Borg?

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I see the word "Borg" refering to Home Depot, Lowe's, etc. here... I'm wondering how the term originated. I'm guessing that it refers to the Borg cube from "Star Wars, the Next Generation" being compared to the large square buildings of above mentioned stores??
BTW, I do enjoy the warped sense of humor that seems to be yet another common factor among WWer's here.
Will
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Big Orange Retail Giant, but it applies to either.
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I have read a lot of grumbling about the giants coming in and running the small lumber yards out of business. I don't see much evidence of that happening in south central Kansas. What little hardwood they sell is well above local hardwood dealers.
Even more telling is their dealing with contractors. I built one of the first homes in a development that has since added about 80 houses. On the very few occasions that I have seen a big-box delivery out here (I am home during the day) they are dropping off appliances. The lumber and other materials are being delivered by local lumber yards - many are from smaller area towns.
When we built we decided to buy lighting from Lowe's because their prices were much better than the local lighting houses. Our contractor was a little hesitant because he didn't know much about their quality. We did the legwork on getting his account set up, bought the lights ourselves, and he ended up being very pleased with the quality we selected. BUT - getting him a contractor's account with Lowe's was absolutely ridiculous. Their contractor rep was one of the rudest people I have dealt with and he even told a couple of outright lies. If they treat contractors the way they treated us it is no wonder they don't deliver into developments. I still own Lowe's stock but I deal with the locals or big orange more these days.
My son is a superintendent with a heavy construction company. They told Lowe's to pound sand about a year ago because they were impossible to deal with. Their payment terms and penalties do not fit most business cycles - except theirs.
Bottom line - this should be good business for the smaller guys. You can compete if you treat customers and contractors like customers.
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RonB wrote:

...
Definitely seen it in SW KS/SE CO/OK panhandle, however, where there isn't the population density of even central KS.
It's possible to compete in larger markets but very tough in smaller...trasportation costs are a prime killer as the volume problem is exacerbated by rising fuel costs and the distance from suppliers. Consolidation of distributors also is a difficulty.
Mead Best Buy did build a new store here last year but the smaller surrounding communities which had nice little lumber yards have just gone away since the HD in Garden opened as well two in Garden itself. This was a trend in place before the HD opened, but it has been accelerated...what is really move observable in the Wally-World and other retail as the HD hasn't been around quite long enough to really judge its long term effect, but imo it isn't all positive even now. Star in Wichita, for example, has pulled all their western KS stores.
Truthfully, I don't much care about the size of the distributor per se, if purchasing weren't so biased by their practices of "browbeating" distributors who then (somewhat like in the case of medical services who make up for uninsured and Medicare/Medicaid charges by higher costs to the fully-insured) don't provide similar costs to independents.
Service can make up for some w/ some customers but not all and certainly in smaller markets w/ lesser average income levels, the tendency to buy cheap is overwhelming to most.
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I grew up in Springfield, CO, graduated Boise City OK. Where are you from? I now live in north Idaho.
Will

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Yes, that's pretty much it.
Also refers to the Borg motto:
"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated"
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Referring to the fact that whenever a borg shows up in your neighborhood, that many small businesses offereing much higher levels of service go out of business.
They are "assimilated".
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This only proves once again that most people care more for cheap stuff at cheap prices that they do for quality service and products.
Dave
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stuff at cheap prices that they do for quality service and products.
I don't know about that.
I've found that, by and large, the Borg has high-quality products.
You can buy cheap goods just as easily at a Mom & Pop.
I do, however, mourn the demise of Mom & Pop stores.
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If this weren't true, McDonalds, Burger King and Harbor Freight would all be out of business.
"You too, will become one with The Borg"
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The opposite of "cheap" is not necessarily "quality" nor is good quality obligatorily expensive.
McDonalds for example produce excellent french fries, better than anything you can make, and better than anything the top-rated restaurants can produce. A few years ago the New Yorker, a journal not renowned for its support of fast food, ran a long in-depth article on the subject detailing the steps taken to ensure that McDs fries are without parallel. At the time the top-rated restaurant in the US was "Daniel" in NYC owned by Daniel Bouloud and in an interview even he admitted to indulging in the occasional "large fries" pointing out that while most of McDs food was suitable only for the dumpster, their fries were sublime and well beyond what he could produce.
If you're interested, the reason is that the making of good fries is a function highly contingent upon the industrialized processes at which McDs excels. The potatoes have to be of a particular variety and harvested at a time of low water content. Since they're usually sold by weight the farmer has the opposite interest; McDs solves the problem by having exclusive contracts, supervising the growing and harvesting, and ensuring they're harvested at the appropriate time. Even then they go through a long drying process in vast hangers until they reach the optimum level. The cutting and then pre-cooking and freezing for delivery are minutely controlled and finally at the franchisee end those deep fryers maintain exactly the right temperature for the second cooking and notify the grunts by buzzer of the exact moment to remove the ideal french fry.
And no, contrary to rumor, they don't add sugar to the fries.
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snipped-for-privacy@NoGoodISP.gov wrote: ...

