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Antiquated machine tooling distribution! Dear Tooling mfgs get with the time!

helocat

Aluminum
Joined
May 13, 2010
Location
Newberg, Oregon
I am sure you have a great local tooling supplier - so may not apply to you.

Tooling distribution rant:

What is with tooling companies sticking with the "regional vendors", sheesh its 2022. Trying to get a indexable radius end mill. Find one by Ingersoll Cutting Tools, but no online vendors offering it. Must contact "local rep". That was over the weekend so of course they are not open. Send email asking for pricing and availability. Almost the end of the 1st business day and still no responce. Yes I am being impatient as it has not been a full 24 business hours, but I have to get this part cutting. I am just going with a non-indexable EM that I can order from MSC and know I will have it first thing Wednesday. But if they allowed on-line sales of it, they would have my $$ two days ago.

But yikes it's crazy out there. Bought some tools from good'ol KBC tools online, but my order was held due to them wanting me to call them back and set up "an account" vrs. just ship the order. Talked to them on the phone, "due to the $$ amount we want you to set up an account". My responce was cancel the order if needed, I dont wish to set up an account. They ran my card and shipped the order but it was crazy days late. Did a basic machine tool order again with them but it sat for 8 days. I emailed to cancel the order and they said it was shipping today. That probably is my last order attempt with them.

My company sells B2C everyday via a website. If we dont process an order and ship ASAP, we will lose that order. If we only took orders via the phone, we would lose a ton of orders. Modern customer has been trained by Amazon - hate Amazon or love it does not matter, the customer out there has evolved.

Again I know I am being impatient, but if I go "meh it will get here when it gets here", my competitor will have my customers. So ya I am impatient.

/end rant.
 

Ries

Diamond
Joined
Mar 15, 2004
Location
Edison Washington USA
This is the way the whole world used to be before the internet.
I bought a lot of weirdo stuff since the late 70s, and learned to jump thru these exact hoops.
Call, (they never answer emails) the sales rep or outside salesman.
Open an account- big deal- I had a one page sheet that had all the info they wanted on it, just print em off and hand em to em.
Back in the day, there were tons of things that you simply could not buy any other way.
And, usually with an account, you get better pricing anyway.

I use mostly Klingspor abrasives, for example, in the shop for almost 40 years.
Got an account in maybe 1985. Ever since, I get wholesale pricing, just call up and order, and they bill monthly.
Much easier and cheaper than MSC, in my book.
 

DDoug

Diamond
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Location
NW Pa
Ran into this a few times, I call it "Pushing it in one end, to pull it out the other."
Very aggravating for Shure.
 

Garwood

Diamond
Joined
Oct 10, 2009
Location
Oregon
I am sure you have a great local tooling supplier - so may not apply to you.

Tooling distribution rant:

What is with tooling companies sticking with the "regional vendors", sheesh its 2022. Trying to get a indexable radius end mill. Find one by Ingersoll Cutting Tools, but no online vendors offering it. Must contact "local rep". That was over the weekend so of course they are not open. Send email asking for pricing and availability. Almost the end of the 1st business day and still no responce. Yes I am being impatient as it has not been a full 24 business hours, but I have to get this part cutting. I am just going with a non-indexable EM that I can order from MSC and know I will have it first thing Wednesday. But if they allowed on-line sales of it, they would have my $$ two days ago.

But yikes it's crazy out there. Bought some tools from good'ol KBC tools online, but my order was held due to them wanting me to call them back and set up "an account" vrs. just ship the order. Talked to them on the phone, "due to the $$ amount we want you to set up an account". My responce was cancel the order if needed, I dont wish to set up an account. They ran my card and shipped the order but it was crazy days late. Did a basic machine tool order again with them but it sat for 8 days. I emailed to cancel the order and they said it was shipping today. That probably is my last order attempt with them.

My company sells B2C everyday via a website. If we dont process an order and ship ASAP, we will lose that order. If we only took orders via the phone, we would lose a ton of orders. Modern customer has been trained by Amazon - hate Amazon or love it does not matter, the customer out there has evolved.

Again I know I am being impatient, but if I go "meh it will get here when it gets here", my competitor will have my customers. So ya I am impatient.

/end rant.

A customer of mine recently wanted to buy one of your products, but you refused to adequately answer any of his questions or allow him to look at the parts in person. You said his only option was to buy the parts over the phone and you would set them outside your shop door for him to pick up.

