Author Topic: MANUFACTURES PLIGHT  (Read 1885 times)

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TLOC

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MANUFACTURES PLIGHT
« on: March 29, 2016, 10:13:42 PM »
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Just received this email from Scaletrains.com--not always the Mfg's fault. I also think its a great indication of them trying do do what's best

Can't see this email? View online.
ScaleTrains.com Homepage

Dear thomas,

From the first draft of our business plan, we made a commitment to be open and honest about the inner workings of our company.  This is why we created the behind-the-scenes documentary with TrainMasterTV and regularly post updates on our Facebook page.

Sometimes the information is difficult to share.  We were excited to receive our first six pallets of Operator™ and Rivet Counter™ Trinity Modern Crude Oil Tank Cars.  When we opened the trailer doors, our enthusiasm quickly turned to dismay.  Three pallets were pierced by fork lift forks and the remnants of a fourth skid was scattered on the floor.

After unloading the truck, we spent the next several days inspecting every damaged carton and opening dozens more.  In total, we opened 428 cases and more than 300 models.  To date, more than 50 tank cars are beyond repair and over 200 more have damaged packaging.

While we awaited new packaging, we sent 50 cars to a good friend for further evaluation.  During his testing, we learned about 20% of the cars were experiencing issues even though the shipping carton and packaging were not blemished.  Today, we verified his results by further testing several dozen more tank cars

At this point, we are not comfortable shipping tank cars to customers until every car is visually inspected and tested.  We have over 7000 tank cars in our warehouse so this will require several long days and nights by our small team in Tennessee – (thanks to my wife and two children as well as Mike who is flying-in tomorrow).

We’re as disappointed as you are. We hope you can appreciate our decision to make sure our products meet the high standards you’re expecting from us.  We apologize for the delay and are grateful for your patience.

Sincerely,

Shane

 
Shane Wilson
President
ScaleTrains.com™, Inc.

jmarley76

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Re: MANUFACTURES PLIGHT
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2016, 11:30:12 PM »
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As I read that email earlier, I kept thinking how messed up and disappointing the situation is. I hope that they have some type of insurance or can get compensation from the shipper.

eja

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Re: MANUFACTURES PLIGHT
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2016, 12:34:52 AM »
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If they don't have insurance, they should not be in business. 

Sorry if that sound unsympathetic, but being in business involves risk. Insurance is designed to mitigate that risk. I have no idea if they are insured or not. I hope they are and if not, I hope they take appropriate action to operate in the future as a business rather than a hobby.


Best wishes and good luck...

 

towl1996

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Re: MANUFACTURES PLIGHT
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2016, 10:03:06 AM »
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I think I'd send the whole mess back. If they are having a 20% failure on 50 cars... I wouldn't waste the time going through 7000 cars. Best of luck.
Never argue with idiots; they'll drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.

djconway

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Re: MANUFACTURES PLIGHT
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2016, 10:30:46 AM »
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aside from the damaged units, is the 20% failure rate an assembly process problem or a design problem?

Puddington

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Re: MANUFACTURES PLIGHT
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2016, 10:36:40 AM »
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Let me tell ya folks, such is the life of a model train company. Between Chinese handling, dockside loading, ocean voyages, dockside unloading, intermodal travel, local freight handling, poor pallet condition, shipping instruction miscommunication and the particular phase of the moon its a wonder anything arrives undamaged.... We test our packaging by doing things like throwing a unit down two flights of stairs(and filming it) or off a balcony... We gave employees cartons of locomotives to play football with cases to test them and are thrilled wen they pass yet we hold our breath every time we open the back door....

Insurance.... if, and its a big if, you can identify the source of the damage you can go after that part of the shipping chain... but unless the entire shipment is a write off insurance isn't going to help..... and then try and insure the next shipment...

Sorry Shane.....you've seen this before. :facepalm:
« Last Edit: March 30, 2016, 10:38:18 AM by Puddington »
Model railroading isn't saving my life, but it's providing me moments of joy not normally associated with my current situation..... Train are good!

davefoxx

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Re: MANUFACTURES PLIGHT
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2016, 10:38:15 AM »
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aside from the damaged units, is the 20% failure rate an assembly process problem or a design problem?

