Ed Bennett-Where are you?

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Last week I sent a PayPal payment to Ed Bennett for a TS-Aligner Jr. Deluxe. I've not recieved any confirmation from Ed that my payment was received. I've emailed him to no avail. Finally, I called both his 800 number and his direct line. The phone just rings. Does anyone know what's up?
-Peter De Smidt
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I have a update from Jr to deluxe and emailed him a while back. I took a long time for him to answer here is a portion of his email. think the magazine review has buried him, it may take considerable time for him to catch up.
---------------------------Email from Ed---------------------------- Sorry for the delay in shipping your order and the delay in responding to your email. This year demand has far exceeded my ability to keep up. I'm completely sold out of almost everything and am behind in production on just about everything. I'm even having trouble keeping up with the email! I run a very small business, a one man operation. I do all the work, machining most of the parts from raw materials in the shop behind my house. There is no hoard of Pacific Rim slaves pumping these things out by the millions. Just one crazy guy working 18+ hour days. I take a great deal of pride in my work and strive to deliver the best possible products at the lowest possible price. Sometimes, during peak demand, it means that people have to wait for their orders. Most people who buy from me understand this, some do not. I wish I could take the time to give everyone an accurate shipping date but it would keep me from getting work done in the shop. I apologize for the delay and understand if you want to cancel the order.
PayPal orders placed on my web site are paid in advance so I give them top priority. When continental US PayPal orders are shipped an email is usually sent automatically which contains tracking information. A button is also created in your PayPal account which allows you to track the shipment. Credit card orders by phone or fax are charged at the time of shipment so they are shipped after all PayPal orders are filled. Please let me know if you have any questions. -------------------------------------------------------------------------
BRuce
Peter De Smidt wrote:

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BRuce

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On Tue, 27 Jan 2004 10:56:37 -0500, BRuce <BRuce> quoted a letter from Ed Bennett on the problems he's having since his TS Aligner Jr. is so successful.

snip
It seems to me this man wants it both ways: He wants _us_ to think of it as a real business, (and therefore believe him credible), while he maintains the luxury of treating it as a hobby that happens to make him money.
Marketing's my profession and I'm no MBA, but I'm pretty sure this man has a _serious_ problem with his business model.
If I were making something that was selling out as fast as I could produce it, I think I'd get off of a few precious dollars and hire a couple of high schoolers or retired neighbors to answer email and the phone. You know, the things that BRING IN THE MONEY.
If this person's got so little business sense that he doens't understand the value of trouble-free ordering to a customer, he's going to lose his customer base.
And all the great (and _free_) marketing publicity we give him here isn't going to save it.
Of course, it may be that none of this is the point. Perhaps it's one of those "I'm going to make these and sell them as cheaply as I can and people will wait, because I'm not doing it any differently" things. In which case maybe his business model is perfect. ;>
...but he could still hire a couple of grandmas to answer the email, y'know?
Michael "I don't make the things you want, I just make you want them." :)
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Wrong, I think. You haven't looked at the market in sufficient depth.
I bought one of the TS/Jr units a couple of years ago. It doesn't get worn out and it does the job in a completely satisfactory manner. I plan on passing this on to my daughter when I die - and after she learns to walk and talk and is at least tall enough to see over the top of the table saw.
Ed has a perfectly satisfied customer who's probably never going to buy another thing from him. The market is very small and his production is sufficient to saturate it. He's running along producing a few per day or a few per week, and then BAM! Hundreds of orders pour in overnight.
Should he expand; buy a CNC mill and lathe for $100k (each)? I think not. This is a temporary bump in demand that will soon go away - there just isn't the continuing market for it. Furthermore, this is a hugely labor intensive product. He simply can't go out and pick up a high school grad and teach them to use the machinery; there isn't time and there isn't a future in it for the HS grad.
He should get an answering machine and a retired teacher to bounce the orders that he can't fulfill in a timely fashion though.
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Let me second that........... I'm sure he had no way to anticipate the volume of extra orders that would be generated by the magazine article. Maybe he didn't even know about the article until after it ran??? Mark
But maybe he COULD do something the email backlog
Ed Clarke wrote:

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Michael Baglio wrote:

He's got the mill. It's a Haas.

Yes, considerable training and, unless the kid plans to move to China, your right, no future.

