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Frustrations with Suppliers

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  • #535666
    woodman_412
    Moderator

    I’ve just reached the end of my rope with my supplier for sheet goods and cabinet hardware. I’ve dealt with them for the past couple years and they are forever screwing up my orders, not getting back to me with prices that I need which I end up having to chase them for, charging me the wrong amount from what they quoted and just generally bad customer service. I’ve tried to be patient with them in the hopes that things will improve and even started dealing with the manager directly but it didn’t help. Just called their competitor today and they are happy to take my business and the sales rep is driving out to meet me at my shop this afternoon to get me all the samples and info I need. Have you guys had any similar experiences?

    Dan

    danpattison.com

    #535689
    crotalusco
    Pro
    west bend, wi

    Sounds like homedepot :). As an employee I only do some ordering. Billing and pricing is all done in the office. But I think i would have jumped ship long ago.

    #535692
    Austin
    Pro
    Covington, KY

    There are a couple places we only use now for that reason. The place we use now for 99% of our lumber is really good to us. Hopefully they don’t get comfortable and start giving us bad service.

    #535704
    smallerstick
    Pro
    North Bay, ON

    Sounds to me like you have been more than patient with them. I think I would have jumped ship long ago.

    A good policy is to have more than one supplier for everything you buy. You never know when labour disruption, fire, flood or whatever is going to affect one of them. That is not the time to be sourcing a new supplier.

    BE the change you want to see.
    Even if you can’t Be The Pro… Be The Poster you’d want to read.

    #535715
    woodman_412
    Moderator

    I’ve been tempted to jump ship for awhile now but just never wanted to have to go through the extra work of switching over and was always hoping that things would get better but it’s time now. The other supplier was wasting my time and money and that’s not cool. The supplier that I just switched to I have dealt with in the past when I worked in another shop before I got my business up and running again. They were good to deal with then so I’m optimistic about going forward with them.

    Dan

    danpattison.com

    #535742
    Doobie
    Moderator

    You sound like me Dan. Give a place every opportunity to get their act together, but eventually you have to do what is best for you. Hope things go smoothly with your new supplier.

    #535764

    Actually I have been pretty lucky Dan, I definitely don’t do as much as you do with supplies and the sort, for the most part of my side jobs, I have actually hand picked lumber and hardware,

    I hope you have a great meeting with the new suppliers and get exactly what you want, and need

    #535776

    I hear your frustrations, but I fall into the same category as @Boschmanbrian, not enough volume so I end up hand picking my stuff. I do think you were more than fair, depending on how good a personal relationship you had with your former supplier you may want to tell their management chain why you had to leave, but I understand not wanting to draw negative attention to yourself or create hard feelings.

    Will

    #535803
    woodman_412
    Moderator

    I hear your frustrations, but I fall into the same category as boschmanbrian, not enough volume so I end up hand picking my stuff. I do think you were more than fair, depending on how good a personal relationship you had with your former supplier you may want to tell their management chain why you had to leave, but I understand not wanting to draw negative attention to yourself or create hard feelings.

    I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to say anything to my former supplier or not. They don’t really seem to care too much so unless I hear from them I might just disappear.

    I met with the sales rep from my new supplier today and she was super helpful. Brought me lots of catalogs and samples and went through it all with me. The only issue I’m finding now is delivery of materials. Nobody wants to deliver down the private lane that we live on with a tandem axle truck which is what everyone uses. I’m trying to figure out how to get materials from the main road to my shop now.

    Dan

    danpattison.com

    #535813
    r-ice
    Pro
    Durham region, ON

    yah i used to stay loyal to one supplier, now it is whom ever gives me the best service is whom i stay with. you get a few chances but if you mess it up, i don’t want to deal with it. When there are hiccups in service, it means it comes out of my pocket, i can’t be having that.

    #535814

    I hear your frustrations, but I fall into the same category as boschmanbrian, not enough volume so I end up hand picking my stuff. I do think you were more than fair, depending on how good a personal relationship you had with your former supplier you may want to tell their management chain why you had to leave, but I understand not wanting to draw negative attention to yourself or create hard feelings.

    I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to say anything to my former supplier or not. They don’t really seem to care too much so unless I hear from them I might just disappear.

    I met with the sales rep from my new supplier today and she was super helpful. Brought me lots of catalogs and samples and went through it all with me. The only issue I’m finding now is delivery of materials. Nobody wants to deliver down the private lane that we live on with a tandem axle truck which is what everyone uses. I’m trying to figure out how to get materials from the main road to my shop now.

    Sounds like you need to build a small shed type building at the end of your laneway … put a combination type padlock on the door and share the number with the driver/company.

    I take it there is no turning circle once the truck gets up your lane.

    Carpenter and Joiner

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    Carpenter ... cutting, shaping and installation of building materials during the construction of buildings, ships, timber bridges, concrete formwork.

