Just how far will a company go to satisfy their customers? Well,
here's a tale for you.....
Way back at the start of this year, there was a great and wondrous
sale of the mythical Bessey Clamps. The sale was initiated by Lee
Valley and none other than Rob Lee Esq.
Down here (and I do mean DOWN here) we were feeling a little left-out
and unfortunate that we didn't have the same great deal that you guys
in the US and Canada had on offer (due to killer shipping costs).
On one of the Wreck's moderated sister groups in Oz, we began to make
comments and the occasional "what if?" arose. It was suggested that a
container should be shipped jointly by the group members, followed by
the beginnings of a discussion for a bulk buy. Then Rob Lee, who is
hereby granted the status of honorary Aussie, stepped in with an
admission that he was under e-mail bombardment from Oz, and offered to
check freight forwarders for volume prices.
With that post, Rob doomed himself and his staff to four months of
hard work and an ongoing barrage of e-mails and orders from a host of
long-neglected Aussie woodworkers.
(please note that the cut-off date for orders was the same as the US
To say that the thread got its share of attention is an
understatement. To date there have been over 23,753 views and 495
posts. These resulted in a rather large order being gathered together
and shipped to the other side of the earth to a destination in Sydney,
to be broken down and on-forwarded to individual sites.
It has been an object lesson in willful logistics. Dozens of
woodworkers joining together with a company overseas to arrange the
details. People volunteering to perform distribution and other tasks.
Others voluntarily increasing their payments to ensure the organizers
get 'something' for their efforts.
The savings have been substantial. The effort immense. The timescale
lengthy. The enjoyment - substantial.
Thanks Rob, to you and your staff for their special effort. Whenever
people with like minds band together it is amazing what can be
accomplished. In particular, the photos and updates were great! We all
learned a lot about LV through the virtual tour and got to meet some
of the staff. (special thanks to the Internet orders team).
I like tools that have a story attached to them, and these will be
part of the "Great Oz Bessey Story", to be retold for a long time in
Australian woodworking circles. It will, and already has, raised the
bar for customer service down here.
Your staff and the Company are a credit to the industry, well done. I
hope you enjoyed it as much as we did, and still are.
Oh, and the link to the thread? Look here: