrover.com

Latest email was end of July. We were headed to Bar Harbor and hoping to take a detour to peak at the shop.


Jason
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  #17  
Old August 10th, 2008, 07:49 PM
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Well, that is my email address, so I will look into it on Monday to see why that one did not get a reply.

Anyone is welcome to come to the shop. Holly is always happy to show folks around as much as she can. Depending on the day (how busy) the "tour" may be short or long, but we are open to the public and the lobby has a pretty good double door view of what is going on in the shop. Its nice if we know you are coming, but not required.

I'll look for your email and see where I dropped the ball.
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