That wasn't quite the customer service he was looking for so he went to ironman4x4 instead of buying from you where they took great care of him.

For tooling, setup an account and develop a working relationship with one of the great Portland area tooling vendors. They will beat all the internet prices and they know what is the right fit for what you're doing, they know lead times and the current state of supply issues with different manufacturers. They deliver same day or you'll have it the following day UPS.
 
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helocat

Aluminum
Joined
May 13, 2010
Location
Newberg, Oregon
A customer of mine recently wanted to buy one of your products, but you refused to adequately answer any of his questions or allow him to look at the parts in person. You said his only option was to buy the parts over the phone and you would set them outside your shop door for him to pick up.

That wasn't quite the customer service he was looking for so he went to ironman4x4 instead of buying from you where they took great care of him.

Wow we "Refused to adequately answer any of his questions or allow him to look at the parts in person" That sounds horrific! Sounds you have quite the detailed knowledge of this experience, much appreciated to hear this. Thank you.

I can not immagine anytime where we would not invite someone to come see a product in person? Maybe a yr ago at the peak of COVID? No idea. "Refusing to answer questions", wow that is just brutal to hear and sure reads like we must be a bunch of a$$hols, YIKES that someone feels that way regarding our 22yr small business that actually supports local manufacturing! Heck 97 cents of every dollar we spend in manufacturing stays in the US.

I will hit you with a PM, lets jump on a quick call and see what my company can do for this person. Again appreciate it!
 

Garwood

Diamond
Joined
Oct 10, 2009
Location
Oregon
Wow we "Refused to adequately answer any of his questions or allow him to look at the parts in person" That sounds horrific! Sounds you have quite the detailed knowledge of this experience, much appreciated to hear this. Thank you.

I can not immagine anytime where we would not invite someone to come see a product in person? Maybe a yr ago at the peak of COVID? No idea. "Refusing to answer questions", wow that is just brutal to hear and sure reads like we must be a bunch of a$$hols, YIKES that someone feels that way regarding our 22yr small business that actually supports local manufacturing! Heck 97 cents of every dollar we spend in manufacturing stays in the US.

I will hit you with a PM, lets jump on a quick call and see what my company can do for this person. Again appreciate it!

Thanks for the PM. My customer told me he called you to ask some basic questions and you were real short with him and gave him the response that if he wanted to know more he'd have to buy it. I know it was after the heavy covid restrictions were lifted because he walked into the other 4x4 parts place and got helped in person.
 

helocat

Aluminum
Joined
May 13, 2010
Location
Newberg, Oregon
For tooling, setup an account and develop a working relationship with one of the great Portland area tooling vendors. They will beat all the internet prices and they know what is the right fit for what you're doing, they know lead times and the current state of supply issues with different manufacturers. They deliver same day or you'll have it the following day UPS.

Now back to the Original thread:

No doubt local reps can be great. The reality is web based sales will coming around. I definitely see the local distributors can offer prices lower than the MAP pricing imposed by the big names. But when the consumer using access to information, can find the tooling on their own, then have to go back to 1950's business practice of "contacting the distributor to get price and availability information" something is not efficient.

But slowly as as tooling companies figure out the direct to consumer market, like Haas Tooling website, (their website is glitchy and meh overall for now). Haas cut out the middleman, brand and sell their own products directed to the end user at a somewhat lower price, and ship same day for free. They get my business.

Our local tooling guys still get my business too, but modernisation of tooling business is also getting my business.
 

partsproduction

Titanium
Joined
Aug 22, 2011
Location
Oregon coast
One thing about buying tools from any source is the cost of shipping, the local source I use in Portland sends all packages by UPS, it is becoming far too common for the cost of shipping by UPS to exceed the cost of the items, and sometimes far exceeding it.
When all else is the same a tool bought from ebay will be shipped by mail, at cost's that are typically a third as high.
I had to order a small tool from California a couple weeks ago and when I asked about what shipper they use they said "UPS", I asked if they would ship via USPS and the guy said "That's too much trouble".
My thought after that call was obvious, "Too bad HE didn't have to pay the outrageous costs of UPS!"
We have resorted to driving to Portland to pick up tools because of this, and that's 75 miles of which 45 miles are winding roads.
So yeah, even if Portland tool houses can sell some tools for less it's wasted by paying sky high costs for UPS, the ebay tools end up costing less.
 