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    #535873
    Clev08
    Pro

    Similar story here with one of the bigger tool and machinery outlets. The original manager passes away and now his daughter is running the place. 90% of the employees have left because she is impossible to work with. She is also driving customers away because she doesn’t like to have too much stock,many has been running out of stuff like crazy. It seems now they more often are out of what I need when they used to always always have anything I needed.

    #535941
    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Moderator
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    I had a material supplier that i did a lot of business with. In the end they would screw up deliveries and not take care of the customer. They did not care if they missed a delivery or if they tried to deliver well after 5 knowing no one would be there. In the end, they did not care they only could follow company policy. I told them i was done with them and went somewhere else.

    It amazes me how little some businesses think of their customers.

    #535970
    WoodsConstruction
    Pro
    Sudbury, ON

    I’ve got two that I use for most of my jobs. Both are great to me now, but had a rough start with one of them.

    I always dealt with my main supplier as my old bosses lead so they were good to me when I went on my own, the other would hardly give me the time of day because of my age, but it didn’t take long to set them straight and now both suppliers will do everything they can to keep me happy.

    I still deal with HD and lowes from time to time for decks and what not that aren’t for developers, just because I can get really good discounts, and hand pick certain things to ensure quality.

    #535976
    jkirk
    Moderator
    halifax, nova scotia

    its never good.. we almost never buy material from home depot or kent building supplies.. lumber comes from rona and our sheet goods either come from robert burry or halifax specialty hardwoods

    heres a tip, dont fart in a space suit

    #535983
    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    Sounds like homedepot :).

    Yes it does…and that’s too bad.

    There is a local yard here that has a few different locations in a 30 mile radius or so that I refuse to work with and I’m not shy about telling customers when they suggest going to “That” lumber yard for supplies. They have burned me more times than I can count and I finally moved exclusively to the other small town yard here. I do shop at Lowes and Menards, but for almost all of my construction lumber, I shop local. Hardwood comes from a mill a few miles away though.

    @woodman, I’d say to weigh your frustrations against the hassle of changing over. If the your current yard cares at all, they will notice when you stop calling…if not, you’ll already be long gone.

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
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    #536165
    woodman_412
    Moderator

    Sounds like you need to build a small shed type building at the end of your laneway … put a combination type padlock on the door and share the number with the driver/company.

    I take it there is no turning circle once the truck gets up your lane.

    I think what I’m going to end up doing is building a stand for the sheet goods that I can put at the end of the lane and offload from the truck onto there and then I can take the sheets 3 at a time down the lane on my roof rails. The lane has a steep hill up and then down and is pretty narrow so trucks don’t like coming down it. It’s possible but not fun. We’ve had tandem axle trucks down here before but it’s never an easy thing to do. I guess it’s a trade off living right on the ocean.

    @woodman, I’d say to weigh your frustrations against the hassle of changing over. If the your current yard cares at all, they will notice when you stop calling…if not, you’ll already be long gone.

    Yeah I doubt I’ll hear from them Jon, they are so unorganized they probably won’t even notice that I’m gone.

    Dan

    danpattison.com

    #536179
    r-ice
    Pro
    Durham region, ON

    I had a material supplier that i did a lot of business with. In the end they would screw up deliveries and not take care of the customer. They did not care if they missed a delivery or if they tried to deliver well after 5 knowing no one would be there. In the end, they did not care they only could follow company policy. I told them i was done with them and went somewhere else.

    It amazes me how little some businesses think of their customers.

    yet somehow they have enough business to last, i mean when you piss off enough customers who is still there to do business with them?

    #536184
    woodman_412
    Moderator

    I had a material supplier that i did a lot of business with. In the end they would screw up deliveries and not take care of the customer. They did not care if they missed a delivery or if they tried to deliver well after 5 knowing no one would be there. In the end, they did not care they only could follow company policy. I told them i was done with them and went somewhere else.

    It amazes me how little some businesses think of their customers.

    yet somehow they have enough business to last, i mean when you piss off enough customers who is still there to do business with them?

    That’s what I can’t figure out. When I talked to my new sales rep and told her a bit about my experience with the old one she said that I’m not the first person she has heard that from. I don’t understand how you can keep yourself in business if you treat all your customers like that and give bad service. Especially a big business with lots of overhead.

    Dan

    danpattison.com

    #536211
    theamcguy
    Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

    The original manager passes away and now his daughter is running the place. 90% of the employees have left because she is impossible to work with. She is also driving customers away because she doesn’t like to have too much stock,many has been running out of stuff like crazy. It seems now they more often are out of what I need when they used to always always have anything I needed.

    Sounds like she has a business degree and is using Just in Time Stocking. People are taught inventory on the shelf is like unused money just sitting there so everyone is reducing inventory to keep more cash on hand. The result is more back orders if you cannot anticipate demand.

    Automotive Pro
    Fayetteville, NC

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