Sort of Off Topic and a Rant

Moderators: Jason Susnjara, Larry Epplin, Clint Buechlein, Scott G Vaal

Lamar Horton
Senior Member
Posts: 222
Joined: Sun, Dec 11 2005, 1:22PM
Location: Kennedale, Texas
Contact:

Sort of Off Topic and a Rant

Postby Lamar Horton » Fri, Apr 11 2008, 7:10PM

I received a call yesterday from a lady that needed a drawer front by this weekend. I said depending on the profiles I may or may not be able to do it. She brought it by and it was a simple job, nothing fancy. I took her information and told her I would bring it by her house when I finished as it was on my way home from the shop. Well I made the drawer face and took it to her today and she was ecstatic. She told me she had a painter coming by this weekend and really needed this drawer face. She also told me that she had called several different cabinet shops and they all were rude and tried to gouge her or want to take weeks to deliver. (she was willing to drop off and pick up.) One guy even told her "So you want me to drop everything just to make you one drawer face?"

I hope this is not the way most shops are? This is not the first time I have heard stories similar to this from my customers. I am going to a customers house next week to shorten a cabinet above her stove because she is replacing her vent a hood with a microwave. It's not a big job but it is a job. She also told me that no one would even give her the time of day. I understand some of us are very busy. I personally am booked solid though the summer. As busy as I am I can always find time to slide in a small job.

When I started my shop three years ago all I was able to get were small jobs like that. I built my business on customers like that. Not very many of them ever called me again but some have. I appreciate customers that only need one drawer face or a new hinge on a door. I fed my family on customers like that and still do.

It is my sincere hope that I do not forget those customers that helped me get to where I am today and that I do not get to be so arrogant that I am rude to a customer who simply needs a drawer face.

By the way, I felt bad enough for charging her $20.00 for about half a board foot of poplar with a routed edge, but I know I had to charge something. Then I felt really bad when she handed me $40.00 and would not take any of it back. In spite of felling sorry for those shops around here who apparently have forgotten where they came from, I feel pretty good about myself today.

Thank you for letting me blow off some steam.

Note to the administrators, If this topic is deemed inappropriate for this forum, then by all means remove it.

DaleKern
Senior Member
Posts: 122
Joined: Wed, Oct 26 2005, 12:40PM
Location: Manhattan, Illinois
Contact:

Re: Sort of Off Topic and a Rant

Postby DaleKern » Fri, Apr 11 2008, 8:54PM

Lamar,

Good for you! And thanks for taking the time to remind me again we can all benefit in many ways by treating others the way we want to be treated. I have run into the same scenario a couple of times and 1) I'll get a referral 2) I'll get a future job. The important thing is I always feel good knowing I helped someone out - just the way I want to be treated when I'm in a jam.

:beer:

Dale
I have no business being in this business...

http://www.dalekern.com

Mike Seisser
eCabinets Beta Tester
Posts: 544
Joined: Wed, Feb 22 2006, 11:40PM
Company Name: NCB Inc.
Country: UNITED STATES

Re: Sort of Off Topic and a Rant

Postby Mike Seisser » Fri, Apr 11 2008, 9:42PM

Lamar,

You live by the Golden Rule.

Ain't nuthin' wrong with that.

:beer:

Mike
Proper Planning Prevents Poor Production.

User avatar
DanEpps
Wizard Member
Posts: 5852
Joined: Thu, Jul 28 2005, 10:18AM
Company Name: Dan Epps
Country: UNITED STATES
Location: Rocky Face GA

Re: Sort of Off Topic and a Rant

Postby DanEpps » Sat, Apr 12 2008, 7:41AM

It is indeed unfortunate that so many businesses (and not just cabinet shops) see customers, especially small customers like this, as an annoyance. I suppose the folks that operate those businesses have never needed to run to the grocery at the last minute to get that one item they forgot for dinner...

Customers like that just may be testing the waters to see if they want to deal with a particular shop for a much larger job in the future. The shop that responds as you did will be the one that gets the job. That customer now sees you as responsive and fair because you made the drawer front and only asked for $20 for it. Even if that customer never has a larger job for you, you can bet that you will get referrals from her.

Lamar Horton wrote:Note to the administrators, If this topic is deemed inappropriate for this forum, then by all means remove it.


I can't see how a topic like this could ever be seen as inappropriate for this forum. After all, is that type of helpfulness to others in need not what this forum is all about?