That sounds like a good plan.
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maybe my business model is probably wrong also then. I tell people 2 things up front.
1st - If you can find EXACTLY what you want (size, shape, color) at a retail store, buy it there. I can't match their price and long term you will be just as happy with it. this doesn't apply to the few customers that want a hand made item that looks like something they have seen.
2nd - this is going to take a long time, so if you are in a hurry, modify your specs a little bit and see #1.
For what it is worth, I will wait and get the product I want when it is ready. As others in this thread have said, it is not the only way to align stuff.
I would like to know weather he is a month behind or a week behind but for now I will not email him and let him work.
BRuce
Michael Baglio <mbaglio wrote:

--
---

BRuce

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"Michael Baglio @nc.rr.com>" <mbaglio<NOSPAM> wrote in message

C'mon - you sure you don't have an MBA? The MBA's here think the exact same way - hire for the spikes and then lay them off as soon as demand slacks.
Ask an appropriate small business owner what their number one problem is, and they'll tell you: staff.
Ed's the CEO and he's making a decision. Time will tell whether he's chosen wisely.
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mttt responds:

One thing for sure, if he's already working 18 hour days, he's too busy to take time off to train new staff. But, hey, what the hell, take the week, work 22-23 hour days, train the staff and then fire them all 3 weeks later when business gets back to normal.
Charlie Self "Work like you don't need the money. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching." Satchel Paige
http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
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"Bob? Bob??? Izzat you?"
[ Bob's my MBA "problem" I deal with on a daily basis here... You're sounding suspiciously like him now! :) ]
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mttt asks:

My ex-boss is an MBA. So's my SIL.
Not me. Not ever. I wouldn't take the thing as an award, given free, unless it had major prize money attached. And maybe not then.
It has to be an acronym for something nasty, but I don't know what.
Charlie Self "To create man was a quaint and original idea, but to add the sheep was tautology." Mark Twain's Notebook
http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
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wrote:

Are you serious? This is your response to me saying the guy ought to hire a _phone_ person? What's with all this "the spikes" and "demand slack" stuff? We're talking about a farking PHONE person here.
I'm thinking; you're "in business" you reeeely outta have someone on the phone. That's _all_ I said.
Man, I musta touched a noive. :)
Michael
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"Michael Baglio @nc.rr.com>" <mbaglio<NOSPAM> wrote in message

That's different. They're not real people.
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Michael Baglio responds:

Oh, I dunno. THink about the complexity of adding just one person. I work for myself. Bookkeeping is fairly simple. I hire someone else, I'm involved in all sorts of accounting problems, tax withholding, insurance, workman's comp and a list that just goes on and on. Simply not worth it, especially when you realize that this is a business spike, one that will pass fairly quickly, so the extra person, and problems, won't be needed.
A temp worker might be nice, but...then it's time to train them.
Charlie Self "Work like you don't need the money. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody's watching." Satchel Paige
http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
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Michael Baglio wrote:

I think maybe it's your over sized pants that scared everyone. At least that's what I was thinking.
UA100
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wrote:

Fair enough. Point taken.
Michael
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On Wed, 28 Jan 2004 05:48:12 GMT, Michael Baglio
-snip-

I believe you can buy a thicker skin on *b*y, Michael. I hear they ship the next day...if the temp is in the office that day. ;)
---------------------------------------------- CAUTION: Driver Legally B l o n d (e) http://www.diversify.com Web Database Development ======================================================
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"Michael Baglio @nc.rr.com>" <mbaglio<NOSPAM> wrote in message

Yeah, I know... But it cuts both ways. If the caller says "I wanna Farquart Model 100!", no problem. If the caller says "I got a 1983 Ferdinan model IV that my brother sneaked home from Brazil. Will a Farquart 100 work or do I need the special 25mm adapter plate? And do I use Grade 8 bolts or will my Craftsman QuickStrip work?"
That's a different phone person altogether. I admit I have no idea on how many of first type of phone calls come in.

Ok! :)

Impossible - all of mine have been removed. Marriage scraped them away a long time ago.
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On Tue, 27 Jan 2004 19:15:26 GMT, Michael Baglio

Ever hear of a Litco Alpha 4 battery charger? <G>
Barry
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Michael Baglio @nc.rr.com> wrote:

With your insight into the man's business I'm surprised that they don't give you the MBA you deserve for your skills you posess. You know his cash flow and his debt load as well as his manufacturing capacity just fom email of others.
You know the peaks and valleys of his business so please suggest the hours of operation his office staff (the grandmas) should maintain. Be sure to let him know how much more to charge since a couple of Grandmas will cost him $20 an hour plus workman's comp and payroll taxes, unemployment taxes, and a whole bunch of other laws that come into effect when you have an employee.
I bet he'd love to see the new business model you send him. Ed snipped-for-privacy@snet.net http://pages.cthome.net/edhome
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