edwin dirnbeck

Hot Rolled
Joined
Oct 24, 2013
Location
st,louis mo
There are a lot of people that want to be "IN" business,rather than"DO" business. Years ago you had to be "in the the trade" or know someone to buy anything.If you have an item that I want to buy, PLEASE SELL IT TO ME,END OF STORY.I dont want to join your family or receive your newsletter or be on your mailing list or SET UP AN ACCOUNT.Edwin Dirnbeck
 

edwin dirnbeck

Hot Rolled
Joined
Oct 24, 2013
Location
st,louis mo
One thing about buying tools from any source is the cost of shipping, the local source I use in Portland sends all packages by UPS, it is becoming far too common for the cost of shipping by UPS to exceed the cost of the items, and sometimes far exceeding it.
When all else is the same a tool bought from ebay will be shipped by mail, at cost's that are typically a third as high.
I had to order a small tool from California a couple weeks ago and when I asked about what shipper they use they said "UPS", I asked if they would ship via USPS and the guy said "That's too much trouble".
My thought after that call was obvious, "Too bad HE didn't have to pay the outrageous costs of UPS!"
We have resorted to driving to Portland to pick up tools because of this, and that's 75 miles of which 45 miles are winding roads.
So yeah, even if Portland tool houses can sell some tools for less it's wasted by paying sky high costs for UPS, the ebay tools end up costing less.

Ups and fedex are still doing things the old way. What they charge depends on who you are.Edwin Dirnbeck
 

fciron

Stainless
Joined
Oct 14, 2009
Location
Louisville, KY, USA
Large manufacturers are not going to go around their existing dealer networks when those dealer networks control their largest accounts. It makes no sense for them to piss off their dealers who sell thousands of tools to sell you one tool online.

Especially if they know you’ll just take your next single tool purchase to whoever is charging $2 less.
 

jaguar36

Cast Iron
Joined
May 13, 2015
Location
SE, PA
Especially if they know you’ll just take your next single tool purchase to whoever is charging $2 less.
For me its not about cost, its about convenience and efficiency. I don't use McMaster because its cheap, I use it because I can spend 30 seconds on their website and get something delivered in less than 24 hours. I don't want to waste time calling a rep, waiting for him to call me back, setting up accounts and having to listen to him try and sell me something else.

Which isn't to say that sometimes I don't want that. Sometimes I don't know exactly what I need and want to talk to someone and get some advice. Suppliers need to learn to be able to support both. A good website and fast shipping doesn't have to be mutually exclusive with good support.
 

Bill D

Diamond
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Location
Modesto, CA USA
I dont want to join your family or receive your newsletter or be on your mailing list or SET UP AN ACCOUNT.Edwin Dirnbeck[/QUOTE]
My gas company wanted to set me up with electronic billing since I pay online. I was fine with that until it turns out they will not send me a bill. I would have to join the club, get another password to remember, log into the clubhouse, find my bill then figure out if I can pay it from their site or write down the amount and log into my bank to pay it. I do not let anyone automatically take money from my account. I had a couple of bad experiences with that.
Bill D
 

TeachMePlease

Diamond
Joined
Feb 11, 2014
Location
FL
Man... I wish I could give you guys access to my vendors... Quotes back in an hour, same day shipping, tech support...

Sadly, since everyone is regional, even if I could give you phone numbers, it wouldn't help any...
 

Servicar rider

Cast Iron
Joined
Sep 6, 2008
Location
Coggon Iowa usa
One thing about buying tools from any source is the cost of shipping, the local source I use in Portland sends all packages by UPS, it is becoming far too common for the cost of shipping by UPS to exceed the cost of the items, and sometimes far exceeding it.
When all else is the same a tool bought from ebay will be shipped by mail, at cost's that are typically a third as high.
I had to order a small tool from California a couple weeks ago and when I asked about what shipper they use they said "UPS", I asked if they would ship via USPS and the guy said "That's too much trouble".
My thought after that call was obvious, "Too bad HE didn't have to pay the outrageous costs of UPS!"
We have resorted to driving to Portland to pick up tools because of this, and that's 75 miles of which 45 miles are winding roads.
So yeah, even if Portland tool houses can sell some tools for less it's wasted by paying sky high costs for UPS, the ebay tools end up costing less.

