Breaking relationships with a manufacturer....

I'm using the long weekend to make a tough decision.
Although I'll not mention names (the regulars probably know), a well-respected and long time automation company is about to lose our business, I think.
Here's the run down:
In the last 5 years or so, the company has not embraced new technology to any significant degree.
They continue to lose market share in their only dominant market (North America).
Their support (a key in technology implementation) has been going down hill. They've taken their on-line resources down, moved the tech groups out of country, and begun charging exorbitant rates for 'premium' support services you used to get for free.
Quality is still great... but it's old, proprietary technology. Prices are at least 30-50% higher than most competitors.
I know you all have different relationships with your manufacturers/vendors, but I was curious how some of you felt when faced with a decision like this? If you switched, why? What was the issue that "broke the camel's back"? Were you happy after you made a switch?
There are not many players left in manufacturing any more... in my business or yours. I feel a great loyalty to this one... who we've worked with for a very long time. At some point though, it gets very difficult to be loyal when they've placed so many obstacles in the way of me being successful in my own business.
Any comments would be helpful...
Jake
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You have to do what is best for your business and customers. Loyalty is a factor but let it blind you. Change can be good or bad. I have left vendors for support reasons before only to come crawling back to them. I have also left for quality of product and was surprised to find the other guys stuff was better and cost less. My advise is to do what you think is the best for your situation but don't be afraid to go back if you are wrong...
Joseph
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I feel your pain, I ran into a situation with my main supplier where the store that I had been dealing with for the last 10 years had become a dumping ground for folks that couldn't make it anywhere else. None of the folks there have a clue, and most of them can't count higher than 6 without taking off their shoes. Fortunately, I was able to aquire the service I had lost by going to another branch of the same company that had top notch folks with top notch service and support.
--

Steve @ Noon-Air Heating & A/C
snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net
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wrote:

Jake, There's not a whole lot of anything out there anymore thats "the same as it used to be". Quality has gone downhill and pricing and quantity has taken over. Loyalty is a thing of the past. Its all about money now. Sticking to loyalty without taking care of the bottom line is sure suicide. Take care of yourself and your family first. Pick the ones you want after that. Keep on top of your business or it and its technology will surely mow you over. Good Luck and have a great weekend. Bubba
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Dear Jake, I've broke ties with suppliers in the past. And also sadly had to resign from jobs. It's never a happy situation. The world is changing so rapidly, that you can't harly tell who is doing what any more. I hear some reluctance, which suggests that you're old school, and value loyaly. But today as always, your first loyalty needs to be your business, family, etc. Sounds like time to try some other suppilers of equipment, quietly, on a couple jobs. See if the other equipment works as well or better. You stayed firm, they are the ones who moved. with the various obstacles, poor service, and taking down tech support.
--

Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
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"Jake" wrote:

[snip]
DDC and building automation are our business; my company rep's two large automation mfrs. The main reason we started with two is so we could drop one if it faltered in quality or technology, or if it made us mad for some other reason.
This sounds great in principle, but over the 11 years we've been in business, one of the mfrs. has outperformed the other and we've built up a very large installed base of their products. Now, their marketing practices are really starting to piss us off, but dropping them would mean cutting ourselves off from some of our biggest customers, so quitting that mfr. is out of the question. Instead, we are now steering new business to the other mfr. while we explore other options. This will be a gradual process that will take years and cost a lot of money. That's the nature of this business.

Take your time. Go to the next ASHRAE convention and see what the other vendors have to offer. Watch out for the ones that sell installed systems from company branches (unfortunately, that includes a lot of them). There are some you should absolutely avoid. I'll be glad to discuss the two mfrs. we use with you off line if you wish. Email c172rg at bellsouth dot net
--
Dan



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wrote:

Jake, whats your opinion on Honeywell VFD's vs ABB?
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