A gloat at Sears?!?!

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wrote

The trouble with that notion is that changing the design of mass-produced products is a huge undertaking--the Sears contract would have to be a major portion of Bosch's total sales for it to be worthwhile to retool to meet their price. The Chinese, who seem to be doing just about anything to get presence in the US market, are another story, but it's hard to imagine the Chinese finding new corners to cut on their tool manufacture.
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On Fri, 27 Oct 2006 14:09:16 -0400, "J. Clarke"

Grin
It is hard to image what new corners could be cut if you think of making the most bottom of the barrel product possible. But that's not what has to be done. If Craftsman/Sears were to use the illusion of selling a tool that *looks* like a Bosch/PC/Milwaukee, then one only need to make one just like it inside and out, except make the appropriate substitutions.
I find it very easy to believe that a company may be willing to sell themselves and build a few tens of thousands of units for Sears with Sears's price point requirement. Bosch or Porter Cable would know what to do to meet the cost requirement.
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wrote in message

It would cost more to retool to make 10,000 units than would be saved by the retooling.
It's not a matter of "knowing what to do", it's a matter of stopping the line, tearing out tooling and machinery, installing new tooling and machinery to produce the new design, restarting the line, making the run, and then repeating the whole process again to go back to regular production.
Making design changes with hand-made one-offs is easy, making design changes in something that is mass-produced is not a trivial undertaking and has very significant costs. Further, most of the cost of making just about anything is labor--substituting pot metal for aluminum won't reduce the labor.
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On Sat, 28 Oct 2006 00:13:46 -0400, "J. Clarke"

You're far far of the mark.
I work in engineering in exactly the kind of situation you're expounding on. My company makes many thousands of any particular model.
It is in fact not especially difficult to make changes within any particular product to cheapen it.
30 years of my life are invested in product design and development. Don't hand me that line of crap. It is in fact extremely easy to make changes and substitutions that result in real cost savings for the manufacturer without inordinate expense to do so.
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If I may, I think you have to put what he said in context.
Consider a factory in China pumping out billions of identical tools: Everything is pretty much the same except for the colour of the plastic and the badge they stick on them before they're boxed.
I agree that it would be far more expensive to retool the line in order to "cheapen" something for (in this example) Sears, than it would be to just keep the line going.
We're talking mass production here, and the *real* savings are in the "mass" part: It make no sense to create a different product to make it cheaper: They're already smokin' them out the door as cheaply as possible.
Cheers!
Gary
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wrote:

The changes I mean are not in changing the form of a housing for example, that *is* difficult and time consuming to do.
What I mean (for example) is to buy a group of motors from the motor supplier that use sleeve bearings instead of ball bearings. Or use less expensive batteries. Maybe use more regrind in the plastic. Or simply pack fewer accessories.
That's what I mean. From my design end of the process, there are a lot of things to do.
However, I work at a place that doesn't make bottom of the barrel products, so it's obvious to me how to help them get there.
I will agree to a point with my last paragraph:
Of course if the starting point of the product being debated is *already* at the bottom, then it would take a little more ingenuity to wring even more savings from it, and that may not be worth the effort.
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wrote:

If your company makes "thousands" you're probably using NC machines. That's semicustom manufacture. Get to real high volume and you'll find that purpose-made tooling is used, the changing of which isn't cheap.
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On Sat, 28 Oct 2006 22:20:31 -0400, "J. Clarke"

We do nothing of the kind. Our stuff is put together pretty much the same as any power tool.
Trust me, there are plenty of things to do to save money. This is what they pay me for - be imaginitive.
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wrote:

I'm having difficulty believing that you are using custom-made machinery for such small volumes.

Uh huh. Whatever.
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On Sun, 29 Oct 2006 12:09:11 -0500, "J. Clarke"

I have several patents. How many do you have?
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Most people outgrew that kind of comeback about age 12. Looking to blow your credibility? You succeeded.

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Gary wrote:

This is true. Later, I said that I would consider the router that's a bosch rebadge, but only for a steep discount. Whenever this topic comes up, I'm reminded of the "alpine" car stereos that were available in honda civics and accords back in the late 80s/early 90s. They were alpine in name only. Honda paid for the name, then alpine built them to honda's standards which were more about economy and warrantees than sound quality. So when sears rebadges any tool, I have to wonder if it's really the *exact* same tool just with a red plastic case instead of a blue one or whatever. The temptation has to be there to put in cheaper bearings or weaker motors. It's not a bosch after all, right? It's a craftsman now. But maybe people will assume that it's the same as the bosch, thereby leaching some brand trust from bosch when it isn't deserved. So bosch isn't risking anything by making a cheaper tool for sears. They have plausible deniability. And sears only stands to gain.
To make matters worse, quality is just a dial that the chinese factories turn. The saws may all be coming from the same factory, but they're definitly not built to the same quality. Bearings, paint thickness, paint job quality, tolerances, whether things are balanced or not before being put on, de-flashing on the castings. There's a huge number of steps that can be skipped, corners cut. So not all brands are created equal, even when coming from the same assembly line.
So it all comes down to trust. Do you trust the store/brand to live up to an expected level of quality? then do you trust the store to stand behind the tools when there's a problem?
I would buy a ryobi before a craftsman. Mainly because I wouldn't have to deal with sears with the ryobi.

...or maybe experience. And they're changing for the better these days which makes the situation even cloudier. Since some of the tools are turing out to be great, while others are still junk. How can you know which this new tool is?

They're charging less than bosch for what looks like the exact same router. Is bosch charging even more than too much? Is sears charging the right amount while bosch is too high? Is it even the exact same router? It's priced where it will sell. It doesn't matter what we think. So if the price is too high, that means that the craftsman name still (unjustifiably) carries a premium, possibly from people remembering them from 30 years ago.
brian
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wrote

Uh, the regular price from Sears is 219.00, the Coastal Tools price on the Bosch is 209, and Bosch is including a router guide that's worth about 40 bucks. So Sears is not charging less than Bosch unless you're talking suggested retail on the Bosch or the sale price on the Sears that is only good through tomorrow.
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J. Clarke wrote:

Not to mention that Coastal is way more fun to visit than any Sears I've ever seen.
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J. Clarke wrote:

The last time I checked (maybe a year ago), sears was about $30 or $40 less than other places.
brian
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I caught it (Bosch/Craftsman router) on sale about a year ago for $179, then got a Craftsman club 10% off of that, then another (Sears retiree) 10% off of that. :)
PS, No! I did not get the extended warranty.
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They have a jig saw that is identical (at leat externally) to the Bosch. I am curious if they are the same internally.
brianlanning wrote:

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Mapdude wrote:

I've always wondered what a manufacturer does with the parts that don't meet their internal quality control spec's. ;-)
--
Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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They get assembled and then badged to sell at Sears.
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wrote in message

If it's a "Craftsman Professional" and looks just like a Bosch except for the colors and the nameplate then it's almost certainly a Bosch. For a while they were selling a rebadged Bosch jigsaw too.
Nice thing about Sears is that they buy a ton of parts for whatever they sell and hold onto them until the use up the stock. I can still get parts for my old radial arm saw, while Bosch USA doesn't even know that the jigsaw I got at the same time ever existed.
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