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Field Trip to LP Rhode Island!

Rob B

Well-Known Member
The best way to KNOW what's going on is to get eyes on the source.

Who lives near Laser Performance in Rhode Island and can drop by for a look see??

Observe and report back here! A site tour would be even better!
 

torrid

Just sailing
Hi, I'm a nosy Laser class member. Can you give me a plant tour and open your accounting books? I won't tell anyone on TLF what I see, I swear!
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
Hi, I'm a nosy Laser class member. Can you give me a plant tour and open your accounting books? I won't tell anyone on TLF what I see, I swear!
Open the books? No privately held company is going to do that period.

Let's get simple with it. Try a "Drive by" around 11:00 AM on a Friday, (typically pay day)and see how many cars are in the parking lot. That should give some kind of idea.
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
Actually, LP did have an Open House (focused on the Sunfish section) in 2008. In addition, staff offered to repair small problems and provided a 'show and tell' on hull repairs. The outreach was very well rec'd.

http://www.sunfishforum.com/content.php?pg=construction

I read some place that LP was absent at the recent Newport boat show; what's that telling us, if true?
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
Actually, LP did have an Open House (focused on the Sunfish section) in 2008. In addition, staff offered to repair small problems and provided a 'show and tell' on hull repairs. The outreach was very well rec'd.

http://www.sunfishforum.com/content.php?pg=construction

I read some place that LP was absent at the recent Newport boat show; what's that telling us, if true?
The 2008 gig was shortly after they bought out vanguard. It was their "grand opening" deal. It's amazing how things have changed in the past 2 years. The recession has had to hurt and most likely is behind a lot of their current woes, but it would be nice to know they have some kind of plan to fix the existing problems. With the exception of their communications with the ILCA officers at the recent meetings there has been nothing. As far as I know even their communications w/the class officers included reasons for recent supply issues, but no solutions.....At this point all is quiet on the western front.

As for their presence at the Newport boat show....

How hard is it to say, "Hey John- take these 3 boats, fold up table, brochures and banner to Newport. When you get there the union boys will get everything to the booth spot for you and the event cordinator will fill you in on everything else. Here's your reservation for the Days Inn and your exibitor pass. The van is out back with the boats hooked up and ready to go. See you in 3 days. Good luck!"

Anyone know if LP will be at the Annapolis show which starts in a few days???????????
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
They are not on the exhibitors list for the friggin Annapolis boat show! I just checked and they are not under the "L's". Do they go by anything else?

Seriously, someone needs to do a drive by in Rhode Island to see if that place is still open...

Someone, Observe and Report, Please?
 

gouvernail

Super Opinionated and Always Correct
I looked on Google Earth..

Don't know my way around Rhode Island so I didn't find a damn thing...

but back at my shop, it is about 9:30 am in November 2009. the lid is open on my truck's toolbox and I am standing in the truck bed. The car parked in the driveway belongs to Hap Arnold. We were getting stuff for the Flying Scot he had bought the weekend before.
There are nine lasers, a thistle, a deckboat, a Dolphin, A jonboat, a J-22, A J-24, A Newport 27, a catalina 25, a Drascomb, and a whole lot of empty trailers.

meanwhile down at teh club the lake has just risen 20 feet and one of the docks is still anchored about 100 feet off shore
 

Tillerman

Member
They are not on the exhibitors list for the friggin Annapolis boat show! I just checked and they are not under the "L's". Do they go by anything else?
I seem to recall that at most boat shows it is often the local Laser dealer who represents the Laser brand and promotes the Laser (and other boats from the same manufacturer.) And it turns out that APS is at the United States Boat Show and is offering boat show discounts etc. on Lasers and other LaserPerformance boats.

Check out http://www.apsltd.com/c-5049-boats-on-sale-at-aps.aspx

I didn't go to the Newport Boat Show but I do see that another local Laser dealer Sturgis Boat Works was on the list of exhibitors.
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
I seem to recall that at most boat shows it is often the local Laser dealer who represents the Laser brand and promotes the Laser (and other boats from the same manufacturer.) And it turns out that APS is at the United States Boat Show and is offering boat show discounts etc. on Lasers and other LaserPerformance boats.

