What is going to kill the American Instrument Industry

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by lovevixen555, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    you, just like the thread owner are still missing it. This thread started with the assumption that only the manufacturer can give the customer the deal that they deserve and I say that is just plain BULL. Price is not the issue, nor is absolute quality, whatever that may be. The issue is the write off of the retailers/dealers that are close to the customer and have a vested interest in each one of us. The mass marketers offer a take it or leave it, the can sell junk and rejoice in the fact that most consumers are lazy and will not demand satisfaction when effort is involved.

    Even with $150 trumpets, we don't have MORE KIDS in band programs, we just have kids with terrible instruments. Price is not the issue.

    I am not down on China, they just build what some clown on the other side of the pond orders. I see no need to subsidize that business however.

    JRFIII Pianissimo User

    Feb 20, 2008
    New Jersey
    This has become a most intersting thread with many well thought out and argued points of view. (Well ,at least some of them that don't start out with saying a post is "ignorant.")

    Thank you all for considering my follow-up based on these discussions and consideration of the various viewpoints.

    1. On quality: My observation is that many a manufacturer has succesfully pursued a lower qaulity, lower cost product to enter a market. Read any of your marketing 101 course literature. You will find this is known as Peneteration Pricing. (e.g. Nissan-Datsun, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, etc.)

    2. Once peneteration pricing has built a market base, a smart corporation/manufacturor will exploit that to get to a higher profit margin level by increasing quality and or brands. (e.g.: Acura, Ultima, etc. . . . and all the newer LUXURY cars coming out of Asia that are equal in quality and lower in cost than the European and Chrysler, Cadillac, or Lincoln.) This comes through investing intital profits in Research and Developmet, practices such as Six Sigma for constant quality improvemnt and other tools.

    3. The role of overly agressive xenophibic regulation. Many here have pointed out the burdens of the U.S auto industry to make cleaner more fuel efficeint cars. LUCKILY the instrument manufacturing business does not bear those sxmes burdens in the U.S. I guess the McKinley act in the late 1800's early 1900's where we made manufacturers print the country of origin is the exception to the rule are the exception. Look up the history. It was not consumer protection, it was domestic industry evelopment and production protectionism that drove those laws.

    When we over-regulate a NON-ESSENTIAL industry such as instrument manufacturing, we make ourselves non-competitive for nonsense reasons. (Note to all, if someone starts using lead, aesbestos, or any other harmful ingredient that would kill me or my progeny by using their product, then REGULATION followed up with a confirmed PUBLICLY FUNDED oversite and ENFORCEMNT body is fine with me. I'll pay for it as a taxpayer, will you?)

    3. Innovation. If we choose to use the auto industry as an example, we can see how may factors have driven U.S. automakers to their knees. Especially if in the GLOBAL market an unenlightened and unempowered populace is enslaved. (Wow, heady words, where is this guy going?)

    a. The United Auto Workers, The United Steel Workers, the United Mine Workers, The International Ladies and Garrments Workers Unions did important work in the U.S. to improve safety, improve worker conditions, etc. at and after their conception. However, they FAILED and CONTINUE TO FAIL at the true globalization of the workers' movement. If they had the guts to admit it they would say so. They got greedy. The local and nationalleadership hadd to get elected again and again to justify their salaries as now union and non-working employees. They didn't work for the manufacturers and some stopped working for the union member. They don't have the guts to organize in China, in Idonesia, in Latin America. They thought the industries they worked for in the U.S. would always be strongest and always support the lifestyle they, IN FACT DESERVE. (As do their counterparts overseas.)

    If as a union member, you were willing to get your head busted, fired, killed, have your heads thumped and change the laws of the U.S., Britain, etc, then the unions must now take their stand to the developing world. I DON"T WANT PRODUCTS BUILT FROM THE BLOOD OF MY FELLOW MAN EXPLOITED in other countries.

    Yet I cannot afford to feed my family, pay the bills, and send the kids to college if I only buy AMERICAN/EUROPEAN.

