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Thread: AGD's Relply to the Wait on Xmags (long)

  1. #1
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    AGD's Reply to the Wait on Xmags (long)

    AO,

    This is in response to to the many threads currently running about AGD's ablility to deliver product.

    As the president of this company I have to look at the big picture. It is my responsibility to insure the survival and long term health of the company even before the wants and needs of the customer. Please note the words "long term". As an example, if we were making widget "A" and loosing money, I would have to raise the price IN SPITE of 100% complaints from my customers. From the companies perspective there is no difference between loosing money on a product or not selling it at all, which is what the customers might do if you raise the price.

    There are only three variables when it comes to making a product, Quality-Delivery-Price. You only get to pick TWO! These three options are never clearly understood by the buying public. Marketing’s job is to make people believe they are getting all three. AGD as a company picks Quality and Price, we have never in our 16 year history been known for delivery, ask anyone. No one ever says “that’s way too expensive” or “that’s crappy quality” but they certainly complain about “AGD doesn’t make enough”.

    So in the big picture (and we will use recent examples) what do I need to look at in order to make my overall business decisions? Lets start with the Superbolt! We came right out of the box with 1000 units, plenty for everyone so no one would wait. A problem was discovered and what did everyone say? No one said “hey great job on delivery!” there was a loud and clear bashing that “we came out with it before we tested it enough”. Our reputation for delivery went up ZERO and our Quality rep took a big hit. In order to shore back up Quality we had to do a trade in deal on all the old superbolts. This cost the company double to get out of that tight spot. Note to self, “better to wait than to rush because it costs twice as much to fix and they care about quality more than delivery”.

    Lets move on to the ULE bodies with the detent issue. Now if that had been a slightly different problem and the bodies were unusable, we would have had to go to the bank and get a loan in order to trash the bodies and then make new ones. Note to self, “the more expensive the product, the more careful we need to be on the first few batches or else it could bankrupt the company”. I doubt many people would line up to buy a product that was non functional even at a discount price. At this point everyone has forgotten about the Superbolt and is back to complaining about delivery (good job Tom you are still scoring high on Quality and Price).

    Moving further on lets go to Roller Triggers! Good quality, SUPER FAST DELIVERY and not a bad price! Sold the first bunch in a couple days so we banged out 1000 more and sold…….none. AO screaming for them one day translated into a dead item the next. Had to blow out the last batch to another manufacturer at a big loss. Note to self, “listen to AO but don’t count on everything they say as being true in the big picture”.

    So finally we come to the subject at hand, the Xmags. It was never my idea to make the xmag body, AGDE came up with it and when the cnc version came out you all went wild for it. Of course you did because it was one of the hardest to machine parts in the history of paintball, that we didn’t design, made overseas, from a supplier we had never used before, on the most expensive product we ever made. Not a problem lets proceed. From the very beginning this is what I heard from AO “ I want an Xmag NOW but if AGD doesn’t get them out people are not going to wait”. Humm… based on the Roller Trigger above that means we could sell a few and then they could decide that the Matrix is better because they liked the movie. Thinking about the Superbolt fiasco these things better be perfect because we cant afford to replace them or we might go to the poor house aka ULE’s above. Thinking more about it, if we blow the quality (like on the ano) on our flagship product, we will never recover, if we raise the price….no can’t do that… its already the most expensive paintball gun out there. Ok only choice then is to let them wait, that’s what we have to do because our delivery rep can’t get trashed any worse!

    Some facts about the xmags, we are currently 300 on backorder and its not going up. This is not a big backorder by any standards. We have 500 machined bodies in the pipeline right now. This is a prudent number in process for this level of backorders considering its such an expensive product. While AO has been complaining, there have been multiple dealers that have had these guns sitting on the wall and not selling. Adventure Games NH had the first 9 to come off the assembly line with no preorders. She wanted to cut it back to two but I told her to come to the AO dealers section and sell them. She did and got no takers in the auction she set up, she only took two. More were sitting at Predator Marketing in CA for weeks until an AO guy found them and bought them. This is even after I made a personal appearance out there to show them the marker and get them charged about it. Fox River Games home of our sponsored team Swarm had them sitting on the wall for weeks until AO found them there too.

    In the grand scheme of things its not the dealers calling and placing orders, its AO voicing its opinion from the group that wants to have Quality, Delivery and Price all happen at the same time. While I can sympathize with your desires, the reality of manufacturing does not allow me or anyone else to make all three of these things happen at once. You have all made it exceedingly clear from your comments and actions in the past that waiting sucks but lack of quality is completely unacceptable. We still have the price variable that has not been tested yet. If we come up with some extra guns in this next batch I am going to put them in stock at some extremely high price just to say we have them. This is the only way to get rid of Delivery at the (increasing) expense of Price.

    So AO I have to come here every day and read the gut wrenching complaints about delivery but I know based on the big picture that the long term successful strategy is to make you wait. I should see it as a good thing because that means or quality and price are on target, but that’s hard to do when people think its stupid when you don’t just magically make more. If it was a 5 dollar item I would gamble and make a bunch, fact is we don’t make enough profit on xmags to live off them so they are getting all the attention we can give them. For the reasons above I will restate that it is highly unlikely that we will ever be holding xmags in stock, if you can’t wait I apologize but that is just the way it is.

    AGD
    Last edited by AGD; 05-12-2003 at 06:42 PM.

  2. #2
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    well put tom.

  3. #3

    I Applaude you

    Tom,
    You are a businessman through and through, who also shows a really good understanding of his customers. Mr. Kaye, Product quality should be “first” in all good businesses. I wish, as a consumer, more companies took this into play rather than cookie cutting out poor quality items. Quality is an important attribute when dealing with consumer wants/needs. A reputable company may not always sell in volume. Let the products prove the point. I can't help but think of the vacuum company KIRBY. Mr. Kaye and the entire AGD family continue you tradition of honorable work ethics. Because, your products do speak for your company and they're telling the consumers "Experience, Innovation and Quality".

  4. #4
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    Well Put
    you truthfully understand the public and the buisness, world its just, the public dosent get it!
    MY SIG RULZ



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  5. #5
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    Ouch, it seems we here at AO have let you down several times...
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  6. #6
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    I think it is very well put out and true.

    Props to echo419 for the sig

  7. #7
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    Now I feel bad for complaining a little
    set up: Micro e-mag with 32 degree chrome flame drop, Level 10, 88/4500 crossfire, 12 in CP, 32 degree whisper and ARADUS 14in barrel, EVO II.

    Stare at Mr. Humpey!!Stare at Mr. Humpey!!

  8. #8

    Let me put on my flame suit

    With all due respect, the examples given in that reply were not the responsability of the customer. It is not the cutomer's fault that there were defects in the super-bolt. It was not our fault that there were issues in the ULE bodies. Theses were quality control issues that should have been dealt with before they were distributed. As for the roller trigger and the apparent lack of interest in the X-mag, I must question AGD's use of this forum as one of the major tools it turns to gauge the marketplace. I understand that AGD is trying to give us AO'ers what they think we want, and that is admirable. However, it is poor marketing. I think the best policy for any future products is to keep them under wraps until they are ready for production. I'm not trying to be a jerk or pick any fights, but I think it should be ok to reply to a post, regardless of who posted it. And, for gosh sakes, as customers, we didn't let anyone down! AGD makes their living off of us (and I happily comply-they make a great product); it is not our responsability to "keep them up".

  9. #9
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    very well said.all good things come in time.if you want quality out of the box go AGD if not go buy a gun you have to put more money into just to get it to work right.

  10. #10
    same here

  11. #11
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    If there are 300 on backorder, and 500 bodies that are in the works, will that not mean that there will eventually be a surplus (assuming the backorder numbers don't rise dramatically)?

    I will gladly continue to use my RTP until the wait for an xmag is a bit lower. Then I might pick on those babies up.

    Everyone will complain about the wait until the quality drops, and then there is hell to pay.
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  12. #12
    The Frymarker Guest
    Tom,

    On a small scale I know exactly what you mean and that is why I had to stop.

    1. I couldn't keep up with the demand.
    2. Customers wanted there grips the same week and have 30 orders in one week and try to get them all done is impossible.
    3. Every once in a while I would get a customer who was unsatisfied and would complain, I would make another pair free of charge and they wouldn't like them either. Some people want a miracle for $25.

    So I decided that it wasn't truly worth the headache, I'd rather be spending my time with my kids playing in the yard, than to stress about orders.

    Sometimes I would work from 8am to 3am just trying to get on track.

    Now I do have to say that I had have an over abundance of great customers that truly love the product that they recieved. I am very, very greatful to them. In essence they are not just grips but a piece of artwork that I spent a lot of time making. I hope they cherish the grips they have.

    One thing I have learned Tom, you can't please everyone.

    Maybe you should just call the new xmag coming a limited edition. That way you can can get away with only making so many.