Check out http://www.apsltd.com/c-5049-boats-on-sale-at-aps.aspx

I didn't go to the Newport Boat Show but I do see that another local Laser dealer Sturgis Boat Works was on the list of exhibitors.
It would be interesting to get the perspective from APS on how LP is doing.....That may help answer some questions.
 

Tillerman

Member
I agree w/ Tillerman, and LP did have many of their boats on display in Newport. You can see that here:
http://www.newportboatshow.com/newport-boat-show-exhibitors/boats-by-brand.htm
And I see that, according to the list of exhibitors, those boats were being shown by the "Vanguard Sailing Ctr. of RI" which is the old name for Laser Performance Sail and Sport Rhode Island which is the shop next door to the LP factory in Portsmouth. Even better than relying on Sturgis.
 

torrid

Just sailing
It would be interesting to get the perspective from APS on how LP is doing.....That may help answer some questions.
There are some dealers on here, and I'm sure they could offer some interesting perspective based on the scuttlebutt I've heard. However, I would not get involved in a public debate if I were them. Since they are so dependent on the bulder, it is simply not good business.
 

Deimos

Member
If you are a dealer then you are unlikely to go on a forum and start expounding how badly your supplier is doing, how you expect them to go down the toilet any day - 'cos you have a business/commercial relationship with them and to trash them would reflect badly when you next want them to help you out, go that bit further with discount, send you urgent stock quickly, etc.

General business common sense - you work with your suppliers.

Ian
 

Wayne

Member Emeritus
General business common sense - you work with your suppliers.
I agree..., you don't cut your own throat by denigrating the supply side or shaking the confidence of the demand side.

Is there a European forum like this one where we could listen in and see if these supply issues are wider spread than LP's US market? That might include scuttlebutt about, Performance Sailcraft Europe Limited (PSE) and Laser Sailboats Limited.

During the Sunfish Worlds in Italy there was hubbub about LP partnering with Simon/Cooke for new daggerboard designs. At that time some of the boards were listed at the Simon/Cooke website. Mention of this partnership now appears absent from both SC and LP news. ??

Anybody seen any rumblings in the financial market regarding the health of Gavel Securities Limited, LP's parent company? This would be the place to watch.

If Gavel is healthy they may just be watching LP to see if they can hold their own in American manufacturing and dealer network management.

.
 

49208

Tentmaker
During the Sunfish Worlds in Italy there was hubbub about LP partnering with Simon/Cooke for new daggerboard designs. At that time some of the boards were listed at the Simon/Cooke website. Mention of this partnership now appears absent from both SC and LP news. ??


.
LP has either purchased outright or partnered ($) with Simon Cooke - It was covered here a bit :http://www.laserforum.org/showthread.php?t=33406&highlight=new+builder+centerboard

And the news articles posted in that thread are still in the LP web site, as well as this one...

http://www.laserperformance.com/news/laserperformance-set-to-launch-new-grp-foils

They had their new boards at the recent worlds, and there was another thread on here discussing their defect rate IIRC
 

vguard296

Member
Back in May my laser and V15 fleet applied for the sick day program where they give you a new boat at half the cost. On June first I called and they said that they only had a few applicants and that there was enough boats for each applicant. I called weekly until mid July and finally gave up.

I ordered a trailer rack for my yacht club and theyve been on back order since January and no dealer wants to sell their own racks since they cant replace them. Ive had nothing but problems with them since they took over.
 

LASERNUT

Member
Here in the UK, LP didn't turn up for the Southampton Boat show either. Everyone else did (RS, Topper etc). Getting parts out of LP is like getting blood out of a stone!
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
General business common sense - you work with your suppliers.

Ian
Would anyone disagree that this is a 2 WAY street????????? I mean, hell, if your supplier is not shipping you goods for re-sale how are you filling orders, keeping your customers happy,(as well as YOUR reputation) and uh, ya'know, MAKING MONEY?

There is a time and place for everything in life and when your supplier is screwing you, (although that may not be the case here) there is a time to stop taking bullets for them to keep your own reputation in line.

