Custom sent wrong drawing. Who should pay? - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidScott View Post
    This is why you make sure everything is documented, even verbal conversations, back them up with an email. Part and rev numbers on the prints and POs to cover your ass, and ONLY make parts to print. If the print needs changing to make good parts GET THE PRINT CHANGED! It sounds like this is an expensive, and dumb, way to learn this.
    Heck ya, Hell we have an entire engineering department just for this very thing. They check, double check, triple check sign off then QC gets to look it over and approve it before any material gets ordered or cut. Just too much can go wrong by having a single letter or digit out of place.

    I would make the customer eat it or work a deal that you can live with and make changes within the company so it doesnt happen again.

  2. #22
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    Multiple mistakes here which always leads to confusion and finger pointing.
    If the print is not right at the minimum mark it up and get the customer to initial and date it.
    This sounds like a double dimension problem, never assume anything when that happens.
    None of this "We can make it work", get a signature and date. With that alone you would have had solid ground to stand on.
    I used to do this all the time in the auto world, "Circle that, write the new number, initial and date". Faster than waiting for the documentation system and I have the proof and conformation. SOP.

    There should be a print revision and control system on all sides. Not having this also always leads to problems.

    Then it gets more interesting:
    "So as it turns out the end customer changed the drawing with an updated revision AFTER they sent the parts out to get made."
    One is that there is your customer and a end customer, Two is that they are not talking.
    I'd be standing my ground here. If a purchase order does not call out a rev number or letter the original print rules and you have done your job.

    Then there is the whole thing about how to make people happy.
    In such cases when you are going to eat all or part of it you make darn sure they know you are doing them a favor and that they owe you..
    I do not mind rescuing people or their careers and have eaten much shit not of my making. I do keep that coin in my pocket as I may also need help someday.
    One can make very good friends by eating a job or two or going out there. You also can get abused and not taken care of.
    Only you can decide who you are working with and do you want to be married to them.

    I know that these stories are never as simple as they look from the outside but it sounds like you did the best possible even if it did not work.
    People are human and make mistakes, they don't like when they get burned by such so you help where you can and bury these bodies never to be found.
    Sometimes you have to nail them to the wall when the costs become too large.
    In a perfect world it would all be black and white but it never is when these things pop up. Here you need to not think as a machinist or a shop owner, you just became a politician with all that comes with it.
    Bob

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  4. #23
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    The guy getting the rosy advice about a new shop needs to read this.....customer's drawings.....customer expects you to correct the drawings,and make the part work.....if it dont you wear it.....Funny thing is these guys are always in a hurry,no time for proper documents......they say....hey ,we re all gonna make lots money here,go with the flow........New customer,big company,maybe all the employees are stuff ups,looking for someone to blame.

  5. #24
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    Next time all changes, whether it be a dimension or a tolerance need to be documented with either a new print with a revision change or at least an e-mail documenting changes. It must be in writing, a handshake or phone call is no good when people are looking to pass blame on non conforming parts.

  6. #25
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    The reason machinists get treated like this is because so many allow it....I can't believe this is even in question as to who should "eat it".

    Assuming the OP has accurately described the story, I can't think of one reason why he should be held responsible.

    I would hold my ground....But with zero aggression, and nothing but smiles.

  7. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alloy Mcgraw View Post
    The reason machinists get treated like this is because so many allow it....
    When I worked for the man and was told to run something out of print, whether I was just the operator or the operator was under my supervision I told the engineer to sign the print while noting the changes. All the instances of this were back when I ran Swiss automatics or was in charge of people running them, high mileage or poorly cut cam sets were the issue. Usually the first time I made the request from someone new to me I got the deer in the headlights look.

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  9. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alloy Mcgraw View Post
    ....
    I would hold my ground....But with zero aggression, and nothing but smiles.
    I'm with you but at what point would you give up this ground?
    I stood this against GM once. The purchasing agent said "Well maybe we don't need you anymore if this is your position".
    Fairly obvious he was not in a good mood that day. Who knows why or what had him lit but it was time to give a bit.
    Giving a quarter at the right time would turn out well.

    When these puck ups occur you need to weigh all the options and outcomes not just the "I was right".
    The guy walks out into the street and gets hit by a car. "I had the right of way", yea and now you are dead right.
    You can't cut your own throat for sure but saving someone's ass can be helpful down the way.

    There should not be so much of your problem or my problem.
    Product does not work. Everybody in the chain should care and want to fix it. Otherwise we all have no customers. With no customers we have no income.
    Why, why, why and how does this oops not happen again. Help fix it and then we can argue about money spent.
    Smiles or lack of aggression will not help and in fact in my mind you need to get to the other side of this and let them know you are unhappy with the outcome.
    This is where you do not put on your smiley face as all is not good in any sense. You should be just as upset as the end customer is.

    A piece of advice I picked up was "The customer is often not right but his needs always are".
    The end product shipped to the consumer matters above all else. Without that there is no work. Your place in the chain is what it is.
    It is sad to see job shops who don't care about the end result or their making machine guide brackets or such to the actual end product and it's sales or use.

    Here, who knows. It seems it did not function. That is a lose-lose for all all no matter where the blame gets placed.
    From the info here by the OP I would not eat the money but I'd not feel proud.
    It's more like a sick feeling down inside when you cash the check. Certainly it seems you earned it but... just does not feel right.
    Therein lies that black hole. I did it right, it did not work. I succeeded and then it failed.
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    /snip The purchasing agent said "Well maybe we don't need you anymore if this is your position".snip/
    Eh that was last weeks problem. Another customer said they would go to China if we could not lower the price on a part that we have not increased the price of since 2006. The basic response to that email was if that's your choice we wish you the best and we are always available for repairs. PO came in later that day.