I buy parts from a company in California and with UPS the rates got crazy and the service was poor. I suggested to the vendor to use USPS and the price was half and the parts arrived three days sooner than with UPS! Although lately even USPS prices are creeping up. The last few times I bought stuff on Ebay I noticed more and more that Fedex is taking some of that business from UPS? My regular UPS driver retired and they split his route up so now I never know what time they will show up and they just throw the box in the door and run!
 

helocat

Aluminum
Joined
May 13, 2010
Location
Newberg, Oregon
Large manufacturers are not going to go around their existing dealer networks when those dealer networks control their largest accounts. It makes no sense for them to piss off their dealers who sell thousands of tools to sell you one tool online.

Especially if they know you’ll just take your next single tool purchase to whoever is charging $2 less.

One thing about buying tools from any source is the cost of shipping, the local source I use in Portland sends all packages by UPS, it is becoming far too common for the cost of shipping by UPS to exceed the cost of the items, and sometimes far exceeding it.
When all else is the same a tool bought from ebay will be shipped by mail, at cost's that are typically a third as high.
I had to order a small tool from California a couple weeks ago and when I asked about what shipper they use they said "UPS", I asked if they would ship via USPS and the guy said "That's too much trouble".
My thought after that call was obvious, "Too bad HE didn't have to pay the outrageous costs of UPS!"
We have resorted to driving to Portland to pick up tools because of this, and that's 75 miles of which 45 miles are winding roads.
So yeah, even if Portland tool houses can sell some tools for less it's wasted by paying sky high costs for UPS, the ebay tools end up costing less.

Man... I wish I could give you guys access to my vendors... Quotes back in an hour, same day shipping, tech support...

Sadly, since everyone is regional, even if I could give you phone numbers, it wouldn't help any...

I buy parts from a company in California and with UPS the rates got crazy and the service was poor. I suggested to the vendor to use USPS and the price was half and the parts arrived three days sooner than with UPS! Although lately even USPS prices are creeping up. The last few times I bought stuff on Ebay I noticed more and more that Fedex is taking some of that business from UPS? My regular UPS driver retired and they split his route up so now I never know what time they will show up and they just throw the box in the door and run!

Thanks for the PM. My customer told me he called you to ask some basic questions and you were real short with him and gave him the response that if he wanted to know more he'd have to buy it. I know it was after the heavy covid restrictions were lifted because he walked into the other 4x4 parts place and got helped in person.


My PM was asking to speak with you directly. As a fellow PNW manufacturer I look forward to talking with you. I will shoot over another PM with my direct number. Again appreciate your feedback!
 

helocat

Aluminum
Joined
May 13, 2010
Location
Newberg, Oregon
One thing about buying tools from any source is the cost of shipping, the local source I use in Portland sends all packages by UPS, it is becoming far too common for the cost of shipping by UPS to exceed the cost of the items, and sometimes far exceeding it.
When all else is the same a tool bought from ebay will be shipped by mail, at cost's that are typically a third as high.
I had to order a small tool from California a couple weeks ago and when I asked about what shipper they use they said "UPS", I asked if they would ship via USPS and the guy said "That's too much trouble".
My thought after that call was obvious, "Too bad HE didn't have to pay the outrageous costs of UPS!"
We have resorted to driving to Portland to pick up tools because of this, and that's 75 miles of which 45 miles are winding roads.
So yeah, even if Portland tool houses can sell some tools for less it's wasted by paying sky high costs for UPS, the ebay tools end up costing less.

Ouch sorry to hear its a 2hr + round trip to get tooling. That cuts into your profits for sure eating up time.


Large manufacturers are not going to go around their existing dealer networks when those dealer networks control their largest accounts. It makes no sense for them to piss off their dealers who sell thousands of tools to sell you one tool online.

Especially if they know you’ll just take your next single tool purchase to whoever is charging $2 less.

Oh for sure. It will take the modernization of tool distribution embraced by their competitors, that start eating their lunch by providing their products to those large accounts at lower cost but mainly faster turnarounds.

For me its not about cost, its about convenience and efficiency. I don't use McMaster because its cheap, I use it because I can spend 30 seconds on their website and get something delivered in less than 24 hours. I don't want to waste time calling a rep, waiting for him to call me back, setting up accounts and having to listen to him try and sell me something else.

Which isn't to say that sometimes I don't want that. Sometimes I don't know exactly what I need and want to talk to someone and get some advice. Suppliers need to learn to be able to support both. A good website and fast shipping doesn't have to be mutually exclusive with good support.

I am with you 100% on speed/convenience vrs. slow slog to get what you need even if it costs a little more.

Tooling brands can support their own tools for tech support. Then sell direct to the end user via a 24/7 clean website.

