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Old 10-14-2014, 09:46 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by AprilFool View Post
Mr. Clemens. I accept my tongue lashing with alacrity. However, you will note that my first line puts it on the dealer. No matter whose fault it is - if there is fault - 6 weeks is unacceptable IMO. How many units can be built in 6 weeks but one part cannot be shipped? Take one off the floor and ship it. I cannot believe that there are let's say 100 units on order that need this part in the next 6 weeks and FR has exactly 100 on hand. Sorry - I'm not buying it - maybe FR needs to do business with a different supplier.
I wish everything was that simple.

1. We can build a lot of units in 6 weeks. However, if a modification has been made to a slide system (happens frequently), then we only carry the new revision not the old. So only Lippert can produce the old version that works with his slide. One slide model we were on revision 10 in less than a year. So yes, we may need 100, have 100 on the floor and not a single one will work for what he needs.

2. Business with another supplier. Also sounds easy. Problem is, for every slide change that we make it has to be seat belt tested. Which means thousands in testing costs and 6 months probably just to get the redesign done and the testing completed. We tried to find a new supplier which is why we bought the Schwintec slide in the first place...and then Lippert proceeded to buy them. We look at Happy jack slides as another option....Lippert bought them. Then we look at another supplier (prototyped one set) it self destructed within 6 months.

It all depends on how far down the rabbit hole you want to go. Everything seems really simple on the surface and the deeper you go the more complex it gets.
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Old 10-14-2014, 09:59 AM   #12
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Been there, done that! It sounds like a strategic partnership with this supplier is the only relationship they are willing to live with even at the detriment of their customers ( i.e. Forest River). Maybe a performance contract which holds them financially liable for damages incurred from their lack of meeting contractual obligations so you can compensate your customers until a solution is discovered?

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Old 10-14-2014, 10:14 AM   #13
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"the only relationship they're willing to live with"...did you miss the part where we have tried to find other suppliers and they keep buying up those suppliers?
1987 acquired Riblet Industries
1996 acquired Continental stamping
1997 Lippert Acquired by Drew Industries (which owned Kinro windows)
2001 Acquired We-Shape
2002 Acquired Quality Frames
2003 Acquired ET&T Frames
2004 Acquired Zieman Mfg
2004 Acquired LTM Mfg. leveling and slide company
2005 Acquired Venture Mfg (frames)
2006 Acquired Happijac (bed lift, slides, jacks)
2006 Acquired Steelco (RV chassis and slide out company)
2007 Acquired CoachStep
2007 Acquired Trailair (chassis suspension)
2007 Acquired Extreme Engineering (trailers)
2008 Acquired Seating Technologies
2008 Acquired JT's RV. (Pads, levelers)
2009 Acquired Nappanee Door
2010 Acquired Schwintek Products (The slides we and most of the industry uses)
2010 Acquired Level Up leveling systems
2010 Acquired EZ-Rise and Sellers (chassis frame and suspension company)
2011 Acquired M&M Fabricators
2011 Acquired Homestyle (mattresses & furniture)
2011 Acquired M-Tec (chassis supplier)
2011 Acquired Awning line
2011 Acquired Starquest (truck trailer windows)
2011 Acquired RV chassis and slide out mechanism from Dexter Axle
2012 Acquired Amerimax (door mfg)
2012 Acquired Agile Resources (thermoform)
2013 Acquired Midstates Tool and Die
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Old 10-14-2014, 10:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bclemens View Post
"the only relationship they're willing to live with"...did you miss the part where we have tried to find other suppliers and they keep buying up those suppliers?
1987 acquired Riblet Industries
1996 acquired Continental stamping
1997 Lippert Acquired by Drew Industries (which owned Kinro windows)
2001 Acquired We-Shape
2002 Acquired Quality Frames
2003 Acquired ET&T Frames
2004 Acquired Zieman Mfg
2004 Acquired LTM Mfg. leveling and slide company
2005 Acquired Venture Mfg (frames)
2006 Acquired Happijac (bed lift, slides, jacks)
2006 Acquired Steelco (RV chassis and slide out company)
2007 Acquired CoachStep
2007 Acquired Trailair (chassis suspension)
2007 Acquired Extreme Engineering (trailers)
2008 Acquired Seating Technologies
2008 Acquired JT's RV. (Pads, levelers)
2009 Acquired Nappanee Door
2010 Acquired Schwintek Products (The slides we and most of the industry uses)
2010 Acquired Level Up leveling systems
2010 Acquired EZ-Rise and Sellers (chassis frame and suspension company)
2011 Acquired M&M Fabricators
2011 Acquired Homestyle (mattresses & furniture)
2011 Acquired M-Tec (chassis supplier)
2011 Acquired Awning line
2011 Acquired Starquest (truck trailer windows)
2011 Acquired RV chassis and slide out mechanism from Dexter Axle
2012 Acquired Amerimax (door mfg)
2012 Acquired Agile Resources (thermoform)
2013 Acquired Midstates Tool and Die
You flat out rock!
Thanks for being apart of this forum!

