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Discussion in 'Extended Range Guitars' started by HeHasTheJazzHands, Nov 7, 2015.
Jeez, everybody's got a razor these days.
So, wait- are you saying 'bitches get stitches'? 'Cause I feel like at this point that's sort of the unofficial motto of this thread
Sooooooo...... am I the only one who noticed the total radio silence from Frank's personal account throughout a good portion of this thread talking about him only for him to pop in randomly just to talk about how equal Cort and WMI are in quality which is totally off topic from the discussion at hand?
Not a justification but based on the arguments put forward by his supporters, my assumption is that Frank is content to let this playout legally, as opposed to trying to fight that battle infront of the jury of SSO.
In that scenario, Frank likely believes he'll be vindicated and as such, free to discuss things OTHER than Abasi guitars in the meantime.
I say none of that as a justification but thats at least what I can extract of the psychology in this case.
That was to assist in putting that off-topic side discussion to rest.
This thread was in some Gear Gods  article, which is bringing in the riffraff.
Keep out SSO POSERS! This is OUR drama thread!
Guess I may have been wrong there, I was under the impression that Abasi was distancing himself from the guitars since they were pretty sub-par:
"Also, good luck trying to make excuses for the insanely bad build issues we had to pay to have corrected."
But you could argue that they owned up to it since they had them corrected by a third party before putting them on the market. So yeah.
lol no, not at ALL. You are definitely welcome to hand over lump sums of money to your single head of production, but that's of course if you want to risk this same exact situation.
Because that is literally what Tosin said, and I quote:
"By early March, we paid Frank the full deposit amount necessary to complete 51 guitars by April 15th.
After missing the first deadline..."
It's there in black and white: Frank was handed a nice lump sum and was only held to account AFTER missing his deadline. My opinion on the matter emphasizes that that is no way to run a business, especially not one literally just starting out. We're talking about the FIRST batch here... any businessowner worth a dime is going to oversee the production of at least the first few products they release to ensure that they're making a good impression. Sure, by the time they'd be making guitars in the hundreds it would probably be a pretty futile (and most likely useless) attempt to try and oversee the production so closely. But if you want a quick lesson in how not to f*ck up your business the very second it launches: it's makes all the sense in the world to have the business owner (and product namesake!) oversee the creation of the very first products very closely.
Aye, there is a direct link to page 104 of this thread from that article. More angry trolls expected
To be fair, Elysian is in thier comment section.
So it's give and take.
Contract manufacturering 101...
ABASI concepts purchased manufactured goods from Falbo Designs LLC, we were not tasked with running his shop. He was our OEM. This is similar to how Hoshino doesn’t own their own factory, they purchase their manufactured goods from various factories like Fujigen, or PT Cort. Autonomous operations. Hoshino is ultimately at the mercy of their manufacturer. It is the competency and professionalism of Fujigen or PT Cort that allows this arrangement to be sustainable ( and they still get things wrong, occasionally )
As far as me “overseeing production” The CEO of Hoshino would potentially not be so helpful on the shop floor of the Fujigen factory. Does he know if they’re wasting time in the wet sanding stage? What about if the humidity in the room is starting to produce cupping in the bodies? Maybe the hydraulic press is set too high and will eventually squeeze the glue out of the seams of the blanks they’re book matching? Would he be able to tell that if the guitars weren’t pore filled by the 10th that there’s no way they’ll be out of paint by the 23rd? You’re criticism of me implies that I could some how understand the complexities of a first production run of 50 guitars in a shop built, staffed, and run by someone else ( while being told by the owner of that shop, that everything is fine) Missing deadlines is a reality in manufacturing not exclusive to Falbo Designs, or any other shop for that matter. Not paying the rent on that shop to the point that the police are involved, refusing to manifest accounting, or having a suspended business license are another matter all together.
Concerning my due diligence on Frank, he told me he was Vice President of Product Development at Seymour Duncan from 2007 to 2012 ( p-rails, palladium, vice grip etc. ) and that he spent many years working in finance. He also was consulting with many other companies like ESP and Fishman at the time. He even mentioned being tasked with establishing production in South East Asia for other companies. I also liked him as a person and considered him my friend. He also had a knack for public speaking. This is actually why I gave him the CBDO role in ABASI. He was to earn money on the ABASI side, and as part owner, to make sure the company was on track (duty of loyalty)
On the Falbo Designs LLC side of things, he submitted a spread sheet that outlined how his shop could scale to operate at 100 guitars/month, which is why we agreed to half that capacity. Once again, we deferred to Frank as our contract manufacturer and CBDO to advise us on what was realistic.
After that first missed deadline, it became apparent his process was a mess and his shop had no actual organization. I visited other factories and even consulted with people like John Suhr, Jean Lariveé, Ed Yoon and Ola Strandberg to try to understand how they did things. We stepped in and created a new spreadsheet, identifying concurrent processes, timing out individual steps, determining which steps required what expertise and assigned laborers accordingly. We required that Frank update them daily with met goals or targets missed. We purchased supplementary equipment to accelerate productivity. Frank wanted a thickness sander? We bought him one. Frank’s CNC was throwing Z axis faults and he couldn’t fix it? We found a shop that would cut the bodies while he’s addressing that (we have all the receipts, btw) All of this proved futile in the end. Luckily I don’t need to walk into Grover Jackson shop and attempt to refine his processes.