  13. #13
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    Yay TK! ( hey that rhymes! :D )

    All I have to say is - I love AGD , and love AO. I am so happy that TK has made this forum for us. I think its a privlage to be a member of this forum. Thats why I get mad when people flame , and diss AGD. They never had to buy this forum , keep it up , or tell us anything. But ya know what? They do it. I was going to sell my mag , and get an impy or viking or something. But not anymore. This post has put no doubt in my mind that AGD is THE best in paintball. Cant wait till I get my Xmag. If it takes a while it takes a while. I think its worth the wait to get the best paintball marker out there. And I think its uber smart to have the pre orders so there not gonna have a bunch of em sittin on there hands not gettin sold. Ok Im done now...
    LONG LIVE AGD!!
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  14. #14
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    THANK YOU TOM! Finally, some one has answered everything, and gotten every one to shut up, and stop complaining.


    Tom, i completely understand your problems, and i understand why they are taking so long, if you look down, earlier today, i basically asked every one to stfu



    Originally posted by Tom in reffrence to a post saying he acted like my dad...
    "That's right!
    WHO'S YOUR DADDY!!"
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  15. #15
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    Tom:
    What you said makes perfect sence to me. If I had the money i would definatly wait for one, for a long long time even. and gladly. but you know the story, im just a 17 year old kid and where is a 17 year old supposed to get that kinda green hahaha. anyway i just want to let you know that i support you and AGD

    Originally posted by Lohman446
    This is why I love AO

    "Why would anyone need this"
    "I just ordered one - though I can see no use for it"
    "Me too"

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  16. #16
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    umm
    tom if you could stop all production of the xmag and
    put 99% of your time to the clare posters that would
    be grrreat
    "The Few Who Do Are The Envy Of The Many Who Only Stand And Watch"

    Alway Remember *343*

    Si vis pacem, para bellum

  17. #17
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    Quality is the biggest reason I have stayed with AGD since the first Mag I bought. I have waited almost a year for my X-mag, that barring delays will be here in 3 or so weeks. I don't want the company that I just bought a $1450.00+ gun from to gamble on increasing production and go out of business.

    I also love the fact that AGD uses this forum to test new ideas. Do I need/want a digital thermometer on my gun...No but WDP has taken the time to put it there when they could have been working on something else.

    My only complaint throughout the whole time I have waited is not knowing what the delays were. AGD has been O.K. at letting us know where the next batch is and how many but I would have liked more updates. I don't mind waiting, it's waiting and not knowing.

    Tom, Thank you! I for one had no doubts about dropping the cash for an X-mag. Even though I have had to wait a long time I know it will be a quality gun with quality service!
    PROTECTING FREEDOM SINCE 1989

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  18. #18
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    For sure, you can’t please everyone. I am however proud to say that because I went with my gut instincts and did not rely on AO alone as a base for product(s) development and sales, I am expanding greatly and have more work than I can keep up with. I will actually be making my normal job into a part time job and making my products my main source of income.

    I however am not rushing anything, nor worried about a few folks complaining that I am not producing my products fast enough. My customers know about quality and understand that sometimes you have to slow down and do it right. And I think that is what Tom is trying to put across…. A bunch of vocal AO members do not the Paintball Marketplace make. This is not a slam on AO Members, but a business fact. For example: I have a products that received lukewarm response on AO, yet I can’t make them fast enough for the general Paintball Marketplace.

    And I have seen similar things happen with other products made by other companies… the AO response, and the paintball world response.

    Tom must do what he thinks is best for AGD, and sometimes that is NOT listening to a very vocal, yet minority of the paintball community. If Tom does the right thing for AGD, the general paintball community WILL benefit from it. It is a win-win situation.

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  19. #19
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    Thank You Tom!

    You answered alot of my questions , this is why I will always shoot AGD .

    Thanks
    Kyle
    "Anyone can slap together a high-end electro , where as building a high-end mechanical is truely an art form" - nuclear zombie

  20. #20
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    Tom:

    Any chance on you posting the list of resellers that Xmags were shipped to? AO'ers in the area of the stores that received them could contact them to see if they have any unsold X's, I guarrantee that they will get sold in a matter of minutes once AO knows about them, we just need to know where they went to

    -Evil Bob

  21. #21
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    i think the problem is you get all your feedback from people who cannot afford these things. everyone is like my dream gun is an xmag. exactly its a dream they cant afford it.

  22. #22
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    thanks for the explanation, even though i never complained!
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  23. #23
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    I have to wonder if the desire for the XMag is mostly a style issue... as it has more features but does not improve the overall functionality of the already solid EMag.

    I hope we see custom rails and slug bodies in an EMag package from whoever can make them... that rival the XMag's looks...

