1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Inaccurate lead times strike again!!

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Shane, Jan 16, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,830
    Loc:
    Casper Wyoming
    Well it’s happened again. Ordered a pellet insert around the 1st of November. Customer gave me 1/2 down. Called distributor asked what ETA was on the unit. They told me mid December. I told my customer Mid January. Well guess what, it’s the middle of freakin January and now they don’t think the stove will be to their warehouse until the 27th. What a bunch of crap I am so mad right now. What is the big deal with giving an accurate lead time on a product. Seems like simple math to me. (x amount of stoves on order divided by the number of stoves made per day + adequate shipping time= an accurate lead time) What is so freakin hard here!!!! All I want is to beable to tell my customer something and have it be so. If it’s going to be Jan. 2008 tell me, then I can tell my customer then everyone is happy and no one has lied. If there are any industry folks here who can give me some insight on how a lead time can be 1 1/2+ months off then please enlighten me.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. skypager

    skypager New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    87
    Loc:
    Bucks County, PA
    I've often wondered about this myself. I wonder if its the distributor giving an inaccurate lead time so the retailer doesn't offer another brand to the consumer. Or the distributor is getting a bad info from the manufacturer for the same end result. Maybe a bit of both? It really is a pain, both for the retailer and the consumer.
  3. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,330
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    Well, I hate to be the one to bring this up, but there are some possibilities that are not quite kosher.....for instance:

    1. Many companies do not have systems in place which accurately can track orders and then assign them to the correct party at the correct time. This is more complicated than you can imagine since orders get added to, changed, etc.

    2. Some companies have "preferred" dealers (and sometimes rightly so), who might get stoves ahead of other dealers. These dealer may be dealers that pay their bills early, have personal relationships with personel at the companies, etc. etc.

    I really can't blame the companies for either of the above as it has been 20 years since any major back orders have occurred...

    Of course, other problems such as supply of steel, employee problems and other factors figure into the picture. Since the companies have never geared up this high, their production plans are just estimates and reality can be different.

    Then there are other factors beyond your control. Maybe a distributor does not pay his bill and is over his credit limit.

    As you can see, there are lots of possibilities.
  4. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,830
    Loc:
    Casper Wyoming
    I suppose so. Just seems like giving myself a month should have been more than enough. It is extremely frustrating though. We're never rude even when stuff like this happens, it's always "thank you very much and have a nice day" which in my opinion is how business should be conducted. I know it is not any one persons fault but frustration with the situation is unavoidable. We always pay our bills on time (usually early for the discount) and we buy plenty of product. It really makes me feel horrible when I can't deliver what I've promised when I promised it. I am always up front with availability, there is no sense in misleading someone. I don't like it when you have a healthy chunk of someones money and you are saying "well another couple weeks, I hope". I think I will talk to my boss and see if we can give her our display model. It's never been lit. I would rather deal with a hole in the showroom than lose a sale. Especially since this person is a long time customer and a generally nice person as well. The other insert will be along soon enough.
  5. PAfluedoctor

    PAfluedoctor New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Messages:
    18
    Hey Shane, don't know where you are or what type of stove you ordered but our local Quad dealer has a bunch of pellet stoves that they can't move and may be sending back. If that's what you need maybe I can hook you two up. I only saw them sitting in the warehouse, I don't know what they have though.
  6. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,830
    Loc:
    Casper Wyoming
    Thanks for tip! Unfortunately that's not the animal I'm after. I have noticed a definate cooling of the pellet market in the past 2-3 weeks. Wood is still holding pretty strong and gas is coming back. I think it's due to the fuel shortages we are having here. I think it will pick back up as the gas bills this month are with the higher prices. Our gas bill for our shop was almost 300 about 100-120 more than usual. That is if we ever get a winter :-(
  7. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,019
    Loc:
    Oakhurst, California, USA, Earth
    A lot of it has to do with componets.
    there are only 2 major Blower manufactors for ALL pellet stoves and they are not able to keep up with the demand.
    Avalon is 3 month out for new pellet orders.
    lennox is NOT taking any new order or telling dealers end of summer
    I have been waiting on some parts for 4 months.

    I will not sell any stove unless I have it in my hand this time of year.
    this is why we buy lots of stoves in the summer so we dont get hit with shortages.
    but this year hit us because we usaly run out about December but our Lead time for install in the winter is 4-5 weeks normaly we can get a stove in 3weeks.
    not this year.
  8. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,248
    Loc:
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    Finally!!! Rod's got the right answer...He keeps stoves on hand.

    The problem is the stove industry is a bunch of small bush league amatures at queuing theory and supply chain estimating. Walmart...the best in the world at this, would like us to help them solve a 10 minute supply chain problem.
  9. crow

    crow New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2005
    Messages:
    88
    Loc:
    Ohio
    My stove dealer told me right up front that the lead time for the stove I wanted was a month out .
    They had two floor models I was welcome to choose from at a discount , if the one I ordered came too late.
    Hearthstone was right on target with the lead time they gave my dealer . The stove that was ordered for me came in well ahead of my install date.

