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Harman, the REAL story

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by webbie, Jul 21, 2008.

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  1. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, as anyone who has followed along may know, I have given Harman and their new parent company the benefit of the doubt up until now.

    But the news from MANY directions indicates a systemic problem....not just one of production....but one of just plain old not caring.

    Dealers are being left to fend for themselves - given no information or bad information. This includes dealers whose entire livelihood is based on the Harman brand. Many of these dealers will be in danger of going out of business based on the lack of product from Harman.

    Harmans attitude is that they don't want to talk to dealers or the press. Lawsuits and attorney general actions have been threatened against Harman...or are in progress. There is absolutely no communication from the factory except edicts. No back and forth.

    Yes, the BIG meeting with a bunch of dealers is today, but meetings don't make stoves nor do they change corporate attitudes. From afar - or even from close in - we have no idea of what is going on in the corporate suite. It might be to bury Harman in favor of Quadrafire....switch over the dealers......sure, I pulled that out of thin air, but this situation is 100% in the hands of corporate bean-counters who would not know how to chop a piece of wood if you gave them a maul and a round.

    Sad to say, this looks like another corporate take-over where the "soul" of a company is gutted and the brand is milked or whatever fits the corporate planners. Keep in mind that even the "big" Harman business is a fraction of what the same company does selling gas fireplaces, office furniture, etc.

    At this point I would not suggest that any customer buy a Harman stove that is not in stock - and if you do put a deposit down, put it on credit card so you can dispute the charge if the stove does not come.

    Sad to say, we have come to a real case of "buyer beware". Who is going to be there to service the stoves when the Harman dealers closes because they have no revenue (no stoves)? Who is going to answer the phone at the factory about service or parts?

    Watch your money, folks......

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    What a shame. So what's the deal? This should be a time of jubilation for them. Are they really producing stoves as fast as they can or have they just been selling off a massive backlog of inventory? Do you know how large a crew and how many shifts are producing new stoves? Or is there no one left behind the doors but the janitor? Anyone in Halifax, PA have the straight and skinny on activity at the plant?
  3. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I think the second is closer to the truth than the first..........but, again, the corporate ladder protects against people knowing what is really happening...that is the whole idea! There are probably 10 people who really know.......

    We do know that the factory is not working full tilt - some rumors say only a tiny bit of capacity is being used. For what reason is another story......could be anything....maybe the parent company only has so much capital, maybe it is in the process of overseas sourcing, etc. etc - maybe they are just plain incapable. Coule be anything.....

    This is a company that used to communicate with their dealers.....but, according to dealers, has stopped doing that. The new attitude is (my paraphrase) "send them to the legal dept"......

    Just the fact that this company refused to speak to the press in those articles (and many more articles coming up) shows a clear direction.
  4. Turbozcs2003

    Turbozcs2003 New Member

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    I think we will have to wait to see what the story is.

    If they really didnt care, they certainly wouldnt bother having a meeting with the dealers, would they.

    Something tells me they are looking for input on how to best resolve this going forward.

    Time will tell I guess.
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It may be telling that the Hearth & Home website still does not include Harman amongst its listed brands. Harman is listed on the HNI website, but not Hearth & Home's.
  6. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    The company has been essentially shut down since last summer and the aquisition didn't close until the 4th quarter. I have never understood why anybody thought it was going to be life as usual. Dane is doubly screwed since he kept some of the liabilities and the sale terms provided for future added payments to him based on company performance. That ain't gonna happen. If there was as much inventory stacked up before the sale as talked about, HHT got their 29 mil back just selling that off. Not to mention that the patents are now safely in their name.

    Dane is headed out the door in 3...2...1...
  7. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    YOU are using common sense....but that is not in play here. Dealers pretty much insisted on a meeting......again, third hand - but I think the dealers pretty much said they were driving down come hell or high water, etc.

    As to input, they have had that for many months and didn't listen....so it makes no sense that they would now! Expecting a corporation to act like a person may be asking too much,

  8. nhdblfan

    nhdblfan Member

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    As I have posted before,and once again I am one of the ones with a deposit of 2K for an order placed first week in June.
    There are several big questions and it does not look very good.

    They seem to have built a new warehouse and added employees (no one to answer a phone thou !) yet according to the articles posted they can't even meet last years production and are only giving dealers less that 25% of what they where able to do last season.

    more facilites,more employees and 78% LESS production????????????????????????????
  9. fueldude

    fueldude Member

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    My rep informed me that Harman has outsold their yearly production capacity by 3-4 times, and that stove delivery is out 3-6 months. They have also suspended taking on new dealers and are cutting any dealers that applied in 2008. This includes dealers that were approved and had confirmed orders.

    It may be nothing new to some people, but it was unwelcome news to me!
  10. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    The facts are unbelievable - dealers and customers like to think that there is no way this company would do something so stupid. But facts are hard things to dispute! The next question becomes whether people will believe what comes out of the meeting.......

    Last year they produced almost nothing....It was the year before that they had high production. There were 20,000+ stoves in the warehouses when HHT took over. I tend to think very few have been produced since that time (based on reports)....
  11. Fire It Up

    Fire It Up New Member

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    What is the REAL story?