Well, what you've described is how McDonald's <controls> consistency.
Whether they're "unparalleled" is a matter of personal taste. You apparently like their model--while I recognize I can <usually> get the same thing at any Mickey-D's, I don't find them nearly as appetizing as a "home-grown" version. But my taste apparently doesn't match yours.
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On Wed, 23 Feb 2005 09:58:06 -0600, Duane Bozarth

My preference is for my Mom's fries, which I've been unable to duplicate.
Second is Wendy's, followed by McD's. Burger King keeps changing their fries, so it's hard to say.
But if I want the best fast food in my area, it's time for a pilgrimage to Hot Dog Johnny on Butzville. Good dogs, good fries. Two with ketchuponionpickle -- "To the left" iirc, fries, and a buttermilk.
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Not quite. You could have consistently soggy, oily fries as you get in most restaurants, fast food and otherwise, or you can select, process and cook the potatoes correctly to produce the desired superlative product.

I quoted indirectly an acknowledged expert in food taste. I presume you'd say an evaluation by Robert Parker of a wine at 99 was simply "his taste" and by implication no different than yours.
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snipped-for-privacy@NoGoodISP.gov wrote:

But it's still controlling <consistency> ... same thing as any other industrial process. Just like any other "six-sigma" process (although I don't know that M-D's uses the formal process, it's the same idea).
I grant the target is one which is palatable to the mass market they're targetting, and more so than some, but it's still simply a matter of personal taste as to whether the target is or isn't one's own favorite.

Well, I'll grant I wouldn't rank as anything of an expert by anyone who was a wine expert--I have some things I enjoy and others I don't. Some of what I enjoy I know is rated moderately well, some of what I have had that has been highly rated I don't care for at all...that is personal preference. I could care less on a <personal> choice as to what <anybody> elses's opinion is---I may consider other recommendations for choices on occasion, but I don't feel at all obligated to cater to their choices if their "educated" or "sophisticated" palate doesn't match mine....
As noted, I stand by my contention that it is all personal preference and for me my preference is far more significant than all the "experts" whose judgement is in large part a support for exclusiveness and elitism designed primarily to justify the financial returns.
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Duane Bozarth wrote: ...

"Primarily" was an unintended overexageration--it is a significant part of the process, but I'll grant it wouldn't survive if that were the only cause.
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On Thu, 24 Feb 2005 04:25:57 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@NoGoodISP.gov wrote:

RP is an "expert" on wine. But from the point of view of me enjoying a wine, it is in fact the case that his preferences are no more important than mine. For me, the primary utility of his ratings are that they help narrow down the choices among wines I have never tried (cheap wines, since that is all that I buy). But I do know by now that I am much more likely to enjoy the dry wines that he has recommended and to stay away from those where the word "fruit" is emphasized in his description. He rated the 2000(?) Vitiano higher than the following year's; I liked the latter better personally, but I "agreed" that both were quite good for the money.
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snipped-for-privacy@NoGoodISP.gov wrote:

Actually, most restaurants make them too crisp and dry for my taste. Wendys fries used to be exactly to my taste but they're now insufficiently soggy and oily.

Given the choice between an expert's opinion and my own concerning food I'll take my own thank you. There is no universal standard. The fact that some overpaid commentator likes something is no guarantee that anybody else will.
--
--John
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wrote:

Opinions vary!!!
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TeamCasa wrote:

Actually, people care for effective marketing and don't usually pay that much attention to prices or service.

--
--John
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