    If so... then the sex appeal is covered... and the XMag becomes more of a collector's item that collectors are willing to wait for.

  24. #24
    Tom = Teacher
    AO = skooled

  25. #25
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    very true dat! The AO community is a special place but it tends to exagerate the whole. Its a micro environment that we listen to but we tend to get tunnel vision and that is dangerous. Let me ask some of you out there that are complaining about not having one a few questions...

    Do you currently have the money to buy one if I found you one right now?

    Do you currently have a preorder in and did you place real ernest serious money down on one?

    Did you notice the dealers coming on here that had them and they still took a few days to sell?

    Did you know that some preorders went unclaimed and were turned down when they got the call? I even had a shot at one and was not home when the call came in. Someone else snapped it up.

    If you were me and you were a dealer and you knew you had to wait on some and your customers might melt on you and you had to risk over a grand each on them for a while, how many would you choke up the money for? I currently have three on preorder and thats all the risk I want to take. I may NOT have any of them sold by the time they come. I hope I do and think I do but I have to risk it. I will take them anyway but I may be holding them a bit. I will not risk 10 of them. As you saw from Toms examples others may not either.

    See the issues here? See the fact is there have been at least 20 or 30 people here that have not waited at all and picked one right up! But were you one of them? If not its because you were not prepared to move when they showed up. And how many of you will be ready next few weeks when that happens again? See?

    Again, AO is a special place but lets not over exagerate its ability to equate into sales. Its a matter of money and who has it and when. And that is not always something you can get a good guage on here.

    Let me give you another example. A few weeks back I bought 12 Halo B's cause everyone here said they were having trouble getting them. How many of them you guess would have sold from what you saw here? The fact is the last two took two weeks to sell. I had thought of ordering more then and maybe the demand is back up for 6 or 8 but it is not what you think it is. Its not 11,000 members buying. Its 8 or 9 of them. And you cannot guage sales from people gripping about them not being there. Cause when they are they seem to disapear. No money!


    AGD, where we are so good we can do it with only ONE tube!

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  26. #26
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    Eloquently put, and you didn't bother to beat around the bush.

    Well, there you go guys, this is how its gonna be from here on out. So you might as while stop complaining and start enjoying!!

    GO AGD

  27. #27
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    I'm not complaining whatsoever..(and I personally hate when posts start out like this..it turns me off almost from the start)..but as far as some guns sitting at stores waiting to be sold...if they aren't up here on AO yelling at us that they've got X-Mags on the wall of their store; then they're just stupid. What you also have to realize is this is a very expensive marker (not the most expensive though..I've already owned one of the most expensive, a Cobra Mamba IR3..$1850) and we want a certain color or fade and well..we're not going to settle when shelling out as much money as an X costs for something we're not totally into. If you told me tomorrow a store had a blue/black fade X-Mag on the wall (hopefully matte) I'd be calling them all day long trying to get it from them but if I don't know the gun exists that's not my fault. I spoke to you personally regarding Adventure Games and you told me to wait it out, I contacted you again and you told me she cancelled. What can I do if the dealers that do have them in the pipeline don't know how to get to the customers that want them?

  28. #28
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    I was trying to find the thread so i could quote "stop nagging tom" but no luck. And here we are, Tom Kaye, president of AGD more or less says shut it, stop whining, stop complaining, and hold your horses. JUST WAIT.
    Yall just made him angry now Could be much more to say but this was basically I told you so. Stop the nagging!

  29. #29
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    Originally posted by DiRTyBuNNy
    If you told me tomorrow a store had a blue/black fade X-Mag on the wall (hopefully matte) I'd be calling them all day long trying to get it from them but if I don't know the gun exists that's not my fault. I spoke to you personally regarding Adventure Games and you told me to wait it out, I contacted you again and you told me she cancelled. What can I do if the dealers that do have them in the pipeline don't know how to get to the customers that want them?
    I do but I do not ever know if the customers I thought I had in hand will still be there... So I have to take the chance that someone will want a particular fade. All on trust and speculation. Thats the hard part. That fade you mention I would take a chance on. Some oddball thing I will not. But as you note you would buy one if it came before one I could get for you. And so it goes!

  30. #30
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    Would I buy one before I could get it from you, I would most certainly contact you if the prospect came up, but I don't see that happening..so I've pretty much planned on the fact that my gun is at least 2+ orders away..and that's fine with me..Cphil can tell you how I just check in ever so often to find out how much closer in line I am...I want my blue to black matte reverse fade X and really unless someone gives me a steal, which I wouldn't count on, I don't plan on taking anything but..

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