Kudos on your handling of that customer's desparate need! :beer:

Rick Palechuk
Wizard Member
Posts: 1896
Joined: Wed, May 18 2005, 7:54PM
Company Name: Milltech Millworks Ltd.
Country: CANADA
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Contact:

Re: Sort of Off Topic and a Rant

Postby Rick Palechuk » Sat, Apr 12 2008, 8:24AM

Yes, cheers to you Lamar. Well said Dan. Equality and fairness in you business practice. There is a local gentleman here that is semiretired. He loves to feel needed and we send him some stuff to do. Everybody gets what they need, but most important, there happy.

Will Williamson
Guru Member
Posts: 396
Joined: Thu, Dec 08 2005, 6:10PM
Company Name: Williamson Finewoodwork
Country: UNITED STATES
Location: Capac MI
Contact:

Re: Sort of Off Topic and a Rant

Postby Will Williamson » Sat, Apr 12 2008, 11:06AM

One thing is for sure. If you send a customer (i prefer to call them a client ) away they don't come back and they tell everyone they know what happened
Will

http://www.willmade.com

KEG/Intel Core i 7 CPU K875 @ 2.93 GHZ/12G Ram
Dual boot XP PRO/Windows 7 Nvidia Quatro 600 1Gig Ram

Leo Graywacz
Guru Member
Posts: 572
Joined: Tue, Jan 16 2007, 7:56PM
Company Name: LRG WoodCrafting
Location: Windsor Locks, CT
Contact:

Re: Sort of Off Topic and a Rant

Postby Leo Graywacz » Sun, Apr 13 2008, 4:34PM

I don't find these types of clients annoying, but I do consider them unrealistic. If they want you to stop what you are doing, change over setups to make a single drawer front, they should expect to pay a hefty surcharge for doing so. I rarely find that the case. They still want a rock bottom price for a custom job. If you are a small shop and have little work, go for it and charge your normal rate. But for a busy custom shop, these types of jobs cost a lot of money. Stopping production, resetting machines, then restarting it all back up again. It could cost you $500 to make a $50 drawer front. I try to keep my older clients happy. And I will try to accommodate them with there smaller jobs when I can. But I will not do something for nothing. Maybe for my Mom. :lol:
Dell Precision 7710
Intel Core i7-6820HQ @ 2.70GHz 16.00 GB RAM
NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
256 GB PCIe NVMe - M.2 SSD
Win 7 Pro 64-bit

http://lrgwood.com

User avatar
Glenn Van Reason
Guru Member
Posts: 459
Joined: Tue, May 17 2005, 4:00PM
Company Name: TBA
Country: AUSTRALIA
Location: ORANGE NSW AUSTRALIA every now and then between trips lol

Re: Sort of Off Topic and a Rant

Postby Glenn Van Reason » Sun, Apr 13 2008, 4:37PM

Another user on this forum has this in his signature and I hope he doesn't mind me posting it, I thought it relevant.

Successful people do the things others won't

And I might add...........no matter how smalll
This message made from recycled electrons.

Mark Taylor
Guru Member
Posts: 309
Joined: Sat, Feb 04 2006, 5:13PM
Location: Hilton Head / Bluffton SC

Re: Sort of Off Topic and a Rant

Postby Mark Taylor » Sun, Apr 13 2008, 8:06PM

I always try to live by the golden rule...even though in business is sometimes doesn't make sense or isn't easy to do.

About two weeks ago, we had a similar call - it happen to be the third one like that this particular week. We had helped both the other two and I was reallying feeling the pinch that morning when Ginny came to me and said there was a young man on the phone who needed to have an oven box cut down and frame modified. He was here just for the day helping his mother (she had purchased a new stove while her son was visiting) and he headed back to Michigan the next morning.

I was so very tempted to brush it off, but I couldn't. I told Ginny to tell him to come in and we would help him. When he arrived 15 or 20 minutes later, I simply left my desk, put my apron on and headed into the shop - it took between 30 to 40 minutes to make the modifications he needed and I enjoyed talking to him throughout the process. He was impressed with our shop and was extremely thankful for helping him out of a bind, again he had called at least a half dozen shops who simply blew him off. We continued talking as I carried the project to his car and it was then that I found out he was here because his mother had just been diagnosed with cancer - I also found out that he had been a draftsman in a cabinet shop in Michigan which had closed down due to the economy. He has been bar tending to make ends meet.

My dad always told me that he truly believed, "the lord works in mysterious ways, when a door shuts a window will always open - you simply have to have an open heart and follow your instincts." Our shop has been struggling for months because we've needed someone to help me create the sold designs in eCabinets and move them through to the shop and to coordinate our PO and inventory programs. Joe starts on the 23rd...glad to be leaving Michigan's winters, excited to be joining our team and thankful for the opportunity to be close to his mother....