Sadly, I believe Frank is capable of making a good guitar. My prototype attests to this. But It’s one thing to make a good guitar. It’s another thing to make 50, by a deadline, within budget. And an entirely different thing to have money go unaccounted for. Hopefully this helps to clarify things.
Your points on Frank's roles & responsibilities are clear as day; thanks for explaining in detail.
I do feel that I need to emphasize that I am not pinning blame on any one side: to me the story seems like a combination of Frank's unpreparedness for delivering these products, and your lack of oversight of his expenditures and not keeping a closer eye on his progress (at least for the first batch). The reason I'm saying the latter (i.e. your side) is because of your wording in the original post, basically amounting to "we paid Frank a [lump sum amount]", and a close eye on the progress NOT in the sense that you phrase it (i.e. sticking your nose in every single aspect of the build, most of which I'm guessing from your post you understandably do not have the skill/experience/knowhow to comment on anyway), but in a business sense, as the giver of a buttload of money to a producer for a product.
To be fair, I'm getting the feeling that all this is just a case of "illusion of control" on my side. I'd like to say I'd have done things differently (and thus gotten a better result), but who knows? Maybe paying closer attention (i.e. daily, personal check-ins, howyoudoing's, etc.) would have made a difference, but maybe you did all that anyway and I'm just ignorant of what happened on a daily basis in your business (completely obvious).
Anyway, hope you guys resolve this dispute one way or another and we keep getting new, innovative guitars!
I don't think you're fully following or understanding what Tosin is saying if you think that a daily howdy-doody was going to somehow resolve the issues present in a clearly mismanaged manufacturing environment. I don't doubt that everyone went into the venture with the best intentions, but the real smoking gun is the lack of delivery and poorly explained away QC issues. We all saw them and we've been through this enough as a group to understand what they're likely to mean.
Tosin has another job travelling the world as a touring musician, running clinics etc and you don't keep a dog and bark yourself. How can you possibly think to give him advice in this scenario?
It's pretty clear that Frank can produce a product, just maybe not to the scale this venture needed at the moment.
letting "this playout legally" might make sense for all concerned, rather that air grievances at this juncture.
I think it is you who misunderstood what I was saying. It still stands that closer attention paid to Frank's progress for a first batch of products with my name on it would not be at all unwarranted. I never stated in any terms that this would "resolve" any issues. I'm simply stating this relatively unarguable fact that that may have helped flag the issue sooner, therefor save money, time, etc.
But with the second sentence you clearly arrive at the heart of your argument, which is "Tosin doesn't have the time to do that", which let's be very clear: Tosin never actually hides behind.
I'm not even sure what to make of the "How can you possibly think to give him advice in this scenario" question, so I'll just leave that one.
...you're essentially telling me why my argument makes sense, i.e. Frank is a great producer but since he couldn't manage the scale, should have been monitored more closely.
Have you have run a large scale business that requires partnerships or suppliers?
Unless you have no other choice you strive to work with people that you trust. That’s called doing due diligance.
If you trust them you trust that they can get the work done without daily checkups.
Anecdotally I can tell you that in my industry very large amounts of money get moved around for contract work and there’s almost no oversight on the leve that your talking about.
I'm not telling you why your argument makes sense.. No amount of Tosin who, as he stated, doesn't have experience manufacturing guitars being present would have made any difference at all to the way the situation panned out. At the earliest point his attention could have made a difference he took action to ensure that it didn't go any further.
You can monitor someone all day, if they're not able to produce to a scale to which they'd agreed from the start then no amount of whip cracking makes a difference. You enter into a manufacturing deal with an entity you trust with an expectation that they hold up their end. You meet them at agreed points down the line to discuss progress and alter where needed, if there's a problem you discuss it. Tosin has mentioned that his trust was likely misplaced, but that doesn't mean in hindsight he should have been there doing the job for which he's already paid someone to do.
I'm not trying to argue with you, I'm just not sure how you've read the same thread I have and this is your conclusion.
Just stop. I'm keeping this thread reasonably, loosely moderated but that requires showing some discretion and judgement when deciding what you're going to post, and considering you're not directly involved with either entity, you don't manage a factory and you're not a lawyer, show some goddamn restraint and stop throwing your unqualified weight around in here.
At this point you're spending all your effort trying to reaffirm yourself rather than make any cogent point. We heard you the first time. If every person that wanted to arm-chair criticize the process decided that alotted them a dozen replies saying the same thing, this thread would be 3000 pages long already.
Removed comment due to mod request above
This is just an absolute disaster, but anyone with a pitchfork in hand remember that most folks end up in a bad situation because they just screwed up, not because they had some nefarious intentions.