blue_white41In sports there are always going to bad calls made by the officiating crews. It’s just part of the game, however, when an officiating crew is from the same town as one of the teams playing it becomes difficult for them to see the game from an un-bias view point.

My son plays center on his 5th grade football team. They were in the 2nd round of the playoffs and both teams were playing very hard. Our team had just drew a 15 yard penalty for face masking, and rightly so. However, on our next possession as the running back made his way to the red zone he was brought down via his facemask directly in front of the official. This should have been a 15 yard penalty just like what had been given on the previous possession and the ball place half the distance to the goal line. But instead he gave no penalty, and just warned the player and the coach.

The very next play one of our players gets called for a penalty, effectively killing the drive. So the game ends in a tie and goes to overtime. In this league they set the teams up on the 10 yard line and give each team four downs to score. Whoever scores first wins and whoever wins the coin toss gets the ball first. We won the toss and on our last down the running back plows through the tacklers and fights his way into the end zone. We win! Game over, right? Not exactly! The official claimed his knee was down at the one yard line.

At this point the entire crowd had made their way down to the end zone to watch up close. Everyone saw the same thing, even an opposing coach from a different age division was there watching and agreed, he scored a touchdown! In no way was his knee on the ground! So the ball was given to the other team and as you may have guessed they scored and won the game!

Its heart breaking but it does teach character to those kids that in life not everything is fair. People will cheat and manipulate things to get the outcome they selfishly desire. All you can do is your best and then have the satisfaction knowing when you go to bed at night that you did everything you could and gave your best effort.

The same is true in today’s business environment. There are companies out there that will tell you anything to get a sale. They will skimp on lead time knowing full well they can’t deliver. Some will claim they build everything in house but in reality purchase components overseas to make a bigger profit. Some will cut corners and rush things through just to keep their cost down and pass the burden off to the customer when those short comings present themselves at the most critical time.

Be mindful when you are shopping for a hydraulic press or any large purchase for that matter. Do your homework and if something just doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t.

Everyone knows lead time is an estimate and no one has a crystal ball, however a company should have a pretty good idea how long it will take to build their products. Most will be very close to the time frame given but when it seems too good to be true you might want to use caution and not plan everything around it. Give yourself some room for delays because chances are they will occur.

Secondly, there is nothing wrong with using outsourced components. However, this should be something that is agreed upon upfront and the savings shared with you. Companies that take advantage of low cost sources but claim they are doing all the work may be able to beat domestic suppliers that are really using domestic resources, but what else are they being dishonest about. The cheapest price isn’t always the best thing to ultimately decide your equipment buying decisions on.

Finally, quality is everything! Its one thing to be late on your lead time but everything works perfectly and is exactly what your process needed. You’ll likely forget all about the late delivery if you are satisfied with the product. It’s great to think you got a deal on a lower cost piece of equipment but if it doesn’t work correctly, the customer support is lacking or it takes 15 weeks to get a replacement part, you have a serious problem. Check to make sure quality components are being used and readily available. Check into their customer service and make sure you are getting what you paid for.

Companies that have integrity and strive to partner with the customer by being honest and realistic may not always seem to have the best deal upfront. But it’s those companies that continuously do their best to satisfy the customer and can go to bed at night knowing they gave their best effort to delivery the solutions the customer is really looking for in the first place.

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