Man... I wish I could give you guys access to my vendors... Quotes back in an hour, same day shipping, tech support...

Sadly, since everyone is regional, even if I could give you phone numbers, it wouldn't help any...

Exactly this!! I know the rockstar vendors are out there. Just not something consistent.
 

triumph406

Titanium
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Location
ca
I am sure you have a great local tooling supplier - so may not apply to you.

Tooling distribution rant:

What is with tooling companies sticking with the "regional vendors", sheesh its 2022. Trying to get a indexable radius end mill. Find one by Ingersoll Cutting Tools, but no online vendors offering it. Must contact "local rep". That was over the weekend so of course they are not open.
Send email asking for pricing and availability. Almost the end of the 1st business day and still no responce. Yes I am being impatient as it has not been a full 24 business hours, but I have to get this part cutting. I am just going with a non-indexable EM that I can order from MSC and know I will have it first thing Wednesday. But if they allowed on-line sales of it, they would have my $$ two days ago.

But yikes it's crazy out there. Bought some tools from good'ol KBC tools online, but my order was held due to them wanting me to call them back and set up "an account" vrs. just ship the order. Talked to them on the phone, "due to the $$ amount we want you to set up an account". My responce was cancel the order if needed, I dont wish to set up an account. They ran my card and shipped the order but it was crazy days late. Did a basic machine tool order again with them but it sat for 8 days. I emailed to cancel the order and they said it was shipping today. That probably is my last order attempt with them.

My company sells B2C everyday via a website. If we dont process an order and ship ASAP, we will lose that order. If we only took orders via the phone, we would lose a ton of orders. Modern customer has been trained by Amazon - hate Amazon or love it does not matter, the customer out there has evolved.

Again I know I am being impatient, but if I go "meh it will get here when it gets here", my competitor will have my customers. So ya I am impatient.

/end rant.




At some point you've got to realise your not special, I'm not special, none of us are.

If you expect a quick response to an e-mail that you send to a tool vendor your expecting maybe too much. Some vendors maybe different but I don't expect miracles. When i'm in my local tool vendoer the guys behind the counter are run off their feet, serving customers, answering phone cal;ls etc etc. I'd be surprised if the local tool vendor guys behind the counter have time to take a piss, let alone answer an e-mail.

If I need something I call them or go in. Much quicker and less frustrating hovering over the computer wondering why their ignoring me and not e-mailing me back.

Pick up the phone, talk to a human, get some human contact. you need some (as we all do)

-----------------------------------------------------------------

I did e-mail and inquiry into a USA located company looking for pricing on glass crushers/grinders. I e-mailed because they didn't answer the phone, and didn't respond to voicemails. Took them about a week or two to get back to me.

went onto Alibaba to look at glass crushers/grinders. Sunday night filled out the inquiry form, cut and pasted into the contact section of maybe 20 Chinese vendors. I think I had maybe 18-19 responses in my inbox the next morning. You would never get that from US based companies.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2005
Location
Illinois
Yes it is very antiquated. I still shake my head at the stuff I see. Selling my own product line on my own website has earned me many headaches and perks. It still baffles me when some companies " want to add me in their system" and have a 5 page application for me to fill out. Of coarse I am all too excited to tell them what to do with that form. I have over 60,000 individual customers, I would need at least 2 full time people filling out these crap forms for no reason whatsoever. I swear I think office managers make up these form just to justify their jobs.

Recently I am getting flooded with tech calls concerning products that aren't even mine. Sorry but I don't know what these people are thinking!!! Emails with engineering prints on automating a manufacturing line and my thoughts on it. People get paid to look at this stuff and offer help. why on earth do you think I would look at it for free.

Recently I have even started creating temporary items for custom items and "one off" items for purchase on my website. Makes it really easy for the customer to review the quote, look at the specifics of the tool in the details page, add it to their shopping cart, add other items if needed, and go thru checkout. Makes it much easier for the customer.
 

rklopp

Diamond
Joined
Feb 27, 2001
Location
Redwood City, CA USA
Recently I have even started creating temporary items for custom items and "one off" items for purchase on my website. Makes it really easy for the customer to review the quote, look at the specifics of the tool in the details page, add it to their shopping cart, add other items if needed, and go thru checkout. Makes it much easier for the customer.

That is a fantastic idea! I don't recall ever seeing that before. (I was waiting for Frank to chime in as soon as this thread started.)
 








 
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