QUALITY

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Utclmjmpr

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  We see questions on this board daily about the subject of Quality. It seems to come,(or not), in all forms and levels.  On reflection I noted that a hand held mixer that my wife of 56 years is using was given to us at wedding day. This mixer has been used heavily as the wife likes to bake and cook..Then I looked at a stand alone freezer we have had about the same amount of time, still going strong 24/7 and kept full.. The mixer is a GE brand,, the freezer was made in the USA for Sears and Sawbuck in 1970 (has a GE motor). uses R12 and consumes 5.5 amps.. I look around the house and find furniture that has followed me around the country for 50 years and still holding up well, this proves the country has the know how.,,,,,,,,,,WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED!!>>>Dan
 

Larry N.

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Plastic is a factor, but there is much more. Greed is one problem -- they want you to buy another shortly after the warranty expires. Companies used to be happy with 8-10% profit margin, while now 25% doesn't seem to be enough. Overseas (read world) competition where it seems every quarter cent matters now is another factor. Too much influence from investors who think of nothing but quarterly profits, therefore the companies look at that, too, where it used to be that companies actually looked at the long term good for their company. Multi-million dollar salaries/benefits for top level execs, where they used to only get a a few times higher salary than other employees.

And that's only scratching the surface.
 

Gizmo100

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Businesses are more focused on TODAY'S profit. Not long term customer satisfaction.

At one time I would buy anything made by Whirlpool/Kitchen Aid. Now I spend countless hours researching online to see which models have what I need along with quality I demand.

It used to be an argument when we needed to buy a big appliance....Now she understands it's cheaper to buy the better product.

But your right even the better product just won't last.
 

UTTransplant

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Cedar Falls, IA
As a counter, compare cars built today with cars built 40 years ago. Used to be you were lucky to get 100,000 miles. Now it is routine to get 200,000-250,000. They cost more, but you get so much more in a car now.
 

cadee2c

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Cost cutting.... lower quality materials, fewer employees doing more work in shorter amounts of time with less training and less experience. Oh, and more technology meaning more parts to go bad.
 
S

sightseers

Guest
It's largely because of greed and 401Ks ,  a profit for the stockholders is the only thing a company needs to make today. 

Look at GM ...

Greed kills .... ;) 

 
S

sightseers

Guest
Gary RV_Wizard said:
401k's???  Not sure how that is relevant.

because CEO's make company decisions based largely on shareholders (401's) dividends. 
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I think it's largely cost-driven, a factor that grew in importance along with discount stores and now internet sales. Buyers, and hence retailers, demand ever-lower prices and the manufacturers respond with ever-cheapened designs. Synthetic materials (aka plastics) are NOT inherently junk, but they create the opportunity for cheapened materials and designs and those are often exploited.  A related factor is high volume production, where maximizing factory thruput is a key factor in product pricing and business success. They need to keep the production lines moving, and they need a continual market for more product, so long term reliability is not a priority. A third and related factor is the high expense and limited availability of appliance repairs, making it more practical for most owners to replace rather than repair. If your fridge quits, you can't wait around for a repair guy to show up a week later and then tell you its another 10 days to get parts and install (at a steep price), so you head to the store and buy another ASAP. And trash the problematic one.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Quote from: Gary RV_Wizard on Today at 10:49:04 AM

    401k's???  Not sure how that is relevant.


the Shareholders control the company.


401(k) has nothing to do with shareholders - it's an employee retirement option funded mostly by employee contributions.  Perhaps you are thinking of some other program with a similar numeric name?
Sorry. do not mean to digress far off-topic and will let this drop.
 

Ernie n Tara

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Ft Myers, FL
Looking at it objectively, I suspect the deterioration in quality is not nearly as widespread as it appears. Yes! Some products, handmade in particular, do not last as long as (we remember) they used to, but we need to remember that a small percentage of any product may apparently last forever simply based on statistics. I certainly don't want to go back to 1940's vehicles or appliances and have noticed that I can buy four to 10 times as many of nearly any electronic product for the price I'd have paid 20 years ago.

I think we almost always get more than we pay for as compared with 40 years ago!

Ernie
 

garyb1st

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Stock prices and coincidentally the rewards of the corporate elite, are effected by a corporations earnings not their customer satisfaction ratings.  Quality may have some effect on share price but only to the extent it doesn't cause a major hit to that share price. 

Corporations are not entirely at fault.  Consumers are as much to blame for quality issues as manufactures.  As was previously mentioned, products are not manufactured to last forever.  Thing fail and if it's possible to find a repair facility, the cost to repair will likely exceed the price of a replacement product.  Not a lot of incentive for young people to start an appliance or even a computer repair business.  And with many young people buying new iPhones every year or two, the concept of keeping something long term doesn't compute. 
 

kportra

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Montana
Planned Obsolescence
Which also fits in the profits/greed reasoning.  If my sofa lasts 30 years and I only buy 2 in my life, how is the sofa company to stay in business?
 

thelazyl

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When I was a student I was taught that Cadillac devoted minimal effort toward repeat buyers because their target audience was older.  This is why GM would try it's new technology in Caddy's before other models - like the ill-fated 4-6-8 engine which turned out to be one of the biggest lemons of it's time. 

I tend to think of RV companies the same way. 
 

thelazyl

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Here are my 2 cents:  I tend to look at it a little differently.  The profit motive, net earnings, and increases in capital have a wider range of benefits outside of the corporate officers.  Employees benefit from a company whose capital is rising as there is greater demand for labor and pressure to recruit and retain workers.  Consumers benefit because the product (the motor-home) needs to be price and quality competitive per the target audience.  This view of mine is shaped by being part of prosperous companies and shrinking companies.  As an employee there is no comparison as to which to be part of.  The same is true as a customer.  Declining companies tend to treat their product and customers as ?get what we can while we can? and will sacrifice quality and innovation.  Growing companies are the opposite. 
 

Gizmo100

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kportra said:
Planned Obsolescence
Which also fits in the profits/greed reasoning.  If my sofa lasts 30 years and I only buy 2 in my life, how is the sofa company to stay in business?

A good point.....However the store that sold me that sofa later sold me 2 recliners (I'm sitting in one now), A entertainment center, at least 3 beds and some kitchen appliances. They only sold quality products. They could and did stand behind the product.

By the way the sofa lasted me 20+years when I gave it to my stepson and he gave it away when he moved out of state.
 

TandC

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When everybody buys  quality products ONLY, there will only be quality products on the market.
 
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