Is youbuild.com going to be like production sharing???

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DanEpps
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Re: Is youbuild.com going to be like production sharing???

Postby DanEpps » Fri, Dec 23 2011, 10:44PM

Looks like, in the eyes of Thermwood, we're @#$*ed!!! Why would a machine manufacturer decide to compete with their very own customers? I mean, I understand that everyone is in pretty dire straits financially, but to try and compete with the very folks that have kept you in business for the last several years is just plain bad business in my opinion!

I've seen it happen before. Sooner or later the manufacturer realizes they have a very large bullet hole in their foot and try to limit the damage/recoup their losses before all their loyal customers bail! This happened to the world's largest carpet manufacturer right here in my hometown. They decided to go into the retail business and were promptly dumped by their largest customer: Home Depot! After seeing their folly and selling off the retail business, it still took a few years of sucking-up and candy-coated deals before they attoned for their sins and were forgiven by Home Depot. Total losses from this oversight? Over $2 BILLION!!!

Is this what you really want Thermwood? I don't think so. I encourage you to reassess this strategy before it is too late.

I fully expect this post to be removed by the forum admin so I will send it to anyone who desires...just send me your email: danepps1@yahoo.com

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Gerry A Brown
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Re: Is youbuild.com going to be like production sharing???

Postby Gerry A Brown » Sat, Dec 24 2011, 11:14AM

I must say as a new machine owner I sure don't like what I see on this forum recently. The new time extension update has caused problems for some members and Thermwood has not responded to their concerns at all. I see three posts in the software forum that have no answers. All we are told is the programers are too busy working on the project that looks like it will directly compete with us to fix the software you are trying to make a living with.

I fear that Thermwood may have given up on the whole E cabinets program. Or if not given up at least lost interest to the point of not being that concerned about the concerns of the machine owners.

Considering our investment in a Thermwood router my hope is I will be proven wrong on this.

Gerry

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Re: Is youbuild.com going to be like production sharing???

Postby Forrest Chapman » Sat, Dec 24 2011, 12:55PM

I understand that Thermwood is in the business of selling routers. However I do believe they have had ample opportunity to grow the wood industry portion of there business by providing better and more capable software to us. They have had a wealth of input by very loyal members including myself on what is necessary to compete with the other software companies which in turn will make us more competitive and more successful. That alone would sell more routers.

I like so many others bought into the dream of owning a CNC and the company that made it possible. I believed that they were on the cutting edge and would continue to grow and eventually would lead the industry in software to machine packages. They had a long way to go in the early days but made extreme advancements quickly. But somewhere along the way they started to lose interest and the software lagged. What has made it doubly evident is one of Thermwoods strongest advocates (Kerry) is now on the machining side of things and can see the frustration that most machine owners have felt for years.

I can deal with the bugs in the software but what I cannot deal with is the lack of fundamental capabilities such as MDF panel production or boring the back of drawer fronts for metabox brackets just to mention a few. These are right there in the software with what is seemingly one piece of the puzzle missing. Frankly I am 9 years into this experience and am just tired of waiting or wanting.

I'm not sure Thermwood is listening anymore. Maybe they have signed off.

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Re: Is youbuild.com going to be like production sharing???

Postby Scott Marshburn » Sat, Dec 24 2011, 4:50PM

My Question is.Has any other Beta testers recieved this new release yet or is CFP now the official tester?I choose to have a postive outlook on this but it just would not be right if THM and ECAB is holding out on this new jonery until CFP and Home Depo has cornered the market.
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Re: Is youbuild.com going to be like production sharing???

Postby Kerry Fullington » Sat, Dec 24 2011, 7:28PM

I hope we are not jumping to a lot of conclusions here. I don't think we know enough of the story to get upset about this. Maybe after the holidays Thermwood will give out a little more information about youbuild.com and the future of eCabinets before we all jump ship. :D

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Re: Is youbuild.com going to be like production sharing???

Postby Neville Bastian » Sat, Dec 24 2011, 9:24PM

It wouldn't taken much to have this change in direction clarified months ago as I noticed the you build it forum has been set up since October I think? This is one weak point of Thermwood is that communication is lacking. They may have blogs, youtube and web sites but they are good poker players.
The issues already discussed of support for new joints display at IWF back in July? and fundamental documented faults in Ecabinets that wouldn't take a lot of time to elliminate is frustrating. My request to the owners of Thermwood is spend your programming money where you feel fit but could you just put aside a time frame to tidy up the loose ends of Ecabinets then freeze development.
With youbuild, well us Thermwood users would love to get involved but thats your commercial decision. Many of us have bought Thermwood thinking we were part of a Thermwood family and that the software of Ecabinets would one day outpace some of the higher priced software, going on past Ecabinet feature advancement time frame.
As small business owners we find it hard to compete with the Chinese made furniture and kitchen cabinets. We will also find it hard to compete with the larger manufactures who have the resources to have expensive interactive web sites where you build your own cabinets and have them flat packed to your door. Many cases these are assembled not by the home owner but some back yarder who has advanced handyman skills. I have heard of people getting charged high hourly rates to assemble.
I have read most of Kens books in the last 10 years and am suprised where we have ended up.
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Re: Is youbuild.com going to be like production sharing???

