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Is it just me?

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Ok Machine Manufacturers... this goes out to you. When your... - Apr 28, 2014 by A Very Frazzled Man  

Well said Reese. ... - Apr 29, 2014 by Chris  

#72012

Is it just me? | 28 April, 2014

Ok Machine Manufacturers... this goes out to you. When your Customer (me) spends $150K on a machine. And you show up at the facility to install this machine. Please bring the tools you are going to need to do the basic installation. Asking me to borrow tools, and/or a level, is not very professional. Also, it's usually a wise choice to handle your own transportation. Showing up at my facility and informing me that you need to be picked up and dropped off at the Hotel because you can't drive, is also not very professional. If you are asking your customer to provide tools, transportation, meals, or Hotel Reservations.... you're doing it wrong.

Am I too sensitive?

Is it just me?

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#72013

Is it just me? | 28 April, 2014

I think that you are very frazzled man :) Other than that, it would be better to have your own transport and your won tools during installation. On the other hand it can always happen that in a current situation installer might need a tool that he doesn't need for a normal installation. These people travel a lot and machine require a lot of tools. I guess after all you can be upset a little bit, but don't be too harsh. At the end of the day we are all people and we should respect others labor as we do with ours.

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#72014

Is it just me? | 28 April, 2014

Go ahead and vent, it's human. $150k "seems" like a lot of money, but it isn't. I don't know if the service person had to fly to get to you, if so, a 10 drawer craftsman's tool box full is out of the question. A level, however, yep, I'm with you. I can drive, but I refuse to drive in the Boston area, they are crazy, rotaries, attitudes, aggressive drivers, and un-planned roads are frustrating. That being said, I would schedule my own transportation, at least until I made friends. Some companies have a deal with the local hotels, so, that's kinda normal. Reply if you still are "pissed".

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#72015

Is it just me? | 28 April, 2014

Thanks for the replies.

I guess I'm not really pissed, just a lil' grumpy perhaps. :)

I just found it unusual to have to supply the Installation Engineer with ALL of his tools. It was explained to me that this was an unusual occurance, and I guess that's okay.

But the transportation thing... I may just provide him with a few numbers to local taxi services. If it were just me, I wouldn't mind picking him up and dropping him off. Unfortunatly I won't be available all week, and I'm not going to ask one of my guys to use their personal cars to do it.

Thanks for allowing me to vent!

I feel better now... :)

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#72016

Is it just me? | 28 April, 2014

Happy to help reduce you from a very frazzled man to a semi-frazzled man.

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#72019

Is it just me? | 28 April, 2014

I dunno, Frazz. That scenario wouldn't fly too well for me. It sounds too much like an unprepared installer, or installing company.

When I buy a machine in that price range, I am usually paying a fair price for installation and training. That price is typically inclusive of hotels, meals, transportation, etc...

In a pinch, no problem, but as a course of normal business, not for me! 'hege

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#72020

Is it just me? | 28 April, 2014

OK, do you install machines, or just complain? Have you ever landed at home Saturday night, flew out Monday morning, just to have someone bitch that you are late, my suspicion is, NO!

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#72022

Is it just me? | 28 April, 2014

I donno Jimmy, I may have to side with Hedge here...

As he mentioned, in a pinch, it's okay, but as a usual practice, its not acceptable.

If your employer is sending you out to do machine installs without tools, or the means to get yourself around, than your employer is not only not supporting you, but is not servicing the customer very well at all.

Just my frazzled opinion..

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#72024

Is it just me? | 29 April, 2014

Frazz you are right!, I had the same problem, one thing as you mention is to borrow a tool, but in my case I had to let him use my tool cart!, first thing I had to go and get him, since he had to cross the border to Mexico, it was afraid someone could steal his rental, as I drove to the hotel I notice the guy is only wearing a laptop bag and some literature, I play it nice and did not ask about the lack of tools, so at the plant in front of the machine he goes:"hey can I borrow your tools for today?, didnt bring my tools this time" no reason why he was without tools!.

On the other hand I have seen service engineers come to do a minor repair and bring 2 big suitcases full of the tools they might need on a service call, hell even once he took out a huge stillson wrench, didnt know how he got pass the airport but there it was.

Oh yeah and driving by them self

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#72025

Is it just me? | 29 April, 2014

No, that's just weird. I have also never seen that in the UK. T.B.H I also get annoyed by the majority expecting you to arrange the movement of said machine from delivery truck to factory floor (particularly when they itemise the shipping at several £k). This isn't our, the customers, area of expertise, we make and ship electronics (generally), not items weighing several Tonnes. Also, just how many electronics shops have a fully comprehensive mechanical tool-kit? Ours relate directly to the assembly tasks we carry out day to day. There are plenty of things a service engineer for a complex piece of machinery might need that we have no reason to possess.

