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  #81  
Old June 17th, 2015, 12:05 AM
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Clearly you're missing the point if your ego thinks it's all about you.... smh
I only used your example to make a point. In no where was there a reference that enduropro is a city person.
Go reread it and then if you have some issues I'll gladly sort them out.
Ironically I'm the city guy. Chill man. lol.
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  #82  
Old June 17th, 2015, 12:09 AM
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You're missing the point if you think it's about the long wait or line to get yours made. It's the unanswered phone calls or emails that always cause these threads to pop up. For every company. Once the shop stops communicating someone always posts it on a forum as their last resort.
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  #83  
Old June 17th, 2015, 12:22 AM
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Problem with Badger Coachworks

So let me clarify something. I'm not saying Chris is right or that the op didn't have initial cause to be worried. We were all there. We all waited for the ice cream and wondered wtf??? But then we tasted it. We saw that it was a one man shop and some of us lowered our expectations that if we called we'd get a call back or email. We said, we'd chill and wait till shit arrived. If his deliverables sucked after all this. He'd def be out of biz and no one would defend.
Where are the ULC supporters? They've been drowned out by people with legit concerns.
Totally diff beast. I guess my point was for people searching badger works, buy at your own risk and know it's not some on the shelf made in China shit.
That's it.
Kinda hard to keep up with calls and emails when you're the only one trying to get product out at your world renowned standards. Just saying.
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  #84  
Old June 17th, 2015, 12:23 AM
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Exactly! And I'll concede that a flunky on the payroll at badger sending out bad news updates would make lead time realities more real time, but it wouldn't make it any shorter, and it certainly wouldn't make "listers" any happier to be reminded of delays. Or worse, if he decided to cut times by cutting corners.
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  #85  
Old June 17th, 2015, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by mgreenspan View Post
You're missing the point if you think it's about the long wait or line to get yours made. It's the unanswered phone calls or emails that always cause these threads to pop up. For every company. Once the shop stops communicating someone always posts it on a forum as their last resort.
Are you at all aware that Chris Laws gets between 75 and 100 emails a day.
Once he told me that a day never does goes by without his phone ringing constantly.
It is a full time job to keep up with the communication traffic much less spending the time to produce the product.

When he had an answering machine, it was always full every Monday morning.
You guys likely have no idea what it is like to deal with that sort of volume.
Countless inquiries from people who have genuine questions, prospective buyer questions, suggestions on new products, questions regarding orders, supplier communications, all buried in the masses.
Not everyone is gadget friendly or even wants to be, Chris is from an earlier generation, much less focused on technology sewing the same way on manual machines that haven't basically changed in 100+ years.

When Chris use to come to MAR, he would camp with a small group and keep a low profile to get away from the constant question and answer scenarios. Then more than 12 years ago, he just stopped coming. When asked why, a month or more later he replied, just too busy.

It's not so much a going concern, it's more of a lifestyle choice.
A hobby grown into a business for a talented guy who is eccentric and committed to his product only.
These are the points some of you will always miss because you live in a world of constant interruptions with constant communications which a lot of older people would like to avoid.

And don't give us this round of BS that well if he can't communicate, then he shouldn't be in business, no excuses blah blah blah.
But he is in business, and he is the best, and again he has more customers than he can possibly ever deal with much less pacify to keep whining to a minimum.
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  #86  
Old June 17th, 2015, 07:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdavisinva View Post
Are you at all aware that Chris Laws gets between 75 and 100 emails a day. Once he told me that a day never does goes by without his phone ringing constantly. It is a full time job to keep up with the communication traffic much less spending the time to produce the product. When he had an answering machine, it was always full every Monday morning. You guys likely have no idea what it is like to deal with that sort of volume. Countless inquiries from people who have genuine questions, prospective buyer questions, suggestions on new products, questions regarding orders, supplier communications, all buried in the masses. Not everyone is gadget friendly or even wants to be, Chris is from an earlier generation, much less focused on technology sewing the same way on manual machines that haven't basically changed in 100 years. When Chris use to come to MAR, he would camp with a small group and keep a low profile to get away from the constant question and answer scenarios. Then more than 12 years ago, he just stopped coming. When asked why, a month or more later he replied, just too busy. It's not so much a going concern, it's more of a lifestyle choice. A hobby grown into a business for a talented guy who is eccentric and committed to his product only. These are the points some of you will always miss because you live in a world of constant interruptions with constant communications which a lot of people would like to avoid. And don't give us this round of BS that well if he can't communicate, then he shouldn't be in business, no excuses blah blah blah. But he is in business and he is the best and again he has more customers than he can possibly ever deal with much less pacify to keep whining to a minimum.
Robert I think everyone understands that. We all appreciate the products he creates and know he's very popular and busy. We're all just saying it might save some customers' frustration to say it's going to take 9 months to produce their top, if that's a more accurate estimate than 3. Only Chris knows his overall average.
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  #87  
Old June 17th, 2015, 07:48 AM
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Do we know thats his average? I ordered a new half cab from him and had it in three weeks. Now I know thats atypical but caught him at the right moment. Im sure he gives you his best estimate at the time of your order which is subject to change.
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  #88  
Old June 17th, 2015, 07:49 AM
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Maybe he should double his prices and kill two birds.
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  #89  
Old June 17th, 2015, 07:52 AM
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Maybe he should double his prices and kill two birds.
Modern business model...
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  #90  
Old June 17th, 2015, 07:53 AM
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The more my office tells people "No, he can't see you, he's too busy", the busier I get. It's not a bad thing to say no, I can't take your money today.

This was written long ago, re-written every single month by someone with a different twist. Still true:


Under Promise, Over Deliver - Tom Peters

With competition heating up in every market, firms are forced to
promise the moon to get an order, especially that first order. Right?

Wrong. With an explosion of competitors, many of them new and without
track records, reliability, rather than overly aggressive promises, is
the most valuable strategic edge, especially for the mid- to long-
haul. While getting faster at responding to customers is imperative,
living up to commitments has never been worth more.

A survey of banks supports this point. Banks with lower customer
ratings tend to respond, for instance, to an early morning customer
query with, "We'll be back to you by noon," or "We'll be back to you."
Then they get back to the customer at, say, 3 p.m. The top rated
banks, such as Morgan Guaranty Trust of New York, reply, "We'll be
back to you by close of business today" -- and they do -- at 4 p.m.,
for example.

The paradox: The poor performers, in the customers' eyes, frequently
"out performed" the better performers -- that is, they got the job
done first. Yet customers rate low the banks that fail to keep
promises (3 p.m. instead of noon) or that are vague ("We'll get back
to you"); customers unfailingly prefer slightly less aggressive
promises -- that are honored.

I experienced the same phenomenon at a hotel and a service station
recently. Although the hotel's menu promised that room service would
start at 6:15 a.m. when I called at 6:20 a.m., I was subjected to a
tinny, tape-recorded message saying, "Room service will be open at
6:30." Though I'm a morning coffee devotee, the 15 minutes is no big
deal, in absolute terms. But the delay was infuriating in light of the
promise; it made me perceive I was getting rotten service --
and it was compounded by the hotel's high price tag.

Similarly, when I ordered an unusual-sized tire from a local service
station recently, I was surprised and delighted to be assured (twice)
that I could pick it up just four hours later. I was busy then, so I
said I'd return the next morning and left that station feeling much
better about its unusually high gas prices, which appeared to be
offset by its service responsiveness.

I rearranged the next morning's schedule, and popped in at 9 a.m.
To my dismay, the tire hadn't even been ordered -- and my morning was
shot. One more shattered expectation. And once again the issue was the
perception, not the absolute: I had originally expected getting the
tire to take a couple of days, at least, and had been more than
willing to wait.

Some intriguing evidence from the health-care environment bears on
this issue. Surgical patients who are told, in detail, of the nature
of post-operative agony recover as much as one third faster than those
left in the dark.

Suppose a patient is told that she or he will suffer severe shortness
of breath for four or five days following surgery. Even if the
symptoms persist a bit longer than average, the patient is prepared to
deal with it. The uninformed patient panics -- sensing that the
operation was a failure. No amount of post-operative explanation helps
("They're lying -- I'm dying"). Even if the uninformed patient's
shortness of breath lasts less than the norm, his or her consternation
frequently sets back overall recovery.

We all seek predictability. In fact, the more uncertain, frightening
and complex the situation (such as today's competitive scene), the
more we grasp for predictability. That's why I'm not at all surprised
at the bank study or health-care findings.

As much as we may relate to such frustrating, unkept promises when we
are on the receiving end (patient, individual consumer, commercial
purchaser), we tend to underrate the point when we plan our own firm's
strategy.

I've recently been with groups from two fine companies (building
products, packaging materials), both renowned for top-flight product
quality. Both have been working with customers to learn how they are
perceived in the marketplace. Both have been surprised that their
renowned quality has been less a focus of attention than their good,
or occasionally bad, record for responsiveness. That is, despite
quality that is demonstrably superior to their chief competitors',
more than 80 percent of the customer feedback harps on responsiveness
and reliability. Quite frequently, "second-rate firms" (as their
competitors see them based upon relative quality) have received high
overall marks -- because they have unfailingly met their commitments.

"I can't get over it," one executive pondered. "I expected them to
talk about various quality enhancements, including some problems we've
had with a new product. Instead, they went on and on about a small,
late order here or an especially responsive act there."

Quality is important, to be sure. So is absolute response time. And
price. But at the top of most lists, by far, is keeping your word.
With uncertainty rising, if you "under promise, over deliver," you
will not only keep the customers satisfied; you'll keep the customers.
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  #91  
Old June 17th, 2015, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by rovertrader View Post
Modern business model...
ha! No, that's old school. The new model is 501(c)(3), triple prices and give the proceeds to a lovely cause.
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  #92  
Old June 17th, 2015, 08:11 AM
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Apparently this is now up there with religion and politics. Eternal and unrelenting debates that no one will win. Some of you want to compare his business model to your bank or Target or SAMs club or whatever.... I personally think I'd fail you on my intro class to business classifications. Can you folk who's expectations for badger works be the same as every multinational 100+ employee firm understand the adage, make an apples to apples comparison, and then let's talk.
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  #93  
Old June 17th, 2015, 08:56 AM
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Apparently this is now up there with religion and politics. Eternal and unrelenting debates that no one will win. Some of you want to compare his business model to your bank or Target or SAMs club or whatever.... I personally think I'd fail you on my intro class to business classifications. Can you folk who's expectations for badger works be the same as every multinational 100+ employee firm understand the adage, make an apples to apples comparison, and then let's talk.
Sorry, but what is the common theme between Badger, ULC, Vinny, or any other thread that has been started complaining here?

If you think for one second that a low volume, high margin business somehow is exempt from customer service you are wrong. It's the exact opposite. That's exactly what small businesses have to sell; the personalized, good communication that doesn't exist in bigger models. I think the unfortunate fact is that there are lots of great craftsman out there who are just bad at communicating. And it will continue to hurt them. And it's such a simple fix. Stop over promising. Just stop. People will appreciate that. If you tell me 2 months and it takes 4, I'm upset. If you tell me 6 months and it takes 4, then you are amazing. Very very simple.

I am in the camp of people who think that Badger makes the best stuff around. From everything I've read, just amazing work. But I also bought a Rover's North top for the exact reasons that many here are complaining about. I have found the Rover's North top to be a great product, less expensive, looks beautiful, and it came in days. And I wasn't willing to be continually disappointed in the delays that I still read about today from Badger.
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  #94  
Old June 17th, 2015, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by aquatiger View Post
The more my office tells people "No, he can't see you, he's too busy", the busier I get. It's not a bad thing to say no, I can't take your money today.

This was written long ago, re-written every single month by someone with a different twist. Still true:

Under Promise, Over Deliver - Tom Peters...
Shawn: thanks for Sharing.
Tom had some interesting research results.
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  #95  
Old June 17th, 2015, 09:13 AM
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By the way, side note. I was at Chatham Bars Inn last summer and I got lost going to lunch, and I drove RIGHT by Badger's place. I sat there, staring at the sign, knowing that this amazing craftsman was in there. And I thought about knocking on the door and seeing if he would just BS for a while. But I didn't, because I figured I'd just be delaying his work.

I still think I should have gone in, just to see the place.
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  #96  
Old June 17th, 2015, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgreenspan View Post
You're missing the point if you think it's about the long wait or line to get yours made. It's the unanswered phone calls or emails that always cause these threads to pop up. For every company. Once the shop stops communicating someone always posts it on a forum as their last resort.
That about sums it up.
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  #97  
Old June 17th, 2015, 10:30 AM
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I have an idea....

How about we all promise to call/email him less and our stuff will get done quicker?

I really don't blame him for not hiring the "office assistant" you all claim he should have. Employees suck, cost a lot of money and are not grateful for what you provide them.

Dave
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  #98  
Old June 17th, 2015, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdavisinva View Post
...
Not everyone is gadget friendly or even wants to be, Chris is from an earlier generation, much less focused on technology sewing the same way on manual machines that haven't basically changed in 100+ years.
Robert--I completely agree with your post. I think my posts have come across as hate towards badgerman but they aren't supposed to be. These threads always surface. The further we get from the invention of email the more common they will become. Obviously folks that are older understand waiting and communicating with older generations. I get that; however, in the current day and age with younger folks buying these trucks as time goes on this type of thing will increase in frequency. Not because of the McDonalds-gimme-gimme-now mentality but simply because the guys buying them don't know what it's like to have to ride your bike to your friend's house to see if he's home and wants to play.

I'm only 30. I get it. I personally prefer one man shops. Best shop I used in the UK was a one man shop. Hard to get in due to the volume of work but the quality was always there. He gradually increased his use of internets and made a fairly successful eBay shop to manage lots of his parts requests that used to come in via phone constantly. But despite my understanding of old vs new generations and communication, I lean towards the idea that with todays technology, if you don't use it, you lose it. First it being technology, second it being customers. Yes he's still in business despite this and the company will go on until he's done, but what then?

Bottom line is these complaints won't stop and to the wealthy young people buying these trucks they're going to expect better communication since they've been connected their entire lives.
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  #99  
Old June 17th, 2015, 11:39 AM
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Another one coming to Chris' defense here.

I bought a new top from him last year and could not be happier. Think he quoted me 6 and it took 8 months. I did my homework before buying so padded my expectations accordingly. I also checked in with him via phone, email and facebook to remind him that I was still waiting as it came down the wire. Sometimes it look a few days to hear back, but I knew to expect it given that he is a 1-man shop with many happy customers. Once I got the top, I spoke to him twice via phone to help with fitting. I will order more products from him.

Like everything in life, you have to do your work, pay and/or wait for the very best. You can get lesser quality much easier, cheaper and faster.
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  #100  
Old June 17th, 2015, 11:54 AM
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I get people are upset with how the business is run. I understand you wish for there to be better communication. I can only guess there are many people calling wondering where their Tops are. When you are a one man show, you dont have time to answer the phone all day and make your tops.

Does this business model seem to be less than ideal? Yes. I've been around Defender's for a long time and have dealt with many different personalities along the way. I expect most products to be delayed and take some time. If you want to buy something and have a quick turn around you can expect a certain quality. Like those products in all the 4 wheel parts catalogs.

I've had my Badger I since 2005. If I were too give it a proper cleaning it would still look brand new. And my vehicle isn't a garage queen. I waited for many many months in the summer with No top when my OEM top fell apart. The wait sucked but it was worth the wait.
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