Postby Kerry Fullington » Sun, Dec 25 2011, 9:37AM

All of this has been disturbing to me bercause 2011 was the worst year I have had since I started the cabinet shop in 2001, My sales were 50% of last years competing against larger shops selling at $75 a foot. I look at everything as a threat now. Especially a big supplier building cheap cabinets for a giant retailer. This can only drive prices down.
I know things are bad because I am worrying about this on Christmas Morning.

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Re: Is youbuild.com going to be like production sharing???

Postby Ray Jorgensen » Sun, Dec 25 2011, 2:19PM

I've been watching this post with interest. I heard rumurs of this project sometime ago and had to laugh.

Have you ever seen some of the designs that come out of those big box stores. It doesn't take to long to see where "that drawer will never open" and similar issues. Can you imagine what everyday folks are going to end up with?

I built a entertainment center for my brother and flat packed it to him. Keep in mind that he was at my shop when all I had left to do was spray the doors, finish up stuff. I should him how to put this together at that time. I even put pocket screw in on everything so he wouldn't have to find clamps. I still answered call after call from him.

I'm letting a young contrator friend use my machines to build his own kitchen in his remodel. (Long time family friends) He and his dad are both contractors and do a super job of installing cabinets, but they are struggeling with the "how do you put this together?" Difficult to believe with assembly marks and all, isn't it.

So I don't think we have much to worry about from this "competition".

We may even eventually benefit. Who knows some type of online cabinet design or new jointery that would not have been possible without the R&D money of some big player.

I too have my pet " need this improvement" but for the price of the software and the seemless working with the machine I can't bitch so I'll be patient.

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Re: Is youbuild.com going to be like production sharing???

Postby Gerry A Brown » Mon, Dec 26 2011, 12:20PM

I have heard the argument before that the software is free so quit your complaining but for me that does not hold water. I used the eCabinets program for ten years before buying the router. The reason I bought a Thermwood is in part because of the software. This is the only software that is designed to run specifically on this router. If you have over $100,000.00 invested in the router & vac pumps $500,000.00 in a building to house it & $ 200,000.00 in support equipment edge banders, forklifts, finishing, employees, etc. why would you want to hold the whole process up by saving a few bucks on the Main interface? If it is a money problem say so. It is one thing to pursue a new market for your machines I mean Thermwood is a business & would be foolish not to pursue this. The problem is they have pulled the programers off of eCabinets with no indication of what the future holds for the users. It is not knowing what the future is going to be that is unacceptable. We are not being responsible for our businesses if we are not concerned about the new direction Thermwood is taking with no communication to the people & companies that have bought into the eCabinets system.

Spending time evaluating other software to design & interface with the router is not something I want to do but if Thermwood is not going to commit the resources necessary to keep improving eCabinets it won't take long before that will become a necessity.

Let's hope this is the year the Chinese workers start demanding better wages & benefits & the Yen rises to the point where it is not economical to send cabinets & furniture to North America.

Gerry

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Re: Is youbuild.com going to be like production sharing???

Postby Nat Wheatley » Mon, Dec 26 2011, 3:15PM

I too am at a crossroads with the software. While it's good in many ways, it has some serious shortfalls, and I'm finding I'm putting money elsewhere to compensate for these.

While Thermwood owes me nothing, I do have a quite a bit of time invested in the software, and would surely benefit from knowing the long term plans for the program.
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Re: Is youbuild.com going to be like production sharing???

Postby Michael Kowalczyk » Mon, Dec 26 2011, 4:09PM

OOOUUUCH!!!! Boy did I open a Pandora's Box :roll: with this question.
Personally I think there should be more constructive communication here on both parts, CNC users/owners and Thermwood. Negative words and uninformed attacks do not help. Jason gave a brief explanation but I think that Ken should also chime in and state the purpose(s) of youbuild.com and ask us for our constructive input.