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#72027

Is it just me? | 29 April, 2014

"Have you ever landed at home Saturday night, flew out Monday morning, just to have someone bitch that you are late, my suspicion is, NO!"

Not-my-problem....that's the nature of the beast when you are a FSE. The travel requisite gets explained to you when you get hired.

A tech should have 99% of tools needed to INSTALL a machine. A breakdown service call may be a different story.

150K is not a lot of money ?! JimmyB, you must have worked for Fuji. Am I right ????

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#72028

Is it just me? | 29 April, 2014

In my business, $150K is A LOT of money, mucho dinero. At these prices I expect the installation folks to have everything they need, or might need, to do the job. It's not my business to supply tools for an installation that we are paying for, or has been included in the price of the machine. That being said, there are special circumstance that can arise where they don't have the proper tool. You can't foresee everything and this is understandable. But picking them up at the airport? Seriously, I have never heard of this happening and it would be a major red flag. This calls into question the professionalism of the company. After all, the person doing the installation and training represents the company they are working for. The guy should have called a cab, period. I would never ask one of our customers for a pick-up.

Regardless of whether you feel $150K is a lot of money or not, we as customers have the right to expect certain standards and we have certain expectations when dealing with a vendor. Making sure their field technicians have all the tools required to do the job is a must. I have never dealt with a vendor who didn't have transportation, so I was surprised to hear others defending this practice.

If I experienced this sort of practice from a vendor, then I'm the one writing this post and not Frazzled.

Frazzled, I'm with you bud and feel your pain. You have every right to be upset. This is poor service.

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#72029

Is it just me? | 29 April, 2014

Well said Reese.

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#72031

Is it just me? | 29 April, 2014

Thanks for the support guys!

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#72034

Is it just me? | 29 April, 2014

25+ years as an FSE and only recall once going on a job without tools (I changed planes in Seattle and tools went to Japan for a week); and I hate having to have someone drive me around (customers have insisted!). I don't know who JimmyB works for which offers the luxury of "I refuse to drive in..." . As an independent, I can pick and choose where I travel; but when I worked for others don't recall it as an option.

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#72039

Is it just me? | 30 April, 2014

> Ok Machine Manufacturers... this goes out to > you. When your Customer (me) spends $150K on a > machine. And you show up at the facility to > install this machine. Please bring the tools you > are going to need to do the basic installation. > Asking me to borrow tools, and/or a level, is not > very professional. Also, it's usually a wise > choice to handle your own transportation. Showing > up at my facility and informing me that you need > to be picked up and dropped off at the Hotel > because you can't drive, is also not very > professional. If you are asking your customer to > provide tools, transportation, meals, or Hotel > Reservations.... you're doing it wrong. > > Am I > too sensitive? > > Is it just me?

I could not agree with you more however, once this occurred my main concern would now be. What did I purchase? What kind of support am I going to receive? After almost 30 yrs on the mfg and service side I have noticed a huge change in the current FSE's. Perhaps this change is representative of our "entitlement" society of today? Cannot answer that, but I have seen service guys purposely piss off customers so they do not have to deal with them anymore and all they received was a stern finger pointing. They have forgotten who is actually paying their salaries. Damn, guess it is not just you.

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PFI

#72043

Is it just me? | 1 May, 2014

Frazzled - It's not just you. Regardless of the price the machine is when a service engineer comes to your place they should have 95% of the tools needed. now a 24" crescent wrench might be hard to tote around but all the standard tools should be with them in their kit.

I am pretty sure DEKHEAD travels with a spare machine with him because he never seemed to be lacking anything we needed. that is good service!

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#72044

Is it just me? | 1 May, 2014

Wow! What a thread! Emotions are running high. I will try to be less offensive. There should be a relationship between the vendor and customer, if not, there will be tension and disagreement. The goal, from my humble opinion is, "we" have to install this because "you" have to be capable to run it after "I" leave. The same tools that might be required to install the machine will likely be required to run it. After an installation I always tell the customer to check the leveling after 2 weeks to a month, I doubt anyone has ever done that. Cooperation is the key to success, demands are detrimental to this. If installation was a line item and not included, that changes the situation drastically. Otherwise, the margins are 2% or less, not a large budget in this situation. I had a customer on a service call, at 3:30 pm, after I landed at Noon, ask me what time I would time I would be in in the morning? I said I don't know yet. He got mad, and said why, I said if I stay here until 5am to fix this, I will be a little late tomorrow. He ended up being a good friend.

