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  • Local vs offshore manufacturing - how do you feel?

    My tampers have always been locally made and Im more than happy with the quality of work in all the components I either make myself or have made up for me by local craftsmen and firms.

    Yesterday I got a direct, though uninvited, email from a company in China inviting me to use their services for the manufacture of my tampers and showing some examples of other tamper bases they make. Having no dissatisfaction with my present arrangement and being a keen supporter of local manufacturing, I had no interest in investigating their offer; but it did raise the question in my own mind as to the importance of local production in the mind of a buyer.

    How do you feel about the issue? Hypothetically, if the quality of a foreign units were identical, would you be prepared to pay more for something of the quality of a Pullman tamper, an ECM or Expobar machine, or any other top-end product, just for the sake of having it made locally? Does the Made in Australia (or Italy or Germany) carry any inherent value for you if the quality is purportedly the same as that produced in China or similar countries? Is it your perception perhaps that the quality *simply cannot* be the same, despite assurances like Made in China on processes designed by Nikon, Japan? Do the employment conditions commonly reported for such countries discourage you from supporting the companies that utilise these conditions? Or conversely, does the place of origin mean nothing to you provided the product you get is what you want, and is cheaper than a local equivalent? Do you feel that manufacturing is now in a global marketplace and price is the ultimate benchmark on which all organistations must compete?

    By the way, I have no intention of moving my manufacturing offshore where I have no control over the quality of parts, cant just drop in and catch up with the workers, and where any product returns would necessitate an international shipment!

    Welcome your thoughts and votes

  • #2
    Re: Local vs offshore manufacturing - how do you f

    Assuming yes equals supporting carefully made local products (or in countries traditionally associated with the product).
    Having said that, Ive seen stunning asian guitars including my Korean made ESP, though that is not in the traditional cheap end of the market- a high end style product made at a mid price. Also, Japan was seen as a sourde of cheap products when I was growing up in the 60s- now Japan produces serious quality across the board. Todays China may be tomorrows Japan if not too many corners are cut (as shown by my guitar exaple above).
    Now if there was serious high end Japanese espresso stuff being sold here, you might get a different response...
    Brett

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    • #3
      Re: Local vs offshore manufacturing - how do you f

      Greg,

      The poll is rather hard to understand!

      Does "Yes" mean I would prefer them to be made in Australia or does it mean Yes Im happy for them to be made overseas? Or am I missing something?

      As a craftsman made product I would prefer that the manufacture stays in Australia.... not saying overseas goods are poor quality (they can be - so can Aussie made).... and a few more dollars is worth it IMHO.

      I personally like the genuine craftsman approach.

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      • #4
        Re: Local vs offshore manufacturing - how do you f

        Originally posted by JavaB link=1161669056/0#2 date=1161669905
        Greg,

        The poll is rather hard to understand!

        Does "Yes" mean I would prefer them to be made in Australia or does it mean Yes Im happy for them to be made overseas? Or am I missing something?
        Sorry JB, Ive reworded the heading and vote names a few times to try to get it right. Hopefully its clear now. Please advise if its not.

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        • #5
          Re: Local vs offshore manufacturing - how do you f

          Originally posted by gregpullman link=1161669056/0#3 date=1161670132
          Sorry JB, Ive reworded the heading and vote names a few times to try to get it right. Hopefully its clear now. Please advise if its not.
          Ah, fine now Greg - and Ive voted!

          Maybe you could have a craftsman range (higher price- but made in Aust with S/N etc and the "coffee snob value" - for the want of a better word - that some of us want....)

          And a standard range (imported)... at a lower price for those who want a quality tamper but dont want to pay a premium for it... bit like sunbeam (made in China) espresso machines... they do a good job (except for the occasional problem) and are much cheaper....

          I wouldnt buy a sunbeam espresso machine either ;D

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          • #6
            Re: Local vs offshore manufacturing - how do you f

            As a motor mechanic by trade I have had the unfortunate experience of using tools made from China and other similar cheap production type places. I personally would not buy a hand tool from China for my trade and most likely not buy a Tamper from China either. I think your point adds even further weight to this Greg that when it comes time for warrantee or sendback it suddenly becomes dearer anyway. I would rather pay good money straight away for quality and get it righ first time. I am sure there are internal parts of machines that are made in China etc, so maybe we at times support overseas more than we actually know. Something to say about cheap labour "you pay peanuts you get monkeys" and it shows in the final product somewhere along the line. The promotional product they send you may be okay but quality control over long term may not be the same. I am sure China will progress just as Japan has and other Asian countries just from my experience so far is not to the standard that I would like.

            Brett

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            • #7
              Re: Local vs offshore manufacturing - how do you f

              I have no problem with buying products made in other countries - I have an Italian espresso machine and a Chinese grinder. Having said that, one of the major "Ive got to have one" points of a Pullman tamper is the fact that it is made by Greg Pullman, an Australian artisan. Personally, while I can understand you outsourcing some parts of production to other local businesses, I wouldnt be as interested in a Pullman tamper if I thought it was mass produced.

              The Japanese make great cars, but Rolls Royce dont sub contract to them.....

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              • #8
                Re: Local vs offshore manufacturing - how do you f

                Im a firm believer in "You get what you pay for"

                For some items, the fact that it is from overseas is not inherently a bad thing (says the Silvia owner).
                Having said that, it kind of depends on what the product is.
                If there is a comparable product available here, and its not an enormous price difference, Ill try to go local.

                Your case above is a perfect example:
                "Well do the same as... but cheaper".
                In some cases, you might save a few bucks here and there, but there is always a sting in the tail. You pay in other ways.

