I reviewed a manufacturing facility a few years ago and as I walked the shop floor I noticed assembly personnel installing all manner of gear, from diesel engines to electrical equipment, wiring and plumbing. At one station a person was installing a propeller shaft strut. In order to align it with the shaft, he stacked washers between the strut and the hull until the shaft rotated freely. I later questioned my host about this approach and his response, while honest and well meaning, was typical of many folks I encounter in the industry, “we’ve done it that way for years, why, is it a problem?” The short answer is yes, it is a problem. The long answer could have generated several pages of text, notes, photographs and instruction explaining why it was a problem, as well as how it could fail and how the process should be carried out properly.
As a new or custom boat builder or equipment manufacturer, you have access to a variety of experts, from those on your own staff to vendor and subcontractor specialists. Your hope is that these people will provide you with the information and skills you need in order to build a high quality, reliable product that satisfies your customer, and sells well. What they won’t offer you, however, is objectivity. Vendors, if they are skilled professionals, will know their product, and only their product. It’s not likely that they will suggest a competitor’s product in order to solve a problem, or fulfill your needs.
Those on your staff may be educated, skilled and experienced, but it’s likely that they only know one way to do things, the way
you or their previous employer taught them, and as most experienced individuals within this industry will attest, things change and they change rapidly. Overcoming the powerful and often destructive philosophy of, that’s the way we’ve always done it, often requires the services of an outside specialist who can analyze your product, and how you manufacture it with absolute objectivity based on over three decades of industry experience. It helps immeasurably if that outside specialist is recognized by both the industry and boat owners, as an acknowledged expert, and one whose opinion is valued highly by your customer.
Allow SDMC’s Industry Consulting Program to help you achieve this goal by taking advantage of the following services.
- Thorough, on-site facility and manufacturing review
- Review of proposed equipment selections
- Evaluation of existing designs followed by suggested improvements
- Reliability and customer satisfaction improvement program
- Review previous design or equipment failures and identify causes and solutions
- Review of after-sale customer support and service programs
- Review and provide employee training, technical, customer-care and communication
- Prepare technical screening exams for prospective and existing employees
SDMC on your side, either as a confidential advisor or a champion for the quality of your product, will yield productive and profitable results for your company.
Call or email to discuss your industry-specific needs, and to determine how the Industry Consulting Program can help you achieve supreme customer confidence, and the increased sales volume that’s sure to follow.