    Everything posted is second hand knowledge and assumptions at this point.
  12. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    If they sold them for an average of $1,500 apiece the aquisition is paid for.
  13. fueldude

    fueldude Member

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    I was a dealer that was approved and had my order confirmed. I got the phone call two weeks ago telling me that I am no longer a dealer and for the reasons stated above. Maybe Harman is feeding my rep a line, but I'd be hard pressed to buy that becuase my rep relationship isn't new.
  14. Fire It Up

    Fire It Up New Member

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    I don't debate the fact that dealers are being denied orders in Maine, but we haven't seen much in the case of facts, but more just assumptions, etc. I have spoken with my dealer whom was highlighted in the recent articles here in Maine as early as Friday, and he hadn't been given a "This is the exact reason you are not getting all your orders, and here is what we are going to do going forward". From my knowledge they are meeting as we speak to discuss arrangements.

    Until then, I will hold back on my assumptions, and take it all with a grain of salt. I was just point out for a topic that says "The REAL Story", it wasn't too heavy on facts, but more opinions and assumptions. Just my .02, that's all.
  15. fueldude

    fueldude Member

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    Oh, I hear ya. It is frustrating coming from a company who was supposed to be easy to deal with. Sure does throw a wrench in things when you think you are getting stoves and then the phone rings telling you otherwise as you have customers coming in the door wanting to order. When I pressed the issue, the reasons I were given for not getting any stoves are already listed. It will be interesting to see what happens after this week.
  16. Fire It Up

    Fire It Up New Member

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    Being heavily involved in large company's integrations and acquisitions as a project manager there could be a variety of reasons for this issue. First item of any merger type business deal is to keep the customer first and try to reduce any influence in supply and product quality. I doubt seriously that this was just a miss calculation in ordering and supply inventory as well as a result of intentions to just stiff the customer. Oversight in production output, delayed orders being processed, etc is a possibility.

    My assumption is that we are seeing the failure of an organization realignment. You have a VP of production or sales that on X date was dropped a fire in his lap. He showed up for a meeting and was told with the rest of the company that he would now head up not only what he was doing, but now also Harman, and on top of all this he would be in charge of the integration of both entities. He probably dropped the ball due to inexperience, or he was not paying attention to work because his wife was cheating on him, or his kid just broke his arm skateboarding, or he just lost his house in a fire due to a Harman stove, etc. We can only assume.

    That being said, it is what it is, and people should have a contingency plan if they are not getting a Harman. Gotta deal with the punches being thrown.
  17. nhdblfan

    nhdblfan Member

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    Well I think there are some facts that should bring up some very biq questions.
    Fact;deliveries to dealers amount to fractions of what they where able to do before and don't even approach previous productions.(I would say there is a very big concern that Harman and some dealers will even be solvent)
    Fact;they are not answerting questions and have been l less then truthfull (lying) to dealers about deliveries and dealerships that where established then disolved(breach of contract?)
    Deposits and warranties issues along with what will the quality be of those few that are comming of the line (must not be a fun place to work about now) are now in question IMO.
    Facts are there and they are not good,

    They would not be the first company to go down by incompetent management and leave lots of financial losses.
  18. NoMoreOPEC

    NoMoreOPEC Member

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    Does anyone know when the new models Quadra-Harman's will be coming out? :)
  19. ugenetoo

    ugenetoo New Member

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    harmon is a good product. but there are other brands out there to produce heat with. its time to get beyond this soap opera and get on with the business of getting ready for winter. all this hand wringing will not help keep you warm in 6 months. jmhfo
  20. compressedwoodsupplier

    compressedwoodsupplier New Member

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    I love this part of the harman website says about there new warehouse



    The new Harman warehouse is now open. This addition to Harman Stove's shipping capabilities will help ensure that we keep up with demand for our hearth products this heating season.



    Just love the wording and look at where they are now
  21. MishMouse

    MishMouse Minister of Fire

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    I could see why Harman would have issues.
    Since they had a over production issue that caused this whole mess, a new company taking over would most likely cut production to avoid it happening again. But then add the incredible rise in oil prices and heating costs along with the problems with CFM you have a situation where demand outweighs supply. Then once the crisis hits and they have to build up inventory in a hurry it may not be even possible since they also rely on steel and metal suppliers. Allot of information is still hidden on this.
    I hope Harman pulls itself up from these issues they make a very good quality stove and with both Harman and CFM having issues who's next?
  22. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, the question becomes what is first hand? We know from dealers. We know from customers. Harman has refused to talk to the media.

    If it quacks like a duck it probably is one. If dealers see and hear the duck and tell us here (and me on the side), then I assume there is a duck.

    Will Harman invite me to a meeting of the CEO and Board and tell me the truth? Of course not.......

    Stuff like them cutting off dealers 100% is pretty much historic. I think these people need a high cost consultant, but I want paid up front.....since the customer and dealers appear to have done the same.
  23. nhdblfan

    nhdblfan Member

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  24. tonto

    tonto New Member

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    made a few call today myself,every place i called is sold out of harmans,but a few are taking deposits but they do not know how many or when they will be arriving.INCREDIBLE!!
  25. cncpro

    cncpro New Member

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    I have absolutely no knowledge about the whole Harman situation but my gut feeling is that they'll be removing the above quote from their website before this mess is fixed. This whole thing smells like corporate greed and the exportation of American jobs. I hope I'm wrong.
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