Being Delicate with Disclosure

apestate

Quite Involved in Discussions
#1
Hello contributors

I'm not really sure where to pose this question.

I was kind of surprised to see that I had access to this contributor's forum. I don't consider myself a real contributor yet. I'm waiting to come up with something that is really worth posting to the forum.

I'm working with someone on a company website. We've never had one here, and I chose a really savvy web author to make a page that is simple, elegant, and functional.

The content of the site is not difficult to drum up, but I have some concerns about how much I should really disclose to our customers. Can someone give me some advice about this and some things I may want to keep in mind?

For instance, we run Brown & Sharpe and New Britain automatic screw machines. These are conventional cam-operated machines that perform very well, they make good parts and can hold tight tolerances, but they sure aren't CNC. The average vintage is about 1970. We have several machines from the late 70's and early 80's, and several machines that saw service during WWII.

However, these machines are all in very good condition. Everything it takes to consistently produce parts is kept up, and we spend money on these machines all the time. Many have been completely rebuilt before they came in our door. Some more have been rebuilt and brought back to us.

I'd like to include an equipment link on our web page, and I was thinking to basically explain the three types of machines we have. For example, the Brown & Sharpe link will explain the Brown & Sharpe automatic and its history as an American precision machine. No picture (though we do have an impressive fresh from the rebuild Ultramatic). The link would finish by stating the capacity, capability, and number of machines we have under our roof.

The New Britain link will say the same thing. I want to stress maintenance, capacity, capability, etc.

The Daewoo CNC lathe will follow the same lines.

How can I avoid arousing mistrust in some customers by talking about our equipment? I look at other machine shop websites and they've got like 20 brand new Davenports and a whole slew of CNC equipment all lined up in a row and making me jealous.

I'd like to go further than simply stating that we have such and such type of machine up to such and such inch capacity, but I don't want anyone to say that they want their parts made on a CNC or they'll go elsewhere.

Any thoughts to help me out on this?
 
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Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#2
Your access to the Contributor's forum is because you contributed several $ to help out with bandwidth and server costs! And I appreciate it!

However I moved the thread to a different forum where I think you'll get more responses.
 
B

Bob_M

#3
atetsade said:
However, these machines are all in very good condition. Everything it takes to consistently produce parts is kept up, and we spend money on these machines all the time. Many have been completely rebuilt before they came in our door. Some more have been rebuilt and brought back to us.

I'd like to include an equipment link on our web page, and I was thinking to basically explain the three types of machines we have. The link would finish by stating the capacity, capability, nd number of machines we have under our roof.

I'd like to go further than simply stating that we have such and such type of machine up to such and such inch capacity, but I don't want anyone to say that they want their parts made on a CNC or they'll go elsewhere.
Although we do not have a web site yet I'd focus on the capability, maintenance, and product quality of these machines.

I/we can understand being behind the times and feeling a little jealous, but focus on the positives. If a customer demands CNC they would not be you customer anyways...

(We've got suppliers that we farm out some metal stampings and there machines put us to shame, even though they are not much better, just big and more monitoring equipment attached to them).
 

Randy

Super Moderator
#4
Stress the competence of the work force (experience + training + education = competence).

Include some printable comments from previous customers.

Toss is some data.

Stir and don't shake

Put on the website
 
C

Craig H.

#5
Ok, so you have some older machines that are kept up very well.

Why not point out the PM program, for starters, and also machine availability (lack of Maint. related down time).

Maybe the best thing - how experienced are your people? If you have employees with 20 - 30 years, THAT would be impressive, IMHO. That and the combination of tools that are in great shape would mean a lot to many people, IMHO.

Hope this helps.
 

SteelMaiden

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
#6
Craig H. said:
Ok, so you have some older machines that are kept up very well.

Why not point out the PM program, for starters, and also machine availability (lack of Maint. related down time).

Maybe the best thing - how experienced are your people? If you have employees with 20 - 30 years, THAT would be impressive, IMHO. That and the combination of tools that are in great shape would mean a lot to many people, IMHO.

Hope this helps.
Throw in some information that shows that all of this leads to on-time delivery, little unplanned downtime, etc., etc. Websites are for PR, use them to WOW the customer. (unlike the lame one someone paid good money for for us, I think I could have done better. lol)
 
J

Jimmy Olson

#7
I agree with Craig. Showing how well you take care of some of the older machines can actually be a good thing. It demonstrates that you pay attention to details and take care of things.

Also some people may look at it as if you've been using the same equipment then you know how to use it very well. Some places may have the latest and greatest equipment, but nobody knows how to use it. You could tie that in with the experince of your people by saying you have personnel that have X amount of experience working with this piece of equipment.

I'm not saying this should be the only focus, but it could be used as a good thing. It's all in how you spin the information ;)
 
C

Craig H.

#8
I absolutely agree with Richard and Steel's additional coments - you are selling the fact that you can make to spec the first time, on time.

There are always going to be people who are "wowed" by flashing lights and ringing bells. Letting them know that you can supply what they need (without all of that pesky new equipment depreciation thrown in, I might add) will go a long ways to puttting out those lights and silencing the bells. Great posts, y'all.
 

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource
#9
Definitely push the experienced workforce angle if you can. "Our staff has over 150 years of combined machining expertise" or "our machinists average of 12 years of experience" or "we have 3 master-machinists (if there is such a thing)" etc. etc. Most people have experienced the equipment rich but people poor outfit from time to time.

Comments from satisfied customers is another real good idea as Randy said.

Some data like 99+% OTD (if it is true and impressive) would help.

# of years in business can look good for older companies.

BBB membership.


Names of big, impressive customers you have served.
 
#10
I think the previous posters have summed the PR bit up nicely, so I will not expand any further on that. Instead I'll just say that nice looking new equipment do little in the way of impressing me by itself:

I have seen places jam packed with new equipment fail abysmally due to poor maintenance and/or workforce competence. How many times have you for instance seen a company buy expensive new equipment and then botch the whole thing by holding back resources for training? Money down the drain...

How many times have you seen people get state of the art equipment to do a job that the previous equipment did without any problems? Money down the drain...

How many times have you seen new and advanced equipment go through horrendous teething problemsbefore contributing to the companys profit? Money down the drain...

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not against new equipment, but it's not what you have that is the issue. It's what you do with it...

/Claes
 
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