    Maybe I was just lucky , but I felt like I was given accurate info. through the whole process , and my dealer had a good backup for me if the new stove didn't come.
    They were not out to take my deposit if they couldn't deliver something I would be happy with .

    That's good business.

    They know they have a repeat customer if I need a similar product or service again, because I was treated really well .
    And a smiling referral of potential customers for them when I tell anyone about the experience I had doing biz with their company .

    I am in retail myself . I know first hand. A happy customer might tell 10 people they had a good experience.
    An unhappy customer will go out of their way to tell every person they come in contact with about the perceived WRONG done to them , until they run out of steam .

    I hope for all the dealers' sakes that the stove producers give as accurate a lead time as possible . You can only act on the info. given to you .
    And I 'm sure it's not cheap to have extra inventory on hand in this economy , when you can't predict the demand .
  10. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,830
    Loc:
    Casper Wyoming
    we do buy what is usually adequate inventory. This year everything went so fast though. I am not complaining that there are lead times I understand and accept this. What I cannot accept though is being given a lead time. Doubling that lead time to be on the safe side and then getting screwed. What they have done to me is no better or no more acceptable than me having to do the same to my customer. I am still their customer (you want to talk about repeat business) and I deserve to be treated as such and when they give me a lead time it should be accurate or atleast they should be a little apathetic or apologetic for the mistake. That's the only point I am trying to make.
  11. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,248
    Loc:
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    Actually, I find your practice (of doubling) to have been good business planning. It seems to be the stove mfg's that are way off here, and it seems ALMOST universal. I applaud Hearthstone if they're being accurate. I understand Woodstock is also pretty accurate. Woodstock's advantage in this market is that they know their orders and inventory and mfg capacity all at once. The advantage of direct sellers.

    One question that I was wondering about that I saw when ordering my stove, was that the retailer had to look at several suppliers for the stove and accessories. I know my stove came from one supplier, and surround came from another.

    Why does the middle man exist? Can't the retailer get the stoves directly from the manufacturer? (In my case SBI, aka Osburn)
  12. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Why is anybody surprised? One could see it coming for years in advance. Some call it global economy, others called fleecing America, Movement of manufacturing jobs out of the country. So now xx stove manufacturer is waiting for the next boat to arrive from the Pacific Basin to get his blowers, or computer control panel. For example, Fasco motors, ( HVAC motors and blowers), is shipping from their Asian plants.

    Katrina hits Fuel cost skyrocket, The big oil companies play the public. Energy forecasters predict huge heating fuel cost increases. The public turns to alternative ways to heat. Since most homes have existing fireplaces, the insert becomes the logical solution. Nobody predicted the huge demand nobody. Just about all Pellet stoves were bought by the end of Oct. The deposits keep coming in. Everybody got caught off guard the suppliers their sub contractors the manufacturers to the dealers the retailers finally John Q Public. There is nothing normal about the situation. There has never been a demand this high before. Everybody’s lead time or projected delivery date is pure guesses. Finger pointing and blame is tough to single one the culprit. But there is one we can look at, It’s the big oil companies, They took a catrostropic natural disaster and reported 9 billion surplus profits. God knows how many billion got hidden. They created the panic or demand. I know a little off topic here, But I wonder when I see the gas price rise 3 times a day, for the same gas sitting in the underground tanks already there. Is it right? No but they get away with it all the time.
  13. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,830
    Loc:
    Casper Wyoming
    Alot of it has to do with shipping. I actually like having the distributors as they are both only one state away. I can typically get a stove shipped w/in 24 hours. This particular company has several areas set up. If your withing x amount of miles you buy from the factory if you in this area you buy from this guy. They have different brands and I'm on the border of territory so I get one brand from one place and the other from another place. But there is no intermixing allowed. Hearthstone is the opposite it's all factory direct. It's nice in a way because your dealing direct but shipping a stove 2000 miles is alot more expensive than 500.
  14. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    990
    Loc:
    Western Massachusetts
    The big oil companies? Interesting......do you realize that the total profits in oil since 1977 has been 600 billion dollars!? Thats alot, huh? But the little known fact is that the Federal and State governments have taken 1.39 TRILLION (yup, thats a T), in oil taxes since 1977!!! thats warrants three exclamation points! (from Forbes magazine last month). Now, the oil companies explore, drill, refine, and deliver their product. What does the government do for their money? Nothing.
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    48,116
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Not true. The govt. provides security from terrorist threats. It provides excellent support to our industries, just ask Haliburton or KBR. It seeks out oil, even when this risks jeopardizing world security It fights unwinnable drug wars. And it builds excellent bridges to nowhere. Get with the program man, take the plunge. Oh, er, looks like you're already involved with that. Nevermind.
  16. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,248
    Loc:
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    What you don't see is Uncle Sam behind him with the long steel poker.
  17. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Messages:
    990
    Loc:
    Western Massachusetts
    lol- glad to see more cynics out there!
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page