Drivel Starved Nation-
I have much to share with this report, so drop whatever it is you are doing and feast on this delicious bowl of drivel!
I spent a good portion of October in China to address several important developments, not the least of which are the Asian factories that are copying Bridge City tools.
Currently in China, there are two factories producing our KM-1 Kerfmaker, the Chopstick Master is being knocked off, and we have video footage of a factory in Korea producing our DJ-1 Drilling Jig, Jointmaker Pro, Center Scribe and several other tools.
Only in the most twisted sense, because not only can we do little about it, the associated legal costs (where applicable) are something that I would rather spend here on R & D for new products.
As most of you are aware, for the past 34 years, all of our tools (Chopstick Master excluded) have been produced right here in the U.S.A. for what I assumed was a primarily American woodworking market. Although we have customers in about 35 countries, our tools are prohibitively expensive when exported, and our price structure does not lend itself to wholesale discounts. This, combined with my complete aversion to financial risk, means that we are content to stay true to our roots planted in 1983.
But this is going to change and I want you to be the first to understand what it is we are doing about it.
Pictured below is our JMPv2 Jointmaker Pro at a trade show in Guangzhou, China this past October…
In agreeing to grant an exclusive manufacturing license to Harvey Industries for the JMPv2 Jointmaker Pro, the quality prompted me to extend the agreement to all of our tools for the international market only. This is a big deal for us, because this market has been consciously underserved. OK, ignored.
So, what does this mean?
It means we are going to continue serving the American market with American designed and made tools – so in a sense, nothing has changed.
For the international market, Bridge City tools, made to our same standards in China, will now be available for about half the retail price of their American cousins. I consider this a win/win arrangement with one exception;
We have a boat load of Canadian customers, and if you are one, thanks for your continued patronage! Just be aware that sometime in 2017, our tools will be distributed by Harvey to a bunch of different Canadian outlets and as mentioned, the prices will be about 1/2 for the exact same quality you have come to expect from us. I can’t imagine this will be a negative for our hockey loving neighbors. Because of our proximity to each other, not many Americans consider Canada an international neighbor… so we expect some US flak that hopefully this post preempts.
So, why are we not selling the China versions in the USA? Because I don’t want to get involved with those who think we are exporting US jobs to China. By this time next year, 50-75 different Bridge City Tools will be available in over 50 countries. All will be clearly marked with country of origin. With this arrangement, we are doing nothing but improving the trade deficit. And that I believe, is a cool thing.
Lastly, part of the license arrangement is that if quality suffers, we will pull the plug on the deal, I will not have much patience for tarnish on our brand…this Totally Awesome and Worthless blog does enough damage by itself.