    4. The impact of relatively "Free" markets. The U.S. got big, good and fast because there was little regulation and CONCERN about the environment, workers, etc. Some just from greed much of ignorance. Now we are slowing down and complaining. What will you do?

    China is obviously much more "free" and I would argue CRIMNALLY LAX ni overseeing the coniditons of their workers or the safety of their products. Therefore Asia could possibly follow this same disastrous model as the U.S and Europe did during the Industrial Revolution, as did the Soviets post 1917 They may attempt to make major advances in quantity, quality of life, etc., without considering the consequesnces. Unless the "enlightened" West is willing to carry forth the revolution and educate, inform and change those systems form the bottom up, we'll just wee the East half of the globe make the same mistakes for the next 2-3 centuries ad the West.

    As for us musicians? Well, Asia will become a better and better maufacturer. Those that cannot compete will fail. We will move to new products/brands and nostalgically morn what has past. We'll be fine, can have our silly arguments here, and we'll sell teh planet down the tubes for future generations.

    Have a nice day?
  3. lovevixen555

    lovevixen555 Banned

    Nov 5, 2008
    Talking about Gm I worked for them for 5 year. I was a contract worker which meant I worked for a third party under contract to GM. I had to work my butt off of I wouldhave been let go. On averqage the contract workers got three times as much work done as the saleried Gm counter parts each day. We got 30 minute lunch's and two 15 minute brakes not 1-2 hour lunch's and and as many smoke brakes as you needed!

    GM's main problem is the culture that it has created. Everyone that is hourly thinks that GM owe's them something in spite of the great wages,benifits and protections they get from the union. These same great benifits are one of the legacy cost's killing them but it is not the Union that signed those contract's it was the managment at GM that said sure we can do that! No attention to the future just thinking quater to quarter. On top of that their saliered staff's are bloated have too many people doing the jobs that need to be done. As long as you have a political system in place that encourages the top executive staff to make back channel deals to support each other's programs based not on what is good for the company but what is good for their own departments bottom line nothing will change. No one at GM has the get's to do what must be done to turn the company around because that would mean cutting a lot of job's consolidateing departments and changeing their entire marketing practice. They do not even build products that they can sell at MSRP they have to discount their products to get them to sell all the time for like the last 20+ year's.

    I am against the bailout because GM and FOrd are each spending 2 billion in cash each month. The proposed bailout wouldnot buy them enough time to do what needs to be done to fix the problems. It is actualy more of a bailout for the UAW. THe UAW and the other Unions represent a huge precetage of the Democratic parties loyal voters and they do not want to lose them. You would think we would have learned since the last bailout did not have the intended effect.

    The only way Gm can really get out from under those bad Union contract's and their legacy cost's is to pull a Delphi and Lear Seat and file for Bankruptcy! Chapter 11 is what I would do if I was in charge of the company. This would allow them to do what needs to be done and protect them from hostile take over and things like that while they try to make the company strong again.

    When I was working for them another GM employee told me how Pontiac was adding a shift and they where still 500 people short of the 1500 they wanted to hire. My and I went down trying to get an application. They told use tha they reason they where still down 500 people was because all the people appling kept falling the drug test. My wife and I are drug free and I had a 5 year history of working for them. They would not give us an application they said "You have to know someone that works her to get an application from them!" never mind that is against the law. Oh and I have two uncles that retired from GM and that did not mean a thing. So personely I could care less what happens to GM no one can get a job with them right now any ways. They have thousands of skill trade people makeing 90% of their regular pay that have not worked for year's they just show up at the designated work site and sit around drinking coffee waiting to get the call that their is some work for them. So I have no sympathy for guys that have 35+ years on the job and are makeing $24 an hour to do a job that should pay $9 an hour and insane benifits to boot that should have retired a long time ago. Their are no job for my generation or my children so why should care? All the other industries in my area depended on GM,Ford,Chrysler to give them business but all that business has gone to Canada and Mexico etc.......My job went to Canada and Pakistan. Since the ecconomy is not diversified that means that their are almost no job's in Michigan and thousands of job leave this state each day. So even if they bail out these auto companies it does not change the fact that their will not be any new jobs created and what we need is need jobs and diversity in the market.

    I love to buy American when ever I can but I also like to see a company think and operate in an intelligent manner. I am also against farm subsidies(sp). No market should be protected from competition it never works to the benifit of the economy. History is full of protectionism failing to help an economy. FDR's "New Deal" was not that great.

    Tax breaks to corperations so that they do not leave the country are definately in order. If you want a larger tax base get more people working good job's. Taxing industry is old school and look what it has done to Michigan.

    I would hate to see the American Musical Instument industry get to the point that GM and FOrd and Chyrsler are at! Thinking ahead long term is not that hard to do. I understand that some outsourceing is going to have to happen to be competitive. Look at what Jupiter is doing. They maintain an insane level of control over the machinery,raw materials,designs and standards. They benifit from the lower labor cost, lack of legacy cost's like a bunch of retired people drawing pension and costing them a small fortune in medical cost's and I am sure that the tax rates on them are far less then if they where in a state like Michiga where they still have the ancient "SIngle Business Tax" Michigan is the only state left in the Union that still has this tax and it is killing business's in this state! This is not entirely bad thing though and I will explain. This means that those business still in the USA can have more time to focus on their Top Tier Pro-Grade instruments. This could spell the return to more hand manufactureing, more details like fancy engraveing and a higher quality pf materials
  4. Ed Kennedy

    Ed Kennedy Forte User

    Nov 18, 2006
    BandMan I think that the price of instruments and what's happening in school curriculae are separate issues. Your point about music having to compete with many other electives is well taken. Here in Florida there is yet another factor. Standardized testing (FCAT here) and the grading of schools based on the students' test performance has led to the practice of pulling below level students out of their electives and placing them in so called "accelerated" (read as remedial) academic courses. This is killing not only music, but all the electives in Title I middle schools. The teachers are reduced to engaging in a popularity contest with each other for the available students in order to preserve their jobs.
  5. TrumpEd

    TrumpEd Pianissimo User

    Oct 9, 2008
    This has turned into an interesting and emotional thread. I'm retired from an American manufacturer, early "buyout", jobs exported.

    What's really good about this is the discussion itself.
  6. bandman

    bandman Forte User

    Oct 16, 2004
    Lafayette, LA, USA
    My main point is that without the students there is no market. I hate to say this, but I wonder if my grand children will have a band program at their school, which is worth joining? Over the past few years I have seen 5 out of 7 of our local high school bands take a serious nose-dive. The middle school programs in this area were among the very finest in the state, as well as the southern USA. Now there are two great middle school programs and the others are marginal at best. Both of the fine middle school programs feed into the one outstanding high school program in this area.

    At my school the opposite is true with the same result. We are a very high level functioning private school. The vast majority of our students come from homes with tremendous parental support, and that same group of parents draws upon their personal life experience as about 90-95% are college graduates. Our students are being pulled out of music electives for accelerated academics and computer classes that really are accelerated.

    The band suffers because in 8th grade there are two classes that are very special, and only the best of the best get in. You know that the very best band members in 7th grade are being pulled in 8th grade for that class. The band not only loses the best players, they also lose the best leaders.
  7. godchaser

    godchaser Banned

    Jun 17, 2007

    "Chris, you, just like the thread owner are still missing it." -rowuk

    I'm with you Robin. I am. -The ill-effects of flim-flam, throw-away product manufacture is evident. Nevertheless, nothing can kill the Music Industry at large. Undoubtedly the face of manufacture & distribution will change dramatically in the small-product manufacture of a Trumpet World specifically. And eventually it will be as impressive in larger-product manufacture as well; given our expansive technological age.