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#72045

Is it just me? | 1 May, 2014

Last thought, there are 2 schools of thought going on here. When I install a machine my goal is to create independence for the customer. Sometimes, FSEs promote dependency by remaining "invisible". Perhaps some customers are simply too busy to bother with details. The only tool they require is a phone, which I guess is ok too. Sr. Tech, if you ever had Fuji, you probably know me and like me.

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#72046

Is it just me? | 1 May, 2014

From my perspective, the installation phase of the project is part of the training, as you have alluded to. Part of this training is informing the customer about the necessary tools to perform testing/calibration/maintenance on the machine. This is all well and good, but you as an FSE should have the tools you need to do the install. You can't rely on me to have a tool that I don't know that I need. What happens when I don't have the tool you need to do the install? Once you have told me I need it, and used your own to complete the install, I will then order said tool. Anything that I am lacking, I will purchase as needed.

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#72048

Is it just me? | 1 May, 2014

As a small business owner and former FSE...Every customer is different. I can tell you that i talk to the customer and before i travel i will ask them....Do i need to bring my basic set of tools or can you supply basic tools. If not this saves the customer money because all expenses are charged to them (check in bag fee from airline). I can easily fit calibration tools and training paperwork in my baggage. Many small business's are looking to cut costs. This is just one way to do it....along with cheap hotels and low cost car rentals....and yes...i have had customers pick me up and shuttle me around to save money. Just my 2 cents worth.

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#72052

Is it just me? | 2 May, 2014

Agreed, as long as the customer has the choice. The FSE should not make assumptions that the customer will provide all the tools. When they show up without any tools and no communication with the customer to that effect, the customer has no choice but to provide the tools. It's OK to ask the customer what they prefer, but to presume that the customer has what you need is over the line.

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#72058

Is it just me? | 2 May, 2014

The last 3 posts were quite refreshing. I never said, but, I may have implied that "no tools necessary" is OK. No way. I honestly lost sleep over this thread. I was kinda playing "devil's advocate", but man what a response. I have been on every side of this issue. When I was a customer, and called for service, I told the FSE "if you get in before I do, take anything out of my office you need". If collecting your tools will cost time, forget it! On the Boston thing, I exaggerated for effect. But at anytime, If given the choice between a FSE with a shiny brand new fully loaded tool box, or a fully loaded brain, brain wins every time!

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#72070

Is it just me? | 5 May, 2014

I think what angered me the most was finding out that the FSE was going to need transportation to and from the plant every day. And I was more angered towards the Manufacturer's Sales Rep because my interpretation, though I may be wrong, was that they weren't going to pay the added expense for a rental car. Of course it also bugged me that between the three people showing up for the install, they didn't bring a single tool. I let it slide that one of the three people showing up came specifically for training, and that training on the machine came on my shop floor, at the expense of time that could've been used to train MY people, and this wasn't prearranged, (or even noted), even though I specifically asked for an agenda with the names of people that would be coming. The FSE himself was very supportive, and actually came in an extra day, on Saturday, to train one of our individuals that didn't have a lot of experience with AOI.

I guess I just needed to vent about the whole thing. I appreciate you all backing me up!

Frazz

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#72071

Is it just me? | 5 May, 2014

Hopefully the mfg is keeping tabs on this forum and taking notes. Did you call them directly to vent? I would have.

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#72077

Is it just me? | 6 May, 2014

I think I know what's going on. It's an Engineer thing. I'm a Mech. Engineer that designs and builds tooling + services machines in-house. I order thousands of dollars of material and parts every month but at no time have I added a $6 set of allen wrenches or a multi-bit screw driver to my McMaster Carr order so I can have them in my desk drawer. I always go out to SMT or machine shop to borrow tools. Not sure why, really. Hope this answers your questions and eases the tension.

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#72079

Is it just me? | 6 May, 2014

Tension? Naaa... we're all good.

Good like gravy I tell you. Gravy.

(Gravy is always good)

Tell ya what, any one who is tense, I'll buy ya a beer next time I see you.

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#72080

Is it just me? | 6 May, 2014

meh..at IPC/APEX this year, I was shopping for a new machine. I had a sales guy that wanted to take me out to lunch before meeting with his principal. When we got through the lunch line, he had "forgotten" his wallet, and needed me to pay for it.

Talk about ruining the customer experience before I'm even a customer...

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#72081

Is it just me? | 6 May, 2014

Now, that's funny, It sounds like something from "2 and a half men", the TV show.

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#72082

Is it just me? | 6 May, 2014

Robgd3,

if it works that way I will invite you to lunch too....:) What a story....this one is really good.

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#72106

Is it just me? | 12 May, 2014

I thought about just leaving him there and paying for mine...but, figured that would just be too rude :)

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