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Old 08-23-2016, 04:29 PM   #31
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It quickly become apparent to the manufacturers that it cost less money to put out a lower quality unit and then have their dealer network fix and repair their mistakes than "doing it right" at the factory. And so the cycle goes on.
The thing is it isn't less expensive to repair a problem after manufacture. It cost more. Case study after case study shows the earlier you can catch and correct a defect the cheaper it will be to repair. It also has the added benefit of improving the quality of the end product delivered to the customer. In the case of RV's I think a couple of things hide the real cost the manufacturers should see. First is the dealer setup. If they modeled their industry more like you see in autos RV warranty cost would soar. The second is we owners are our own worst enemy, myself included. Instead of taking a RV back to the dealer for warranty work we frequently fix it ourselves absorbing the cost. Since the manufacturer never sees these repairs in their warranty costs they figure they are meeting quality standards and won't change. The big thing with both of these areas is the industry looks at quality in dollars and cents. As long as the dollars stay under their expected cost they will think everything is fine.
None of this will change until warranty costs exceed their projections on a constant basis or the existing companies see their sales drop to a competitor who builds a better product.
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Old 08-23-2016, 04:48 PM   #32
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If you haven't read all 8 parts of Greg Gerber's "Death Spiral of the RV Industry" you really should. He does a good job of explaining how we got to this point of low quality to match the low prices. Even if you do not agree with all he says, he brings out some points that I was not aware of, and I would bet you aren't either. Such as the dealerships are basically held hostage by FR and Thor limiting what other lines they may carry, withholding payments for warranty work, etc. I almost feel sorry for the service department at my dealership now...not; but I do see some of the issues they face. Also, suppliers are constantly pressured to provide cheaper prices on their equipment, again resulting in "either make it cheaper and you won't sell to any of our manufacturers", kind of a pointy stick.
The series link is: Opinion | RV Daily Report, get comfy, it is a lot of reading.
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Old 08-23-2016, 05:33 PM   #33
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The quality most complain about t on here doesn't cost any money if done right the first time. You started the threads on the water connection. Tighten the f'n thing , you plugged in two of three wires on the a/v plate why not the third. The piece of wood you dropped under the waterline that wears through the line. There is a garbage container not far away in the factory. Really it not rocket science. In no way would this add cost to a unit.


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Old 08-23-2016, 06:03 PM   #34
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The quality most complain about t on here doesn't cost any money if done right the first time. You started the threads on the water connection. Tighten the f'n thing , you plugged in two of three wires on the a/v plate why not the third. The piece of wood you dropped under the waterline that wears through the line. There is a garbage container not far away in the factory. Really it not rocket science. In no way would this add cost to a unit.


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PRIDE in the work you are doing...something that seems to be missing in many manufacturers factories in today's world. Something my Dad instilled in me and stays with me forever.
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Old 08-23-2016, 08:27 PM   #35
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PRIDE in the work you are doing...something that seems to be missing in many manufacturers factories in today's world. Something my Dad instilled in me and stays with me forever.
Missing in this entire country. People want to be paid, not to be paid for what they earned.
I get accused of being old school for doing things right.
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Old 08-23-2016, 10:59 PM   #36
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Missing in this entire country. People want to be paid, not to be paid for what they earned.
I get accused of being old school for doing things right.
Amen! The details do matter! And even if others couldn't see a mistake that I made, I can, and I know it is there; it will be fixed it before it leaves my hands.
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Old 08-24-2016, 01:21 AM   #37
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There is a change in all areas of management in America, all industries service and manufacturing.
Micro-managing the staff to death.
Pride is gone largely due to idea that if a manager-supervisor is not watching every move, than he or she is not managing correctly.
This can open the door to cheating on the job at times just to get through the day.

The old days mentioned was a time that if an employee was caught doing a bad thing consequences ensued.
Not today due to fear of paying unemployment.
Add to that the never ending "one more thing" each worker has to do in addition to what he has been doing in a days work and there will be cheating.

I am glad I am old and do not have to endure today's changing environment.
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Old 08-25-2016, 02:30 PM   #38
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There are a couple of old sayings in the quality world:

"Nobody ever comes to work planning on doing a crappy job."

"Even in Japan, half the people are below average."

Quality has to be a culture. In a quality culture, a person spotted doing shoddy work or taking a shortcut is called on it by his co-workers, not his boss. He doesn't get bitched out or fired for a 1st offense, just told that what he did is unacceptable here. But his foreman stops the assembly line, and makes sure the work gets done over correctly, even though the group missed its numbers that day. But guess what? That worker will never take a shortcut again, and he will join the others in watching for anything less than the expected standard. Those few workers that don't like always working to a high standard will move on to something else.

At a quality culture plant, the pay only has to be comparable, not higher than others. Labor costs go down because people stay longer where people take pride in their work. The biggest personnel problem a quality culture has is lack of upward mobility.

So why doesn't everybody implement a quality culture?

1) Management gives quality lip service. In their gut, they'd rather make their numbers - which is what they are judged on - than have a quality culture in their workplace. Workers quickly realize the truth - get the units out the door to keep your job.

2) Implementing a quality culture reveals weaknesses in all kinds of areas that require real work to solve. The production line is always getting stopped because doing the Dometic fridge installation correctly shows that the plywood baffles are not being consistently cut to the correct size. Or that there is insufficient wire of the right color code and gauge readily available for that particular trailer. Start researching the wire shortage, and the production crew realizes that the wiring diagrams and list of materials haven't been updated in 5 years to reflect the new appliances and their locations. Research customer complaints about fridge performance, and it's discovered the Dometic installation kit vents are very poorly designed and couldn't pass wind in a hurricane.

Meanwhile, the dealers are selling everything that they can get their hands on. The dealers don't want to hear delivery on their order in 6 months because we have to slow the line to produce better quality. Even though 20% of those first-time buyers will never buy another RV because of the poor quality. But sales are great this month!

Enough of my rant - you get the idea. Until Forest River executives and owners buy into top quality being more successful in the long run - in their hearts and not their mouths - it will never happen. And when they do try to upgrade quality, the initial setbacks will very sorely tempt them to give up on quality.

Fred W
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Old 08-25-2016, 07:22 PM   #39
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pgandw! WELL SAID! Correct on all points, AMEN.
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