There may be several opportunities here and there can be a temporary game changer. If we are able to participate in youbuild.com it may open doors for some of us who do not make cabinets as our core business or others that would like to keep there CNC running. If the purpose is to have HD market & CFP supply and manufacture the DIY products then it will indeed cut into some markets but there is no way that CFP can produce them as economical as we can here in Houston or someone else with a CNC on the West coast can. CFP will only be cost effective within a certain radius. Not sure but I doubt it would make sense for HD to set up a full shop. They could not afford, IMHO, to pay someone will the proper skills full time to produce the throughput, at each location, needed to be profitable and what about all the lines of cheap cabinets they are already selling.

As far the temporary game changer goes yes it would changes some things short term but DIY cabinets and furniture have been around a while. Can anybody say "IKEA". I think this can work if the Network idea that Ken had in one of his books is used.

One of the biggest costs that add no value to the product is shipping and packaging. If you Buy local and Build/manufacture local this can reduce and/or almost eliminate much of that added expense but there would need to be continuity of material choices by region. I am sure that that can be easily resolved.

Ken I do ask that you post something here as to the direction of where Thermwood/Ecabinets is headed with Youbuild.com. Will it be a way to complement our business or will it be a direct competitor? You know how it is when there is little to no communication from those at the helm... the natives get restless and emotions get in their way because the prospect of even more food being taken off their table is hard to deal with.

Jason has tried to explain the concept , which I partially understand and time will give some clarity, but it obviously has only stirred up a hornets nest and will probably continue to unless there is a clearer explanation of where Thermwood is going with this. I hope that Thermwood will be transparent in explaining this further.

Thank you,
Michael Kowalczyk, GM

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Gerry A Brown
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Re: Is youbuild.com going to be like production sharing???

Postby Gerry A Brown » Thu, Dec 29 2011, 12:40PM

Michael,

"Negative words and uninformed attacks" I didn't see any of that! I just see a bunch of concerned machine owners voicing their concerns about where eCabinets is heading.

I think Thermwood is a great company but they need to pay attention to their bottom line & it is not beyond imagining that one day maintaining the eCabinets program will not be in their best interest. This would be a business decision they have every right to make. I would just hope that if it gets to that point we are given enough notice of this decision so we can make other arrangements. At this point in time I believe that eCabinets is our best option but if it left unmaintained for any length of time other options may need to be looked at.

I see in the software forum Kerry has asked about eCabinets & the answer seems very positive.
Fantastic!!!

Gerry

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Re: Is youbuild.com going to be like production sharing???

Postby Michael Kowalczyk » Thu, Dec 29 2011, 1:23PM

Hey Gerry,
If you reread some earlier posts you will see the overtone starting but my intention is to have Ken/Thermwood step in and clarify it before speculation gets the best of someone.

I saw Scott's post about an Ecabinet's update coming out soon and that's great news but that still does not answer this post.

I hope that our concerns have made it to the Monday (or whatever day) morning meetings at Thermwood and they are working on a post to answer our questions. :wink:
Thanks,
Michael Kowalczyk, GM

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Re: Is youbuild.com going to be like production sharing???

Postby Steve Unruh » Thu, Dec 29 2011, 8:48PM

This is not the first time that CFP has attempted to go direct. Several years ago they tried selling direct to the user; ie. cabinet shops and other production facilities. They sold to the cabinet shops direct, at less price than those who were their distributors could buy it for. Needless to say this didn't sit well - and they soon found out they couldn't compete with the infrastructure that the distributors had in place. After about a year, suddenly you could no longer buy direct, and had to go back to the distributor - I would have though their feet were still hurting.............
Their management should be required to attend ethics classes.

steve
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Re: Is youbuild.com going to be like production sharing???

Postby Michael S Murray » Sat, Dec 31 2011, 10:22AM

I have been saying it for years, thm should stop e-cabs in its tracks, and then start improving it or start over, and charge for it.Even write posts for other machines.
I for one do not want to loose the one phone number for machine and software, but there are things in e-cabs that need brought up to speed and there costing me time.
E-cabs in not effective for commercial work, not for working with contractors,installers,architects,etc.
One of my new years promises is to streamline my business and make at least a few hours of the day for myself, this leaves me looking at other software in the 20 to 30k range.
I would sure love to give that to THM and not some one else. But it just does not look like its going to happen.(if thats a possibility thm, some one please contact me in the next few weeks,seriously)

I beleive the e-cabs idea was great, but things have changed, it has probably been a serious drain on thm and its time to back up and punt.
I am not sure the HD thing bothers me, its not much different than ikea, and I doubt any one can touch them at that game.
I sure dont try to..
Mike Murray
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