Re: InterMountain HO Scale Two-Bay Hoppers (Re-Release)-now Why Aren't There Production Kits?
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I certainly can’t argue with Dennis as he has intimate firsthand real experience on all sides of the discussion and ocean.
I think the consumer might underestimate the system design and supervision that goes into the production of kits and finished items.
To some degree the parts count problem is largely self-administering during the assembly of a finished item….it becomes pretty obvious at several stages of assembly and inspection that a part is missing if the system is set up properly.
Keeping track of the packing of a myriad of parts into a “kit” seems to me to be less obvious. A miscounted screw or a mal-formed part on a sprue might be overlooked in packing but harder not notice during assembly.
But, as Dennis says, it is largely moot as the oversees factories know what they are going to charge for a project and the outcome is not influenced by our logic at all.
It used to drive me nuts when the production minimums for Undecorated or number-less units was the same as fully decorated items. My thinking was just-set-aside-raw-plastic-parts-and-don’t-paint-them,-then,-assemble-them! More sales, less overall work!! But to their mind, no, a line item on a spreadsheet has to follow the “rule”. ARGHHH!!!!
(on topic, that was likely the reason that you had to buy 3 Kato ACF Covered Hoppers in one box….the profit on the SKU was pre-determined and that dictated the packaging….even though the consumer did not want to be forced to buy 3 of one roadname at a time…even if they were probably going to want six different numbers in that railroad!
It is what it is….deal with it, as Dennis says!!!
If somebody wanted to go through the hassle of setting up a full-blown factory here in the US, talk to Accurail, Bowser, Con-Cor, Atlas, Inter-Mountain, or any other of the companies that eventually had to partially or completely give in to overseas production or assembly. Perhaps someday an open full service factory modeled on the Chinese Sandi Kan, Kader, etc.. success can be established to allow boutique Model Railroad Companies to continue without having to take on the myriad of problems for individual low-production enterprises. At that point kits may make a comeback if there are appreciable differences in labor for assembly vs. straight packing…but don’t expect to ever see the equivalent of a $1.98 Blue Box kit!
From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Dennis Storzek
Sent: Saturday, July 24, 2021 11:29 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] InterMountain HO Scale Two-Bay Hoppers (Re-Release)-now Why Aren't There Production Kits?
On Sat, Jul 24, 2021 at 01:19 PM, Andy Carlson wrote: