Where are the tools you can actually buy?

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Where are the tools you can actually buy?

Postby User304782 » Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:47 am

I understand your reluctance to stock inventory in today's economic climate. Since I have no inside information about BCTW, I can only assume that you have made the correct decision.

What does bother me is that several times recently I have come to the site to buy something. Only after drilling down through several pages do I find that the item that I want is out of inventory.

Can you set up a page of what is available at the moment? From the looks of things, it would be a pretty short web page!

Maybe you can also have a counter on each item showing how many people have expressed interest in ordering the tool when it becomes available again. If I see that there is critical mass gathering on a given tool, then I may be happy to wait. If only one or two people have expressed interest, then I know that I must look elsewhere. This may seem counter-productive to you in that people may look elsewhere immediately on items of low interest. However, I think you may be losing people who would wait if they knew there was a point to doing so.

I also realize that you are in a odd position in that many of your customers are tool collectors and not tool users. Do not forgot those of us who are simply tired of buying crud and are happy to pay for quality for the tools that we use every day. I just love the little block plane I have from you and, frankly, I don't care if I devalue the thing's collectible value by using it every chance I get! It's a tool first and foremost - a high quality tool - that brings me a feeling of satisfaction every time I use it. Perhaps a small inventory of the non-collectors tools would be possible?
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Postby John » Thu Dec 24, 2009 4:13 pm

The truth of the matter is this; we almost bit the dust after 9/11 because our sales fell through the floor. Combine this with the fact that our inventory was used as collateral for our operating line and other business loans. Since our sales disappeared, the value of the inventory, in the bank's eyes, became insufficient for our debt load. Not good.

Obviously we made it through the gauntlet and now, unless you are Cisco or some other behemoth flush with cash, small business loans are next to impossible. And they are next to impossible to all the great little shops that make our components.

We are now a make to order company. If you see a tool that you would like you need to check the little button that says Notify Me When This Item is Available. It is a vote of confidence that is tallied in a report and we judge our manufacturing plans accordingly.

The tools that are designated "Bridge City Essentials" we try not to run out of, or, we know we are going to make them more than once a year.

It is not a perfect system but we have adapted to the economic constraints and realities of today and we are still here...which on most days is a good thing.

We are retooling our website to make this process not only obvious, but more accurate.

Lastly, the bulk of our customers (over 70%) are using our tools. That said, every woodworker on the planet is a tool collector--admittedly or not.

Hope this helps.

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