AND, if you are the supplier would you cut off a company like APS, (which is arguably one the largest US based parts warehouses with an infrastructure and support team that is doing a great job) just because they might say something like, "LP is having issues getting us goods." (assuming that could be case)?

NO! Anyone with decent business sense would correct the problem, issue a statement for damage control and mke sure everyone was happy and still wanting to buy their stuff! It's called PR for pete's sake!!!!!!!

But Nooooooooo! Let's just sit silent on the sidelines while everyone gripes about us not delivering stuff, begin speculating on our demise, and just hope it all fixes itself.

I've been through this several times in the corporate world and when the corporate communication shuts down something is up and 9 times out of 10 it ain't good. (just in my experience).
 

Deimos

Member
Would anyone disagree that this is a 2 WAY street????????? I mean, hell, if your supplier is not shipping you goods for re-sale how are you filling orders, keeping your customers happy,(as well as YOUR reputation) and uh, ya'know, MAKING MONEY?

There is a time and place for everything in life and when your supplier is screwing you, (although that may not be the case here) there is a time to stop taking bullets for them to keep your own reputation in line.

AND, if you are the supplier would you cut off a company like APS, (which is arguably one the largest US based parts warehouses with an infrastructure and support team that is doing a great job) just because they might say something like, "LP is having issues getting us goods." (assuming that could be case)?

NO! Anyone with decent business sense would correct the problem, issue a statement for damage control and mke sure everyone was happy and still wanting to buy their stuff! It's called PR for pete's sake!!!!!!!

But Nooooooooo! Let's just sit silent on the sidelines while everyone gripes about us not delivering stuff, begin speculating on our demise, and just hope it all fixes itself.

I've been through this several times in the corporate world and when the corporate communication shuts down something is up and 9 times out of 10 it ain't good. (just in my experience).
I would agree with aspects and disagree with other aspects. Maybe business operates differently in the UK from in the US.

From my experience, if your supplier is letting you down you need to correct the problem. Going public and adding to rumours will neither resolve the problem nor help your reputation. In practice, if a retailer cannot supply everybody will be aware that they are having problems getting the stock so it would only reflect on any individual supplier when they are unable to fulfil orders whilst others have plenty of stock.

Customers "sending bullets" hopefully does not reflect on US gun laws (a source of amazement to us here in Europe) but rather refers to customers getting angry with a retailer. When a customer starts giving a retailer grief about supply problems it is normally a sign of frustration and if the retailer cannot get stock then they will normally say why - but that is different from going on a public forum and being critical of your supplier.

As you say, LP is unlikely to cut of APS but were a major retailer to start being making public announcements about supply problems (maybe adding to any problems the manufacturer may be in), come next price/discount change they might not get the same margins as before (not as "punishment" but more because of how they show they "work with you").

I agree that most companies in LP's position would make some sort of statement about any supply problems - but with us they have a mostly tied-in customer base. I would make sense for them to quell any rumours starting but then they have never been the most communicative of companies (maybe again because in the Laser they have a massive customer base who have little choice about supplier).

I guess there could be many underling reasons for supply problems. Is it particular types of components or everything ? Did Vanguard keep very bid stocks and LP have changed to a "Just Nowhere Near In Time" system. Are their personnel issues (e.g. somebody leaves in purchasing and the stand-in never gets orders to manufacturers by deadlines, etc.). Again, some sort of announcement would help massively but they [LP] do seem to have their heads very high in the clouds and don't give the impression of being customer focused.

Ian
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
I would agree with aspects and disagree with other aspects. Maybe business operates differently in the UK from in the US.

From my experience, if your supplier is letting you down you need to correct the problem. Going public and adding to rumours will neither resolve the problem nor help your reputation. In practice, if a retailer cannot supply everybody will be aware that they are having problems getting the stock so it would only reflect on any individual supplier when they are unable to fulfil orders whilst others have plenty of stock.

Customers "sending bullets" hopefully does not reflect on US gun laws (a source of amazement to us here in Europe) but rather refers to customers getting angry with a retailer. When a customer starts giving a retailer grief about supply problems it is normally a sign of frustration and if the retailer cannot get stock then they will normally say why - but that is different from going on a public forum and being critical of your supplier.