Your skin must be as thick as a rhino hide!

Keep up the good work!

Turbs
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Old 10-14-2014, 11:57 AM   #15
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I sympathize, because as a sales guy, I too thought everything was simple.

Now, as national sales manager, product manager I am more involved with the inner workings. Back in the late 90's I took a company through ISO9000 certification. So I am very familiar with how all the parts relate to one another. We have incorporated a lot of those systems (the ones that made sense) but it is a work in progress.

Please do not take my comments as "excuses". I just feel that understanding and knowledge help reduce stress.

For example. You can't get satellite signal "this motorhome is stupid, it doesn't work, its broken, how could you let that get through QC?". Frustration ensues.

Someone tells them about the antenna booster button. They turn the button off, they get crystal clear cable/satellite images. "Wow, that was so simple. I'm getting signals everything is working like a charm"

If someone does not know how something works, then it is broken. Whether it be a feature or a parts process.

Know this. First step in any parts request. Do we have it on the line? can we pull it from stock. If not, step 2 is to order from the supplier. At that point we are at their mercy and then can only work as an expediter. If they will let us.
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Old 10-14-2014, 12:36 PM   #16
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I appreciate you being in here, Mr. Clemens!

I remember when we got our Rockwood less than a month ago and I was going through the big Forest River binder to read about all of the items and, the first thing, was a LONG list of items in the camper, manufacturers name and phone number and website....and I thought, "HOLY MOLY!"

Our only issue was a toilet that was shooting water over the front lip so I tried calling a few numbers for Dometic to only get the familiar electronic rabbit trail that lead to no humans. But my dealer was very helpful and, hopefully, we'll see if the issue is fixed on Thursday when we taker Rocky out for 4-days.

So lesson-learned is to have a good RV dealer willing to help before AND after the sale. (Mine is wonderful....a small Mom and Pop business in Colorado Springs named Sun City Trailers.)
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Old 10-14-2014, 12:45 PM   #17
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bclemens As I have said I do not hold FR responsible for my delay, but do you think my dealer will get the parts in the next six months while my MH is in storage ?? !! My next ponder is will they not lose or use them before I get my MH back in the spring
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:26 PM   #18
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bclemens As I have said I do not hold FR responsible for my delay, but do you think my dealer will get the parts in the next six months while my MH is in storage ?? !! My next ponder is will they not lose or use them before I get my MH back in the spring
If you are concerned about this, which it sounds like you should, request the dealer notify you when the parts come in. Go pick them up and put them in your RV while in storage. Schedule an appointment to complete the repair first thing in the spring. This will allow you to track order progress.
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:30 PM   #19
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Thanks ATVer I am already going to do that ( last post was tongue in cheek )
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:30 PM   #20
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bclemens As I have said I do not hold FR responsible for my delay, but do you think my dealer will get the parts in the next six months while my MH is in storage ?? !! My next ponder is will they not lose or use them before I get my MH back in the spring
My comments were not in response to you jfrauts...just trying to explain things to others that want to come in and bang the drum on your behalf.

Again, not complaining. Just explaining.
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