Thursday, January 24, 2008

Book of Shame

This will be a bit of a rant, I am afraid.

About a week ago I decided to start keeping a record of parts made for Harley Davidson motorcycles that don't fit, don't work and or are just plain shoddy. Believe me (and I am sure you do if you have ever worked on Harleys for a living) this is a constant, ongoing problem in this business. Lately I have had an absolute rash of junk parts to deal with.

I have dedicated a 3 ring binder to this purpose and intend to keep a record of every part I come across that is manufactured incorrectly with the part number, application and manufacturer of the "junk part."

It was really easy to fill up about 3 pages without going very far back in time. I am sure more of the parts I have "beat my head against the wall" about over the years will come to mind and be added as time goes on.

Yesterday I had a four new entries for the book which cost me about a half a day of labor. These were parts that I paid good money for, which were incorrectly manufactured. And this was all just in one section of one motor. Usually the problem does not become evident until you are in the middle of an operation. Did I mention how frustrating this can be? Then to top it off, there are always the added problems. How many hoops will I have to jump through to return the part? Is every one of this particular part from this manufacturer defective? Is there any other source for the part? Can I make the part work with modification? How much time will I waste trying to get any kind of answer from the manufacturer? Does the manufacturer care even a little bit that they are selling junk?

Yeah, a bit of a rant, but you should hear me when the circumstances are fresh. By the way, I titled the 3 ring binder "Book of Shame"


Joe Blackmon said...

I'm an auditor and I can't tell you the number of times I go in to do an audit of an agency and find the same things wrong over and over. People just don't seem to take their jobs seriously like they used to. I'm thinking about starting a "Book of Shame" for things I find on audits.

St.Lee said...

Yes, it can be a little discouraging. I wrote two more entries in the book today. It may be that I will have to stop recording the bad parts because I will not be able to afford the time. I am going to attend the V-Twin dealer expo this weekend and plan to confront some of the offenders (and by confront, I do not mean in an angry way) What I really want to know is whether or not they have any interest in improving their product. I am hoping that in at least some of the cases it is due to lack of feedback and not lack of integrity.

Jack Hester said...

It's never ending. I'm grateful to the suppliers of replica/replacement parts for old machines. I just hope my screen process catches the bad stuff before it winds up in an engine. Sifton bearing cages are by far the worst ever made, knowing that Sifton is no longer a quality U.S. brand name. But, you hope that some of these brands would do better. That's just one that comes to mind.