    Anyhow I have been thinking about it and since this run is typically a walk away job ie hit the go button and go work on another machine for half an hour. I don't mind eating the spindle time. The waterjet time and the material though I would like to get something for since that's the lions share of the cost. I'll talk to the plant super tomorrow and we will work something out. I will also politely let the customer know that were fixing his f up and we will no longer be dealing with hand shakes and good intentions.

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  12. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjd10684 View Post
    Eh that was last weeks problem. Another customer said they would go to China if we could not lower the price on a part that we have not increased the price of since 2006. The basic response to that email was if that's your choice we wish you the best and we are always available for repairs. PO came in later that day.

    Hopefully, you revisited the 2006 price to account for inflation....


    As to the problem at hand the middleman pays.

    Add a PITA charge for next PO....if there is one......

  13. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjd10684 View Post
    Were talking 1750 in material about 3 days of waterjet time and about a week of spindle time.
    You actually have to ask this question?

    THEY PAY

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    I have been on both sides of this issue. In my opinion, a customer, when presented with clear evidence that his documentation was not correct, who does not pay, or at least offer to settle, is not honorable and is not worth having. Be happy it's a few thousand instead of 10 or 100X more.

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    Can the customer use the parts in the "old" configuration? Maybe they just need some mating parts made off the same "old" drawing to be able to do so. If they have a way to use them then everybody wins.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob F. View Post
    Can the customer use the parts in the "old" configuration? Maybe they just need some mating parts made off the same "old" drawing to be able to do so. If they have a way to use them then everybody wins.
    Seems like if what you propose were possible it would have already been discussed and this thread would not exist.

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    Years ago a friend of mine was given the wrong drawing, made the parts only for them to be rejected.

    The customer fessed up to the mistake, and asked whether my friend would eat the parts, and run again for free.

    He refused, said it wasn't his mistake, ran the parts and got paid for both sets.

    Customer went quiet, a few months later my friend asked him if he had any work as it was slow at his shop. Customer said "remember that time I asked you to help me out? Sorry can't help you"

    Apparently that was the beginning of the end for his shop.

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  22. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by triumph406 View Post
    Customer went quite, a few months later my friend asked him if he had any work as it was slow at his shop. Customer said "remember that time I asked you to help me out? Sorry can't help you"

    Apparently that was the beginning of the end for his shop.
    Do we really want to be in a business where we accept being at the very bottom of shit mountain? How can any business survive with a beggar's mentality? And why does the upstream company think that it's OK to pee all over us? [sorry for all the bathroom metaphors]

    I usually eat it when I make mistakes. Sometimes I've been lucky and had my customer share some of the pain (such as buy fresh material which I run immediately). But to have an out-and-out blameless situation on the part of the shop suddenly become their burden is madness.

    I want to be a partner to my customers, not their servant or whipping boy. If that's the relationship they want, then I must find other businesses to work with. So should have your friend. And the guy who said "can't help you" was an ass.

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    Do folks msg customers asking for work? Seems crazy to me.

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    Technically the middle man owes you for your work. It's his problem he doesn't have configuration control, not yours. Paying for the material is the least he should do.

    Realistically I would estimate my profit from follow on contracts. If I could make up my loss on the next couple contracts I might consider eating it. If it's going to take many more contracts than that I would no bid. The former supplier might have made that same decision.

    The final option would be to sue the middle man in small claims. I say final because that might get you a reputation you don't want.

    Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tjd10684 View Post
    I was told I was being a dick when I suggested that lol
    NO, your being practical.

    "absorbing the cost, and then pricing higher next time" will simply drive the customer away for good.

    It's been covered here before, but adopting "variable pricing" based on your mood/delivery time/customer problems is bad for business.

    Give them a high price next time, and they think that is the new normal
    (because you didn't work out this problem, and explain yourself to the customer) pricing, they will start looking elsewhere.

    Keep the customer informed.

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  27. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by as9100d View Post
    Do folks msg customers asking for work? Seems crazy to me.
    Well to be perfectly snarky, remember this at your next downturn. I go and seek out my employment (when needed), why wouldn't you seek work?

    I used to work at a multibillion dollar place and they were always "looking" for work. Maybe not calling up people and asking them directly if they can "do some work" for them, but always looking for something new..

    To the OP, we used to have a system called AVO (avoid verbal orders) where things like die repairs got an AVO tag with work required (punch sharpening, etc), managers sig and date. There was a copy of this tag with the manager (or whoever) requested the work. Easy enough to trace, but today I guess an email would do the same thing. Bottom line, DO NOT WORK TO VERBAL ORDERS/REQUESTS/ETC (sorry u got burned though).

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    They pay hands down not your fault that they gave or changed a part print after you had a PO to make parts to print. This is business and at the end of the day I made them to the print gave to me so Pay up.

    I had this happen with a sign I made on my CNC Plasma and I was at the finish and fixing to powder coat it. So I mocked it up and sent a picture to the guy, and he said there's a problem. So I went back and looked at the design that he insisted on making himself. It was a football player with his son's Name and jersey number beside it. Well came to find out he misspelled his own son's name, and didn't catch it when he made the design, when i sent him a picture a numerous time of progress. Well he paid for 2 sings and my time for both because it took away from my business.


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