When a gallon is not a gallon

Page 7 of 7  
George wrote:

You know, you are probably more right that not but;
1) Why complain here? Complain to WalMart 2) I do have some sympathy for the suppliers who feel forced to kowtow to WalMart's demands but maybe it's time to tell them to go to hell. Perhaps the manufacturer shoulkd be the one who sets quality and other issues. Perhaps it is time that the consumer says to hell with cheap crap and demands fair value for decent quality stuff.
OH! I gues I'm dreaming.
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Doug Brown wrote:

Not a complaint, just an example of how big box stores operate and quite pertinent to this thread.

It won't happen as long as big box has the war chests they have which gives them the ability to buy mindshare through marketing.
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I have NO sympathy for suppliers to Wal Mart. The want the volume and they willingly take a lot of crap from them. Thee is no obligation to sell to any of the big tyrant stores. Do a Google search on Vlasic pickles+WalMart and see how they were forced into bankruptcy because they had no balls. The do a search on Snapper Mowers+WalMart and see how a company can tell them to ****off and still be successful. http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/102/open_snapper.html
My company faced a similar situation. We supplied parts to a major manufacturer of room air conditioners. They were our largest customer for a few years. Tough to deal with, we still made a fair profit and they always tried to squeeze us for more. Before the start of a season, they sent us (and all their suppliers) a letter thanking us for past performance. They then said for the next year they wanted a 25% price reduction for the same parts. Then, if we agreed to that, they wanted a 6% rebate on the past years sales to them.
We declined and asked where they wanted the tooling shipped. It went to a hungry competitor that cheerfully took the business away from us. Two years later, we had new and profitable customers, they had a bankruptcy filing and the customer moved to Mexico and found new cheaper suppliers there.
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wrote in message

Snapper (lawnmower mfr) made a similar decision. Interesting article: http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/102/open_snapper.html
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote: (snip)

Good for your company. I wish more manufacturers had the balls to do the same. Every time I have to replace a tool or piece of hardware with moving parts, I am astounded at how cheaply the modern items are made. I'm a cheap SOB, but I am willing to pay extra for quality, within limits. Initial cost is only one factor in cost of ownership. If I have to replace something in half or 2/3 the time span the previous item lasted, but the price is only slightly lower, I haven't saved a thing. And that doesn't even count the value of the time I have to waste chasing a replacement sooner than I should have.
aem sends...
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

For every supplier such as Snapper, there are 10,000 WalMart suppliers who have listened to the experts from WalMart on issues such as packaging, material sourcing, paperwork reduction, automation, improved technology, and the like. The insistence, for example, by WalMart on RFID tags will drag many suppliers into the modern age, just like supermarket chains did with barcodes.
With sufficient RFIDs, you can bypass the time-consuming check out line. As you leave Walmart, a sensor will scan all the stuff in your basket and read the credit card numbers in your wallet.
That's efficiency.

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Sadly though, some companies, like some people, never learn. Snapper, now owned by Simplicity, a division of Briggs and Stratton Corp., who also owns the bankrupt remains of Murray, will be selling Murray based products labeled with the Snapper name through Sears ( KMart ) this year. They are also offering this crap to their dealers, for about the same price that KMart will be selling it. (Remember, though the took on the Sears name, KMart bought Sears, not vice versa.)
Personally, I hope it costs Briggs a bundle.
And anyone who bought a Toro in the last year who didn't get one of the last "Wheel Horse Classic" tractors, got a relabeled MTD. Much like anyone who bought a Troybilt the last few years before they went bankrupt and were bought outright by MTD.
All these companies want is to line the pockets of the upper management and make enough profits to keep their stock price climbing so the shareholders won't catch on to how they and their customers are being ripped off.
Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

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Husky wrote:

Not that there's anything wrong with that.
See, if you owned stock in the company, you could afford to buy a better product with the dividends.
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wrote:

I've seen a lot of 4 pound bags of sugar. In what way can you call these 5 pound bags?

Maybe you'd have needed 4 gallon cans of paint before. You still need 4 gallons of paint. You bought too little (4 56-ounce cans).
--
Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.laughingsquid.com
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I think the theory going around here is that the size change is sneaky unless the customer is somehow notified. The clearly printed numbers on the package aren't enough. Two better methods would be:
- Change the package. Sell sugar in a pyramid-shaped container with a spigot on the side. - Send a representative to the customer's house to explain the size change.
:-)
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Mr. Room, I can see by your responses that you and I are on the same side of this discussion, so this response is for the benefits of others, not a direct response to you.
re: I think the theory going around here is that the size change is sneaky unless the customer is somehow notified.
3rd try at getting this across - they were notified! Maybe a picture will help...
http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/yf/foods/he516-3.gif
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On 02/29/08 10:59 am DerbyDad03 wrote:

