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What's up with RS FAB?
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Honuak
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:16 am    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

Like an extension.
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raoul mitgong
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:00 am    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

6 pages, 10 months, over 9000 views, and no word from the manufacturer?
I don’t think responding to this would violate any forum rules from a vendor.
-d
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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:07 am    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

I just saw an ad posted on facebook. It seems that's where most of his communication is coming from.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:11 pm    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

Looks like he hasn't check this site since last June.
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rsfabparts
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:29 pm    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

What could I say guys, that wouldn't come across as a excuse? Its been tough, the business grew to fast and I was to inexperienced in business to see the warning signs.

What would you like to know?

I've had multiple customers tell me that I'm getting bashed on The Samba. Until recently I had no concrete answers for anyone. After some recent reorganization of the business with the help of friends, past customers, we seem to be on track to make a full recovery. Next would be to get the trust and faith of the Vanagon community back, which I understand will take awhile. I'm not giving in to the criticism, giving up on my dream or this community that has given so much.

Thanks to all who have supported me and thank you to everyone who has criticized me, it has made me a better person, and a better businessman.

Ray Miller
Owner
RS FAB LLC.
602-773-1933
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Ed Hoffmann
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:30 pm    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

RsFab order update.

Guys I got a hold of Ray from RSFab today. Not what I expected at all. This guy is legit and was very nice on the phone. I too own my own business and know the troubles of growing pains and trying to keep everyone happy. You end up making everyone unhappy including yourself.

So I have completely changed my mind of Ray as a person. He was very helpful and will ship my missing part tomorrow. I truly believe he is trying his best to fix the situation. I did let him know that he was getting bashed on The Samba., myself included. I think at least for me when there is little to no communication our minds start to think the worse.

I dont know him personally but on the phone all I can say he seemed genuine and was more than willing to fix the situation. I think his business grew more than he expected and it became out of his control. I have nothing else to say but hang in there he does not seem like a guy trying to stiff folks out of their money.

BtW the shifter is awesome and topnotch.
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Abscate
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:49 am    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

Ray..I wish you well getting and keeping things in order.

Having done 19 startups in various roles I am still learning the ways Shinola can enter the cooling system, including accountant stole payroll.
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elizer
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 3:10 am    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

I will continue to follow this thread to see how things clear up for people. Hopefully I can change my mind and buy his shifter.

It is fine to have problems in production/distribution/etc but it is important to maintain communication with your customers. The biggest issue was that the ghosted on a bunch of people.
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djkeev
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 3:36 am    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

rsfabparts wrote:
What could I say guys, that wouldn't come across as a excuse? Its been tough, the business grew to fast and I was to inexperienced in business to see the warning signs.

What would you like to know?

I've had multiple customers tell me that I'm getting bashed on The Samba. Until recently I had no concrete answers for anyone. After some recent reorganization of the business with the help of friends, past customers, we seem to be on track to make a full recovery. Next would be to get the trust and faith of the Vanagon community back, which I understand will take awhile. I'm not giving in to the criticism, giving up on my dream or this community that has given so much.

Thanks to all who have supported me and thank you to everyone who has criticized me, it has made me a better person, and a better businessman.

Ray Miller
Owner
RS FAB LLC.
602-773-1933


It is great to hear from Ray!

I completely understand his problems and I do have compassion for him.

A suggestion if I may?
Stop taking people's money until product is ready to ship.
This is what has gotten you into trouble and has hurt "our" trust in you.
To take money and then to not communicate is about the worst thing you can do!

Do as the tent guy, Ateliers, in Canada does.
A waiting list. He contacts you when you've risen to the too of the list. Granted, he too is criticized for poor communication once you are on his list but the difference is, he hasn't taken any money.

He is regarded as the top tent maker and people beat a path to his door and wait patiently for his tents, sometimes as long as a year!

Keep a list, make product and as product is ready to ship, contact the person on the top of the list.

It is that simple really. As a result we will all love you and stand in line patiently while waiting to be called.

My .02 cents for what it is worth.

