October 23, 2008

Photo of the day, Thursday, 10/23/08

Greetings and Salutations! I have had an awesome day today with getting some tools ordered, driving to the lake shore to visit with a potential business partner and then the icing on the cake. I get a call from a customer asking for a quote on one of the parts that we make. The annual volume was predicted to be 6000 parts a year over the next 4 years. Awesome volume for this kind of part. The reason that this is icing on the cake is a bit of a story, do you have time? If so read on, if not, make sure to leave a comment for my Sister and Brother-In-Law, Maureen and Tom who just celebrated their 25th anniversary. That is so awesome! I have a shot of each that I really do like. If you look, you can see that my sister has the killer good looks, just like all of us Youngs, and that brother-in-law of mine, well, I have always enjoyed that man's sense of humor. You two rock, Happy Anniversary!

Now, back to the story...
3 years ago we were working on a new product for our open line. That means that anyone can buy the product, so we control the design and only gently listen to the customer. At one point I was too forceful and informed the customer that we were going to go with our design and would be happy to modify a bit to meet their needs, but we really felt that we had a winner.

Right after I put my foot down to stop them from trying to change our design I was informed that they were no longer interested in working with us and they would be working with our competitor. Boy, oh boy, was the boss mad at me. I lost the new business. RATS!

We both launched our products at the same time and since ours was an open line product it took off slowly at first but was soon picked up by a few big players and ta da! We had a hit. Theirs had only one channel for sales and wasn't so well received and had a harder time getting any traction.

Fast forward one year. At our big show in Chicago we could display ours in many showrooms, not so much for the original customer.

Fast forward another year. Our product is a hit, not so much for the original customer.

Fast forward yet another year. (This is the icing part) The original customer came back and wanted pricing for the product that my company developed. Now they have a customer that wants to standardize on our product, to the tune of 6000 a year for the next 4 years.

The guy that called me admitted that they may have missed the boat and asked for the best pricing that I could offer. I just laughed, I give every customer our best price and our best engineering power right behind it.

Here's our part.

Theirs is so ugly that it's not even on the web. Hah!

Have a great day,


Reen said...

To all - I have to give Pat credit. We were the first POTD honorees he offered a chance to choose the photo. Unfortunately, we do not own a scanner and could not send a wedding photo, but these were taken last Thanksgiving so at least are relatively recent. Thanks, Pat!! Love, Reen

JohnFS said...

To Tom and Moreen, Congrats on your 25th! My wife, Becky, and I wish you many more growing closer years to come.

John S

JohnFS said...

To Maureen and Tom . . .

My apologies for the original misspelling.