                The most common one is warantee/guarentee. Most of the cheap things from overseas are either bereft of such a concept, or involve you crating up your defective item and sending off to <insert country name> at your own expense. To be told that "its obviously user error" or "incorrect useage" that has caused the issue. Not that "Its a shoddily made piece o crap".

                However, some might argue the same product is avaliable when it is not really.
                Say.... oh I dont know... coffee.
                We produce coffee in Australia. Why buy a cheaper product from overseas instead of supporting local growers?
                Well, its not really the SAME product.

                As with most questions in life, the answer is - It depends!

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                • #9
                  Re: Local vs offshore manufacturing - how do you f

                  Originally posted by Viviane link=1161669056/0#6 date=1161673247
                  Having said that, one of the major "Ive got to have one" points of a Pullman tamper is the fact that it is made by Greg Pullman, an Australian artisan. .
                  Yes agreed.

                  A Pullman tamper is a fine work of art (which just happens to work excellently as a tamper). IMHO it would be worth having just as a display piece

                  Like all fine works of art, the value in the product is the fact that it is produced by the artist ( a copy or an artwork produced by another and then signed by the artist are both second rate!!!).

                  Ive been holding off on purchase.... only because I wanted a convex face.....

                  Dont need to wait any more!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Local vs offshore manufacturing - how do you f

                    Ah JavaB, I was going to comment on a notable omission in your equipment list. Now I wonder no longer!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Local vs offshore manufacturing - how do you f

                      Manufacturing in first-world economies does NOT necessarily cost a lot (example - I just bought an Avent baby feeding bottle, cost $6, made in the UK. You could pay maybe $1 less and get one made in China.)

                      Manufacturing in China etc IS cheap as chips but quality is generally low to adequate. But I avoid China (and others) for various reasons - namely their inefficient and environemntally-unfriendly manufacturing industries.,

                      I dislike the way that companies outsource to China not in order to be competitive and reduce prices to consumers, but to make bigger margins. A Chinese-made coffee machine (eg. Sunbeam) that retails for say $299 would probably cost $25 ex factory. All the cream goes to the importer/distributor/"brand".

                      I also dislike hearing Australian manufacturers constantly complain about "cheap imports". You can compete on price, quality or value. Australian manufacturing costs arent dirt cheap, but we have a fantastic wealth of natural and human resources, and can make world-class goods if we want.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Local vs offshore manufacturing - how do you f

                        Originally posted by fatboy link=1161669056/0#7 date=1161673576
                        Im a firm believer in "You get what you pay for"

                        For some items, the fact that it is from overseas is not inherently a bad thing (says the Silvia owner).
                        Having said that, it kind of depends on what the product is.
                        If there is a comparable product available here, and its not an enormous price difference, Ill try to go local.

                        As with most questions in life, the answer is - It depends!
                        Agreed. I recognised from the outset that it would be impossible to word this thread specifically enough without it taking up lines and lines of space so figured Id go for a general feel. I think in most cases, people would be happy to buy cheaply manufactured products which are cheap to buy and dont really matter, e.g. hair dryers, cooking utensils and jerry cans, but are more discerning on the things they personally are more particular about and / or cost more. Hopefully this thread will pick up the general feeling one way or another without attempting to address specific cases, which of course are as individual as those whose opinions they represent.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Local vs offshore manufacturing - how do you f

                          Originally posted by DavidR link=1161669056/0#10 date=1161674042
                          Manufacturing in first-world economies does NOT necessarily cost a lot (example - I just bought an Avent baby feeding bottle, cost $6, made in the UK. You could pay maybe $1 less and get one made in China.)

                          Manufacturing in China etc IS cheap as chips but quality is generally low to adequate. But I avoid China (and others) for various reasons - namely their inefficient and environemntally-unfriendly manufacturing industries.,

                          I dislike the way that companies outsource to China not in order to be competitive and reduce prices to consumers, but to make bigger margins. A Chinese-made coffee machine (eg. Sunbeam) that retails for say $299 would probably cost $25 ex factory. All the cream goes to the importer/distributor/"brand".

                          I also dislike hearing Australian manufacturers constantly complain about "cheap imports". You can compete on price, quality or value. Australian manufacturing costs arent dirt cheap, but we have a fantastic wealth of natural and human resources, and can make world-class goods if we want.

                          Well said. If people are prepared to look past the up-front dollar, and not necessarily in every case either as youve said, theres a lot to be said for our local products.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Local vs offshore manufacturing - how do you f

                            Originally posted by gregpullman link=1161669056/0#9 date=1161673883
                            Ah JavaB, I was going to comment on a notable omission in your equipment list. Now I wonder no longer!
                            Yep... spoken to Santa and he (in the guise of my other half ) will be bringing me one for Christmas!

                            I must admit I value craftsman made items above mass produced - disposable ones. My La Cimbali is 17 years old and was craftsman built (OK in a factory :) . It has had a long and hard life in a cafe, but still performs excellently- and looks good as well.

                            It takes pride of place in the kitchen because of its value - not value in a monetary sence.


                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Local vs offshore manufacturing - how do you f

                              Originally posted by gregpullman link=1161669056/0#12 date=1161674264
                              ...theres a lot to be said for our local products.
                              I just sooo cannot help myself on this one! :P Ive got two words for you all!

                              Holden


                              Ford


                              ;D ;D ;D ;D


                              Seriously, it doesnt matter where you purchase from. All countries will make either good or crap products. What it comes down to is do you want to help your countries economy or someone elses, essentially an emotional choice at best really, IMO. Personally, I have a household made up of Australian, American, Italian and Chinese goods. Its the global economy thing I suppose!

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