Dave
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RicoS
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:30 am    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

Just shy of eleven months of speculation, wringing of hands and non-performance, yet people want to give this guy another chance? Ray took your money and did not deliver the goods - it's that simple!

No need for psycho-social-commercial analysis here. For whatever reason, the guy is a beater.

Oh, I forgot, he's a nice guy. So what, he's doing a number on you. Among the words of wisdom I sent my kids off with was, "Everybody is nice . . . at first."

And now he foists up the excuse that he got a bad batch of aluminum. Well, I've been buying many different grades of aluminum stock for decades in quantities large and small and I've never had reason to question the integrity of the mill spec stamped on it. Where's he getting the stuff? Remelted in some alley with an open sewer running through it in New Delhi?

While some of you might have been insulted by a few rude words from Terry Kay, Ray's way of doing business is the real insult - HE's the kinda guy who should be banned from this forum.

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raoul mitgong
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:29 am    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

Actually, Japan just had (is having) a shitshow with Kobe aluminum.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/10/business/kobe-steel-japan.html
-d
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Vnyd Dog
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:42 am    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

So I got my Bigshot installed this morning. I think I love it but have only driven 5 miles. Certainly an aesthetic improvement. Nice and short throws. I enjoy the 3-2 downshift especially.
Question: Only thing I'm wondering about, and am I noob regarding shifters etc., Reverse now feels a bit wonky/sloppy/loose. I can engage it, and slight rightward pressure seems to knock it out. Does that simply mean I need to adjust the linkage a few turns either up or down inside the box? Any ideas which direction I should spin it? Shorter or longer overall to engage more "positively"?
I did follow the instructions and measured from the plate to center hole. Ray's directions says 4 inches, the FB install video the guy did 3.75 so I split the difference.

THoughts?
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RicoS
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:01 am    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

raoul mitgong wrote:
Actually, Japan just had (is having) a shitshow with Kobe aluminum.


Christ, now the Japs are going the way of the Chicoms.

Perhaps the lesson here is to never buy AL from a steel company.

Thank God Alcoa came back home.

Richie (near The Burgh)
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Honuak
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:25 am    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

My advice to those of you who want to call RSFab and complain/inquire about your part...
Don't
If he is on the phone with you he cannot build your parts.
Understand that your driving an antique and want custom parts from a guy, not a massive company.
Patience and gratitude. Excellent tools in life if you desire happiness.
SAMBA
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Sodo
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:31 am    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

I think Ray should communicate. And NOT hold peoples' money. Once you hold their money, you have the responsibility to communicate.

It's evident to me that this product is not a moneymaker, it's not self-sustaining enough to solve its own problems. Normally you need about 4x profit to even THINK of producing an item, just to cover costs. 4x has the possibility of becoming self-sustaining but provides no headroom to cover unforeseen problems. Not to mention covering the expense of "customer service" for example, talking to customers when you need to be "making parts" Wink Wink .

At a 4x profit margin, one manufacturing problem can scrap the whole manufacturing lot, and burn up all the money, ensuring that theres nothing left over to to satisfy pre-sales and certainly nothing to put stock on the shelf. Keep in mind there are VAST differences in the producibility of any product. But for an assembly of CNC machined parts 4x is an OK go/nogo number. Depending on the product (and end-price), 4x might allow for wholesaling but perhaps not distribution.

So, at 4x, that means Ray's cost for this item should be appx $85. All said and done, with no special "free" steps, no free parts included. No free email communications done by free help (the wife etc). Every step, every part all priced out, all internal shipping costs, cost to maintain/update the install instructions, website. This is not easy to price out. 4x comes REAL quick.

My armchair VISUAL assessment of this product is, in the qtys produced, and the reports of satisfaction....it should be towards double,,, $800. I can't see inside it and I don't know the qtys.... but at $400 looks like "bro-pricing" to me. GoWesty wouldn't survive at this price. There's not enough money to "put the item in-stock" on the shelf.

This can be done easier with a tent, because they can cut a thick stack of fabric, then sew tents as needed from the cut shapes on the shelf. But ordering a batch of CNC parts from a contractor, requires REAL money, up-front. That's where 4x is necessary.

Basically there's not enough money to put production at the front-burner. Ray should cut bait. Return $$ to any customer who wants it back (and asap!). Re-assess pricing, and schedule, and start over with a new customer list with a promised delivery date. These Vans have room for improvement in the shifting dept - if the product works - people WILL pay "some amount".

I'll bet he doesn't feel right pricing it at it's real value. He wrote that he is now "a better businessman." That would be: Promptness in communication and fulfilling your invoices. That requires money; pricing needs to cover all costs PLUS compensate a SKILLED designer for his time on a basic level, and for his artistry, his craft on a higher level.

Ray, if you are listening, here's one of the best pieces of advice I ever heard: "for a business to survive, it must THRIVE". You probably think of "thriving as "being greedy". It's not, it's basic survival, and as you continue in business you will find out 'thriving' is required. Don't underprice your products. Introductory prices....maybe. Pre-payment discounts....maybe. When you underprice a product be aware that many people are buying it because it's worth THAT low price --- which may NOT be sustainable. You need to know if people are willing to pay the SUSTAINABLE price. If there's demand, get it on the shelf at its real value. The internet sells 24/7/365 and lets you KNOW if there's a market for an item at the price stated.

==== EDIT ====

Note: "Real" companies operate on a higher margin than "4x" production costs. Often MUCH higher,,, 20x?. Imagine how little it actually costs to mfr a Clif® bar or make Cheerios®. Which both sell for much more than beef. To get more beef you have to get animals to "date" first. Don't work like a farmer it doesn't pay. Water sells for more than gasoline, and there's enough money in gasoline to support paid politicians. Imagine the profit margin for water.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:37 am    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

4x ????!!! Forgetaboutit. Not even 2x for high end specialty items like this.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:20 am    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

Most cities have an SBA (Small Business Administration) that offers classes and consulting. They can help write up a business plan to figure out if the business is sustainable, how to price the items, even marketing, ect.

Bad material issues suck. At best you might get the supplier to replace the material. They will not cover any labor you put into it, shipping, or warranty costs that resulted (unless you want to go to court but you likely signed something on the packing list or terms and conditions that covers their ass). BTDT.

-d
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:30 am    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

gears wrote:
4x ????!!! Forgetaboutit. Not even 2x for high end specialty items like this.


Exactly!
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:53 am    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

Honuak wrote:
My advice to those of you who want to call RSFab and complain/inquire about your part...
Don't
If he is on the phone with you he cannot build your parts.
Understand that your driving an antique and want custom parts from a guy, not a massive company.
Patience and gratitude. Excellent tools in life if you desire happiness.
SAMBA


Burley, vanistan, vanagonlife, and t3 are all small businesses that I bought from. I have never had trouble communicating with and getting my calls/emails answered. According to your logic, he should have had all the parts made because he wasn't even communicating to his customers.
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erste
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 11:03 am    Post subject: Re: What's up with RS FAB? Reply with quote

Vnyd Dog wrote:
So I got my Bigshot installed this morning. I think I love it but have only driven 5 miles. Certainly an aesthetic improvement. Nice and short throws. I enjoy the 3-2 downshift especially.
Question: Only thing I'm wondering about, and am I noob regarding shifters etc., Reverse now feels a bit wonky/sloppy/loose. I can engage it, and slight rightward pressure seems to knock it out. Does that simply mean I need to adjust the linkage a few turns either up or down inside the box? Any ideas which direction I should spin it? Shorter or longer overall to engage more "positively"?
I did follow the instructions and measured from the plate to center hole. Ray's directions says 4 inches, the FB install video the guy did 3.75 so I split the difference.

THoughts?


I measured from the shifter cutout in the body down the linkage and it was 3.75" to the center. I did this by laying a straight edge across the shifter opening from under the van.

I installed the new shifter and measured from the same place, 3.75" to center. I'm not having the issue you describe, so give that a try and hopefully it gets you closer.

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