That's a great idea as long as the labels for all the packs of sugar (lets say) use the same units for the price per unit. The laws may vary form state to state, but what I have seen often is Brand X's unit price in cents per ounce and that of Brand Y next to it in dollars per pound. Of course one can do the conversion, but that surely isn't what the instigators of unit pricing had in mind.
(At least if they do that kind of thing in a sensible country that uses the metric system it's only a matter of adding one or more zeros or moving a decimal point.)
Moreover, the stores often don't post revised unit pricing labels when an item is on sale: the shelf tag still shows the regular price.
Perce
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re: That's a great idea as long as the labels for all the packs of sugar (lets say) use the same units for the price per unit.
Bringing up an issue specific to unit pricing doesn't negate the idea that shopping via unit pricing eliminates the "they made the package smaller" problem.
Inconsistancies within the unit pricing system is a matter worthy of another discussion, but the bottom line is that by using unit pricing I don't have to care if they change the package size without changing the price. I know how much I'm paying on a per unit basis and I know how much product is in the package. And I sure don't care if they don't call me everytime they make a change to the package size, shape or color.
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wrote:

re: That's a great idea as long as the labels for all the packs of sugar (lets say) use the same units for the price per unit.
Bringing up an issue specific to unit pricing doesn't negate the idea that shopping via unit pricing eliminates the "they made the package smaller" problem.
Inconsistancies within the unit pricing system is a matter worthy of another discussion, but the bottom line is that by using unit pricing I don't have to care if they change the package size without changing the price. I know how much I'm paying on a per unit basis and I know how much product is in the package. And I sure don't care if they don't call me everytime they make a change to the package size, shape or color.
===========================
Unit pricing inconsistencies are so simple to eliminate that if you see inconsistencies, you can conclude with absolute certainty that the supermarket doesn't give a damn. They don't deserve your business.
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Gee...I wonder how soon it will be before I run out of stores to shop in. Have you found a chain, or even a single store, where you haven't ever run into a unit pricing "inconsistancy".
re: you can conclude with absolute certainty that the supermarket doesn't give a damn
One also has to wonder who caused the inconsistancy - the store, the manufacturer or the system? I once ran into a situation where all the paper towels in the store were priced "per 100 sheets". However, the sheets were such vastly different sizes that the one that had the cheaper unit price was actually much more expensive on an overall square footage basis.
This could certainly be called an inconsistancy, but who's fault was it? Who says that paper towels should be priced per sheet? Can I be absolutely certain that it was the store that caused this inconsistancy? I guess I'll have to track down a manager and see who made that decision before I place blame.
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wrote:

Gee...I wonder how soon it will be before I run out of stores to shop in. Have you found a chain, or even a single store, where you haven't ever run into a unit pricing "inconsistancy".
re: you can conclude with absolute certainty that the supermarket doesn't give a damn
One also has to wonder who caused the inconsistancy - the store, the manufacturer or the system? I once ran into a situation where all the paper towels in the store were priced "per 100 sheets". However, the sheets were such vastly different sizes that the one that had the cheaper unit price was actually much more expensive on an overall square footage basis.
This could certainly be called an inconsistancy, but who's fault was it? Who says that paper towels should be priced per sheet? Can I be absolutely certain that it was the store that caused this inconsistancy? I guess I'll have to track down a manager and see who made that decision before I place blame.
======================= It's definitely "inconsistency", not "inconsistancy".
I've run into about two inconsistencies in twenty years, shopping at Wegman's here in Rochester. But, that company does almost everything perfectly to the point where others in the industry are mystified and envious. So, it's probably not a valid example.
The example you gave is the store's fault. The unit price should be designated "per sqare foot". The retailer hired stupid people. Even if a programmer spotted the problem, some companies are so regimented that suggestions are never passed back & forth between departments.
Programming could solve the problem, assuming the data entry people were intelligent enough to use an application correctly. When a new item comes along, code it appropriately, and have the software disallow certain inputs. To use an extreme example, they're entering a new Barilla pasta sauce:
- Operator is given a choice for type of item (pasta sauce, dry pasta, paper towels, juice, etc) - After choosing "sauce", the application locks the unit of measure, since those items use weight, not volume. - Application forces input for ounces only, not pounds, to keep the operator from trying to "help" by doing any calculating.
This would've eliminated the Wal Mart example I mentioned earlier, where the unit price stickers used weight for one jar of salsa, and volume for another. There was no good excuse for that mistake. The labels clearly state weight (as in sauces) or fluid ounces (as in juices).
You'd think Wal Mart would be more sophisticated than that, but in many ways, they're backward. Last year, I read an article about how they're trying to develop software to help analyze front end traffic and minimize the wait at the register. What nonsense. At Wegman's their goal is to have no more than one customer waiting while another is checking out. They achieve the goal, too, just by using their heads. Even when their stores are mobbed the day before a big holiday, the wait is negligible.
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greg2468 wrote:

This is simply your friends at the big box store helping you...
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Here in Canada, paint used to come in Canadian gallons, 160 ounces. When we went metric they downsized the cans to 4 litres. Now we get paint in US gallons which is smaller again, reduced in size to allow for adding tints. I still have an old 160 ounce can, it towers over the tiny US gallon cans we now get.
PS: The price per can never went down, only up.

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