Mark

Lamar Horton
Senior Member
Posts: 222
Joined: Sun, Dec 11 2005, 1:22PM
Location: Kennedale, Texas
Contact:

Re: Sort of Off Topic and a Rant

Postby Lamar Horton » Sun, Apr 13 2008, 9:11PM

Leo

No one is asking anyone to shut down production to do a small thing like a drawer face. It could easily be accomplished prior to a production run or after a run. Small things like that can be knocked out in a matter of a couple of minutes. I have a small shop and am very busy, to the point some would even say that I should turn these jobs away. But I can't and I won't. I do not let these customers dictate when I do there jobs, but I can always find the time at some point during the day or the next day.

If a shop just doesn't want to do these jobs, then that is fine by me. (more work for me) They should just tell the customer "we don't do these types of jobs." They should not give them an obscene price, just in case they say OK, nor should they be rude and act as though they are bothering them with they're petty little project. As I have found to be the case around these parts.

Mark
Your dad was is right, the Lord does work in mysterious ways. We trusted Him when we started our shop and He has not let us down. I know He is the one who provides us with work so turning customers away is like turning away a blessing from God. That's a great story about Joe and I hope everything works out for you.

User avatar
Thom Davies
Guru Member
Posts: 530
Joined: Tue, May 17 2005, 6:44PM
Company Name: Dawn Group
Country: NEW ZEALAND
Location: Christchurch New Zealand
Contact:

Re: Sort of Off Topic and a Rant

Postby Thom Davies » Sun, Apr 13 2008, 9:41PM

This is what i think.

That 1 little job that takes 30 mins and worth only abit of $$. Could easy turn into 1 big job or a nice kitchen or house job. That guy might tell 1 person that for kitchens and other stuff go to your company and who knows that might turn in to the 2nd guy telling other people and who knows one of those people might be a delvoper and might have a hell of a big job heading your way!

Thats how i think of what the little job could mean to our company.

Cheers

Thom Davies
[url=http://www.colinmcraesport.com]
Image
[/url]

Lamar Horton
Senior Member
Posts: 222
Joined: Sun, Dec 11 2005, 1:22PM
Location: Kennedale, Texas
Contact:

Re: Sort of Off Topic and a Rant

Postby Lamar Horton » Sun, Apr 13 2008, 10:33PM

Thom

I would be a happy man if that scenario played out. But I didn't open my shop to get rich. I opened because I enjoyed what I did as a hobby, so I may as well make a living at it. A little corporate restructuring helped too. If I can provide a decent living for my family and make some friends along the way and take care of people then I am far richer than any of the wealthiest, storing up a treasure that cannot be imagined. For us, it is not all about the almighty dollar.

User avatar
Thom Davies
Guru Member
Posts: 530
Joined: Tue, May 17 2005, 6:44PM
Company Name: Dawn Group
Country: NEW ZEALAND
Location: Christchurch New Zealand
Contact:

Re: Sort of Off Topic and a Rant

Postby Thom Davies » Sun, Apr 13 2008, 10:53PM

Fair enough lamar

Im just said that cos thats how i think. I dont do this as a hobby and i work for a company with a thermwood and all that stuff. and thats how i see what a one off job could mean for our company. We have 11 people on the floor and 3 upstairs.
[url=http://www.colinmcraesport.com]
Image
[/url]

User avatar
Glenn Van Reason
Guru Member
Posts: 459
Joined: Tue, May 17 2005, 4:00PM
Company Name: TBA
Country: AUSTRALIA
Location: ORANGE NSW AUSTRALIA every now and then between trips lol

Re: Sort of Off Topic and a Rant

Postby Glenn Van Reason » Sun, Apr 13 2008, 10:58PM

I suppose the same couild be said about Thermwood, by the cross section of business types found here they certainly look after the small guy as well as big businesses .
This message made from recycled electrons.

jerry johnson
Junior Member
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed, Dec 26 2007, 7:52PM

Re: Sort of Off Topic and a Rant

Postby jerry johnson » Mon, Apr 14 2008, 9:50AM

It's no wonder this forum is so helpful! The character of the members is outstanding and it is truely refreshing to know that so many of you have put your faith and trust in the Lord. He most assuredly is the provider of all we need for "every good and perfect gift is from above." 8)


Return to “eCabinet Systems Software”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests