Another month is in the books! With a lot of folks taking vacations, it was a fairly low key month. This month we took delivery of our HX35/HE351 compressor adapter, shipped a lot of pumps, sold out of almost all turbos and clamps, had our very first pump return, and our first formal subpar feedback. Other than these it was a typical month. Let me dig in and expand on these so you understand the significance of them.
- Compressor adapters. There are adapters out there for the HX40 on eBay. I do not know (though I should) if the compressor outlet v-band is the same size as the HX35 but regardless the price they offer the adapters at is still too high in my opinion. These adapters complete the offerings surrounding the physical interconnects between the turbos and the car with the exception of oil lines and I am unsure of whether I want to offer those or not. I am super pleased with the quality of these and the bulk orders allowed me to get pricing almost where it needs to be.
- Pumps. I first approached Dieselmeken because I wanted to get 603 pumps built here. I am still beside myself that the om617 is the more popular pump people want to have built. Installation still appears to be difficult for some but with persistence, they appear to be going in. Issues almost always come down to lack of fuel flow, timing, and/or wrong stroke.
- Pump return. We offer pump upgrades, not 100% full rebuilds. To my knowledge, we build them just like Dieselmeken. Most Bosch shops in our area charge $115/hour. If a fully rebuilt pump took a business day and you add the cost of elements, gasket kit, and the labor to calibrate and bench test your pumps you would not be near the price of the upgrade. I had a customer that could not get his pump to work so after days of messaging back and forth, I had him send it to me which I ended up forwarding to Bosch. Inside the pump, the rack slipped out of position. It took considerable force to get it to go back in and there were no signs of physical damage inside the pump so it was retested on the bench and sent back to the customer. After installation, the exact same thing happened. The customer was extremely upset and rightfully so. They wanted, and paid for, a pump that works. Their expectation was that Bosch should have known, but the reality is that they shouldn’t have. The rack doesn’t need to come out and visual and bench testing revealed no issues. Aside from the customer’s disappointment, it left me wondering how to handle the situation. I feel the core has an issue but at what cost do I make the customer happy? Do I end up eating more cost for bench time on the pump and shipping that the upgrade was sold for? In the end, I shipped my own core to Bosch to be built for the customer. When we get their pump back it will come 100% apart to try to identify the root cause but the core is expected to be the problem. Since 2017 they have built a lot of pumps and this is the first issue. When this is done I expect to have over $1500 of my own money tied up in this customer’s $1095 upgrade.
- Negative feedback. I hope that anyone that has done business with me knows that I always try to do my best to do the right thing. One of the first products I had made was the driveshaft adapters that mate to a Spicer flange. This month I received product feedback of 2 stars on the flange saying that the holes for the large flange are an odd size that can lead to having the flange off center resulting in vibration. The only thing that gets me, in this case, is that the customer didn’t contact me. I offered a full refund via email once I received the feedback but there was no chance to discuss the issue before getting the rating. I have not received a response from the customer.
, In a nutshell, it was a coasting month. I spend a significant amount of time on the phone and messaging with people and try to give the best support I can. It’s tough sometimes because I am not physically there to see what they see and to help diagnose things but people usually get things worked out. I need to handle the frustration of the return and feedback better and identify how to proactively manage order follow up.
I am looking forward to SEMA in November and will specifically be looking into nitrous, meth, turbo wheels and rod manufacturers.
Have a great August,