From the wording in the announcement, I assumed that the 20% failure was attributed to the mishandling during shipment.

DFF

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Member: ACL/SAL Historical Society
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Philip H

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Re: MANUFACTURES PLIGHT
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2016, 10:50:57 AM »
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not to be crass (!) but if we were all a little less cheap (!!  :trollface: !!) and manufacturing moved back to the CONUS, SOME of these handling problems would be mitigated sinc ethe supply chain would be shorter . . . But thats a political discussion, sure to be quashed by the mods . . .  :facepalm:
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towl1996

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Re: MANUFACTURES PLIGHT
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2016, 11:02:39 AM »
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From the wording in the announcement, I assumed that the 20% failure was attributed to the mishandling during shipment.

DFF

He said the 20% was from undamaged crates.
Never argue with idiots; they'll drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.

davefoxx

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Re: MANUFACTURES PLIGHT
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2016, 12:31:39 PM »
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He said the 20% was from undamaged crates.

Just because a crate doesn't show damage on the outside doesn't mean there's not damage on the inside from mishandling.

DFF

General Counsel to the Laurel Valley Ry.
Member: ACL/SAL Historical Society
A Proud HOer

Puddington

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Re: MANUFACTURES PLIGHT
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2016, 01:17:08 PM »
+1
Just because a crate doesn't show damage on the outside doesn't mean there's not damage on the inside from mishandling.

DFF

Truer words have never been spoken....... we've started opening every master case of locomotives and pulling each single box out and looking for any signs of impact damage - we can also take a peek at random units this way. Takes longer, costs more, catches a lot of the "impact" damage we get.
Model railroading isn't saving my life, but it's providing me moments of joy not normally associated with my current situation..... Train are good!

towl1996

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Re: MANUFACTURES PLIGHT
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2016, 01:35:12 PM »
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Just because a crate doesn't show damage on the outside doesn't mean there's not damage on the inside from mishandling.

DFF

which is probably true, but

Quote
 
  During his testing, we learned about 20% of the cars were experiencing issues even though the shipping carton and packaging were not blemished. 

which suggests production or assembly issues and not solely ham fisted shipping. And why the whole thing should be sent back.
Never argue with idiots; they'll drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.

asarge

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Re: MANUFACTURES PLIGHT
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2016, 01:50:34 PM »
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Shane and the gang are not amateurs. they have a lot of experience in the manufacturing side of the hobby. i'm sure there is insurance involved but they were counting on that release to bring money in and now not only can they not ship the product which would bring in additional revenue but it also may delay other projects from getting done or announced while they try and get more cars done. I wonder if the quote from the factory will be the same price because if it's not, the pricing to the modeller will be different too.

Most unfortunate incident.

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: MANUFACTURES PLIGHT
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2016, 01:51:53 PM »
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Truer words have never been spoken....... we've started opening every master case of locomotives and pulling each single box out and looking for any signs of impact damage - we can also take a peek at random units this way. Takes longer, costs more, catches a lot of the "impact" damage we get.

Have you guys ever thought of using those shock sensor things?
http://www.uline.com/BL_1053/Shockwatch

Anyway, this definitely sucks, I feel bad for everyone involved.

drgw0579

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Re: MANUFACTURES PLIGHT
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2016, 02:00:16 PM »
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Anyone with an interest or opinion on what a model railroad manufacturer should do when something unexpected happens should spend the time to watch the Scale Trains videos referred to in Shane's original message.  http://trainmasters.tv/video  They are suppose to be free til the end of this month, so hurry!

My takeaway  from the videos is they really took a step back and looked their collective experiences and built a business that will be successful by fixing the problems they had seen before.  Like he says "its not my first rodeo".  Unfortunately they are still subject to bad luck.  If any of us would have tried to do the same, we would probably be counting on the revenue from these products the minute the container arrives at our dock.  A set back like this could mean somebody doesn't get  a paycheck this month.  Or worse.  So that's why you sort through what you got, and rework the stuff you can.  They're not the first to do this and certainly won't be the last.  How many times have you heard, "its in the container", only to go waiting for a couple more months.  You think they forgot about it?  More likely when they opened the door and took a look, they found some issues that needed to be fixed before they could ship the product to customers. 

Bill Kepner