    Which is to say, who is going to buy a Horn from a mass-Builder or small-market Builder in its present form & function, when Musicians can design, develop, and build their own at home. This kind of home based manufacturing ability is fairly near. It'll come to roost in exactly the same fashion as home-computing has, and continues to do. By consequence, certainly any and all Builder-status, nevermind Dealer-status -will shift and fail in light of the mass free-exchange of Musican-builder Trumpet-designs that we will soon be participating in. Course, appreciation for the Artists of 'Old School' Builds, will remain; despite the huge costs to continue in this niche market. And it may be that our tech. climate will provoke an increase in the number of innovative hands-on Builders. All be it, with an over-all decrease in volume sold, to this request. In any event, it's reasonable to think that these lasting-Builders will take advantage of opportunity in capitalizing on 'New School' manufacture as well. Offer of their Design-Artistry by aid and method of man and machine, to one measure or another. Whether new school build philosophy, or old -obviously isn't anything new at all. Quality is always a product of collaboration, and a man is only as good as his tools.

    Point is, that eventually any and all exploitive potential for useless product manufcature will cease to exist. Reason being, is that this perfect; right out of the box. Great White Killer. -That is our manufacturing incentive to remain competitive in a broadening consumer market, will have swallowed it whole. There simply won't be any corrupted-need, considering how cheaply, or efficently, high quality product manufacture will accommodate a mass-consumer accessibility. We're locked in to this net result by way of the advantageous and opportunistic blood in the water frenzy that not only represents, but enables our technological pace.

    Last edited: Nov 29, 2008
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    pardon me while I laugh my AXX off. I think Karl Marx had some ideas like that and we all know what happened with that experiment.

    Mass market customers will buy what they get spoon fed. Too many people don't care. That is why the Burger King have it your way has not put McDonalds out of business and why Coke and Pepsi are still very popular regardless of the healthiness.
  9. godchaser

    godchaser Banned

    Jun 17, 2007

    "Mass market customers will buy what they get spoon fed." -rowuk

    Yes, that's a fact. Although over-simplified a bit. -Now continue the circle in manufacturing incentive; and it's easy to understand that there's no escape from this dynamic of advantageous and opportunistic blood in the water frenzy, that not only represents, but enables our technological pace.

    Stop and think about that for a second Robin. We're living in a technological progression that's perpetually moving with greater speed. If manufacturers can't keep pace, they'll simply be absorbed. This relentless motion provokes greater breadth of enterprise and competition, which in turn creates greater innovation, and the cycle continues. There's never been more opportunity to capitalize -and that will be the repetitive-reality from one moment to the next; indefinitely. It's frenzied self-fulfillment by proxy of (manipulative), manufacturing incentive. If you wish to look at it from a spoon-fed perspective, that you liken our society.

    What is accurate - to your mention of Karl, is the socialist-like equilibrium that will inevitably take hold. Just can't stop the Perfect Killing Machine of 'manufacturing incentive', in alliance of consumer self-fulfillment -by way of our exponential pace in technological advance. Socialist benefit, or a societal-majority living in Utopian-like freedoms: actually isn't too great an exaggeration, as it concerns our perspective today. Course, tomorrow's another day to Pimp our Rides, and do what Humans do. :)


    -Can't nothin' kill, the Music Industry. Least as it concerns Musicians.

    Last edited: Dec 1, 2008
  10. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    I agree with rowuk. Having worked in the music retail industry for 12 years, I know how important it is to provide service to the music customer. parents are very ignorant about music education and that makes them a good victum of the "cheap" sale. A knowlegable dealer can offer helpful advice in the long road to support their young budding artist. Also in shop repairs, service and needed accessories. The only part of the retail industry that I've always taken issue with are the intermidiate horns. A well maintained good student horn is made to last 30 years and will serve the vast majority of students through high school and college.I've seen too many parents buy a "shiny" new horn for their child when they can barely play. Better to spend the money on lessons. lovevixon555 seems to think there is no difference in design of student and pro horns. well they are very wrong. If anyone needs me to explain, just let me know! By the ignorance on the part of the buying public is killing your local music store.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2008

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