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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:11 pm 
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https://articles-mlive-com.cdn.ampproje ... ar_sou.amp

I get upgrading to CNC stuff, but I think PLEK sucks. I hope they don't regret the loss of tribal knowledge....

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:43 pm 
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He said workers are willing to make changes to improve quality, but insist there's no way to hand-craft guitars without minor flaws.

[clap]

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:27 pm 
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I believe that we can make some minor edits to better identify the issue:

He said workers are willing to make changes to improve quality, but insist there's no way for the existing Heritage work force using the existing Heritage work flow and production methods to hand-craft guitars without minor flaws.

The common corporate parent is clearly not a learning organization, and Heritage is a branch trimmed from that tree, so we can expect the same sort of issues with the seemingly permanent institutional malaise seen at Gibson. Does anyone doubt that Mr. Bob Taylor could produce flawless Gibson guitars in his production facility with his workers? I don't...which suggests that what may 'fix' both Gibson and Heritage may not be just a slight adjustment in ownership and management.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:47 pm 
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In other words, a personnel upgrade may be in order?



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:40 pm 
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New tricks for old dogs?

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:44 pm 
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"Does anyone doubt that Mr. Bob Taylor could produce flawless Gibson guitars in his production facility with his workers?"

No. They would look like Gibson's but sound like Taylor's.
We like to say that people develop a " personal sound" as they continue to build instruments - wouldn't that be even more true of a factory where methods are even more regimented and processes more controlled?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:36 pm 
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Lets face it folks, the machines are going to replace us all.

I guess when you think about it that would be a paradise right? Never have to work another day in our lives as machines provide for us....


Shoot me now :D


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:13 pm 
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Does anyone make money in America MAKING things? We let the Chinese make things, we get rich OWNING things. Especially abstract intellectual property rights. Which would you want to own, the Apple brand or an electronics factory capable of making smartphones?

Someone bought the exclusive right to sell guitars with the “Heritage” logo. They are not interested in MAKING Heritage guitars. Rolling Stone wants to sell a tourist attraction, BrandLab (doesn’t their name say it all?) wants to sell a logo on a headstock.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:44 pm 
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Manufacturing will lay off workers to trim the fat when profits are down, but will also lay off workers when profits are up, with the thinking that they could maximize profits by making workers do more.
Bean counter's run most manufacturing businesses.

Alex

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:51 am 
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Quote:
Bean counter's run most manufacturing businesses.


Which should be against the law. Bean counters should NEVER be involved in policy discussions, or leading a company. Let them count beans, and then tell them to shut up.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:01 am 
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rlrhett wrote:
Does anyone make money in America MAKING things? We let the Chinese make things, we get rich OWNING things. Especially abstract intellectual property rights. Which would you want to own, the Apple brand or an electronics factory capable of making smartphones?

Someone bought the exclusive right to sell guitars with the “Heritage” logo. They are not interested in MAKING Heritage guitars. Rolling Stone wants to sell a tourist attraction, BrandLab (doesn’t their name say it all?) wants to sell a logo on a headstock.


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Thanks for summing up the reason that the world is going to hell in a hand bag, which of course is for sale- just like everything and everyone else. I wish it weren't so but you know what they say about wishing in one hand and sh***** in the other!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:59 am 
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Clay S. wrote:
"Does anyone doubt that Mr. Bob Taylor could produce flawless Gibson guitars in his production facility with his workers?"

No. They would look like Gibson's but sound like Taylor's.
We like to say that people develop a " personal sound" as they continue to build instruments - wouldn't that be even more true of a factory where methods are even more regimented and processes more controlled?


So the answer is actually yes - Taylor could indeed build the Gibson designs without the flaws that we see on a near weekly basis in both acoustic and electric guitars coming in for repair or setup. Would they sound like Gibsons? I never suggested that they would ( FWIW, I see Taylor products as the Honda Accords of the acoustic guitar world - a product that is relatively trouble-free, usually reliable, and as bland as beige wall paint...as my daughters used to say, "...ugh...BOOOOORRRRing...").

What I did suggest was that organizations - particularly manufacturing concerns - that are institutionally opposed to learning generate the sort of quality issues Heritage and Gibson are dealing with. At some point, investors demand that businesses display business-like behavior - which is to say some progress towards reasonable costs and consistently good products, which appears to be what is currently happening at Heritage. I also implied that holding only management or 'bean counters' responsible misses the point that labor and foreman-level supervision has a major role to play here as well.

So let's address the question which is begged by the article cited above: why can't Heritage seem to build a consistently good instrument, despite being staffed and having production supervised by a group of highly skilled production workers and foremen, capable of the highest level of craft in the least amount of time (aka, craft professionals)? Given this available skill set, Heritage's problems should never have included those related to actually building guitars...but yet they do.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:36 am 
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To quote the article:
"In fact, most of us worked for slightly over minimum wage with no medical benefits."

Low wages and no benefits won't buy you a highly skilled motivated work force. Ultimately the failure of any business is a failure of management. That management feels they can layoff employees (rather than retrain) and replace them with machines is a poor strategy. The person who quit probably saw the handwriting on the wall - neck carving is one of the prime examples where CNC comes into play.
The article makes it sound like management wants to make the factory a tourist attraction, with workers on display behind glass and plenty of activities to entertain the parents and kiddies.
Honestly, I don't think the "Heritage" brand has the same draw as "Gibson". Maybe they feel turning the old factory into another Hard Rock Cafe is their best option.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:01 am 
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Woodie G wrote:
I see Taylor products as the Honda Accords of the acoustic guitar world - a product that is relatively trouble-free, usually reliable, and as bland as beige wall paint

I could never quite find the right words. Thanks! haha


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:02 am 
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Quote:
I see Taylor products as the Honda Accords of the acoustic guitar world - a product that is relatively trouble-free, usually reliable, and as bland as beige wall paint


^^^^ THIS! ^^^^
These are the words of a scholar and a wise man.
May they live forever!

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:33 am 
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It sounds as though the company is attempting to co-brand with Rolling Stone (the aging baby boomer lifestyle magazine) as that magazine - with their audience dying off - tries to move into the Hardrock Cafe entertainment/food/destination meeting business space. Also sounds as though Heritage is seeking reduce overhead (always horrifically expensive in historical buildings) by sharing costs across lines of business and tenants. Short of making the building a working museum, it sounds as though Heritage is keenly aware of the benefits that Martin and some other manufacturers see from both community and customer visibility of the work place.

Moving to CNC for necks makes a lot of sense - little or no real impact on the finished product, other than reduced labor hours, ability to replicate specific necks as well as repeatability, etc. The negative is more on the customer perception side, although other guitarmakers have gone to CNC for at least rough carving, and even the hard cases like my boss see it as a way to get to a neck ready for final shaping without all the "grunt work" and related labor.

Speaking of grunt work, does the term come from all the grunting heard when someone is engaged in those tasks, or because infantry soldiers are referred to as 'grunts', and they feel they do a large share of work?

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Last edited by Woodie G on Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.


These users thanked the author Woodie G for the post: Bri (Sat Mar 10, 2018 11:01 am)
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:39 am 
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Chris Pile wrote:
Quote:
I see Taylor products as the Honda Accords of the acoustic guitar world - a product that is relatively trouble-free, usually reliable, and as bland as beige wall paint


^^^^ THIS! ^^^^
These are the words of a scholar and a wise man.
May they live forever!


Goodness...I fear neither of the terms used are accurate descriptors...but thanks!

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:15 pm 
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"These are the words of a scholar and a wise man."

Just remember what happened to Socrates.... laughing6-hehe


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:10 pm 
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Something about tripping over his hem...and who hasn't done that a time or two?

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 12:30 pm 
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A lot of the whole "Heritage Guitars" Mojo was that they WERE built the old way in the old Gibson plant - and for the most part, by the actual old Gibson employees who knew how to do it... And guys who liked Gibson guitars LOVED Heritage guitars for that....

I hate to say this - but it appears that the owners don't understand what they were selling.. They forget that "Sizzle" sells steak... If you eliminate that whole "We are the real Gibson" mojo - then you are left with another miscellaneous guitar brand with a semi-unfamiliar name... And now you are price competing with everybody else based on specifications, fit and finish, features, and appointments.... And that's a BAD place to go instead of "We sell awesome Vintage Mojo..."


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:21 pm 
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John, I think that is dead on. They bought a brand they don’t understand. The Chinese are very eager to buy intellectual property lately. Even in the guitar world with “Loar” and “D’Angelico”. But Heritage is different. They don’t really have their own identity. Their brand is being more “Gibson” than Gibson. To that segment of the market that believes Gibson was at its best from the mid thirties to the mid sixties, they offered to be frozen in time. Their whole appeal was anachronism. You can’t “bring into the future” an anachronism and keep it an anachronism. Without that, Heritage just becomes another Peerless or Ibanez. I’m not sure there is room in the market for that.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:30 am 
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" And now you are price competing with everybody else based on specifications, fit and finish, features, and appointments."

God forbid they should have to do that! laughing6-hehe
If they cultivated a working environment that inspired the employees to produce a product on par with the "boutique" makers they would be enhancing the brand rather than diminishing it. They could charge boutique prices and people would buy with the knowledge they were getting a first rate handcrafted product. When employees walk out because others have been laid off that shows a large schism between management and labor.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:25 am 
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When I first read the article, I wondered what the minor flaws were. Were they poor craftsmanship, such as chips, scratches, binding gaps, or were they minor variance from a cookie cutter approach that would have every instrument be precisely the same in dimension and appearance?
If it is the former, it could be that the craftsmen were either lax in their work, or that they weren't given enough time to do the job correctly.
If it is the latter, it is management/ownership deciding that they want to compete in the cookie cutter guitar market, where just good enough rules.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:26 am 
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300 guitars scrapped in a year due to flaws though... that’s not great


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