As you say, LP is unlikely to cut of APS but were a major retailer to start being making public announcements about supply problems (maybe adding to any problems the manufacturer may be in), come next price/discount change they might not get the same margins as before (not as "punishment" but more because of how they show they "work with you").

I agree that most companies in LP's position would make some sort of statement about any supply problems - but with us they have a mostly tied-in customer base. I would make sense for them to quell any rumours starting but then they have never been the most communicative of companies (maybe again because in the Laser they have a massive customer base who have little choice about supplier).

I guess there could be many underling reasons for supply problems. Is it particular types of components or everything ? Did Vanguard keep very bid stocks and LP have changed to a "Just Nowhere Near In Time" system. Are their personnel issues (e.g. somebody leaves in purchasing and the stand-in never gets orders to manufacturers by deadlines, etc.). Again, some sort of announcement would help massively but they [LP] do seem to have their heads very high in the clouds and don't give the impression of being customer focused.

Ian
My wife and I own a mens/womens clothing store. From my experience, (which covers everything from the manufacturing floor to the front line) when goods are missing or orders don't come in the initial reaction from our customer, (the end user) is why can't YOU get me what I want. To protect our reputation we have to reveal a supplier issue when one exists and fall on our swords when the screw up is from our end.

With the Laser issue it is different because of the class rules there is a captive audience and we are completely limited to where we can go for our "class approved", (insert non-class approved products argument here) stuff. Which, by the way totally goes against free market trade, but that's another argument.

The phrase is "taking bullets". It means you are getting hammered trying to protect someone/something. I also hate the lack of US gun regulations.

Sure. APS does not have to, (and probably should not) make public announcments regarding THEIR issues w/LP if any exist. Again, this goes back to the captive audience thing, but I would not blame them if they did and given their reputation I don't think anyone else, (at least in the US would either). We do tend to talk about stuff here and in the South we put our nuttiest relatives on the front porch for everyone to see, bless their little hearts, (the suthern phrase used following any personal insult to make it ok. Like. "Poor LP just can't seem to get their S... together. Bless their little hearts.")

Maybe it is an english thing, (not to get into an english vs. u.s. thing, but since you brought up the gun reference) to not communicate and ride the boat all the way to the bottom before acknowledging there's a hole in the ship. However, the frustrations are getting awful and beyond repair.
 

Eric_R

D10 Secretary
When you see that most laser parts were backordered on APS's site, you can tell there's a supply issue.

Dealers weren't going to lie to their customers saying that they can get stuff, they didn't know when parts would come in.
 

Scott B

Member
...The phrase is "taking bullets". It means you are getting hammered trying to protect someone/something. I also hate the lack of US gun regulations. ...
Not to hijack this thread, but here in the US, there are over 20,000 laws regarding the manufacture/distribution/purchase/ownership of guns. There is no "lack of US gun regulations" - sorry, Rob.

Yes, we have many more freedoms (and usually lower crime) as far as ownership of firearms goes compared to most of Europe (and the rest of the world, really.)

[/HIJACK]
 

torrid

Just sailing
There is nothing wrong with a business privately telling a customer, "Sorry, I don't have the parts you want. They've been backordered from the supplier for weeks. To tell you the truth, there are many things they have not been delivering. I'm concerned about the finanical health of their company." This sort of candor is necessary in running a business.

I think it would be far different to get on the internet and start mouthing off "My vendor is screwing me! They haven't given me any parts in week, and my customers are running away! They deserve to go out of business!". THIS is the sort of thing I have seen in business before, where people shoot their mouth off and nothing gets accomplished. Feelings get hurt, and there is no room to resolve problems at a later date.

This being said, it is common knowledge among anybody trying to buy Laser parts that LP is in some sort of financial bind. Given the tight-knit nature of the Laser community and the mutual dependence between the class and the builder, I think some sort of explanation is due to the class membership.

All we have to go on right now is hearsay, and everyone is sweating bullets (sorry, couldn't help myself).
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
Given the tight-knit nature of the Laser community and the mutual dependence between the class and the builder, I think some sort of explanation is due to the class membership.
Well said Torrid!!!

LaserPerformance? LaserPerformance??? Buehler? Farris Buehler???
 

lumpy

Member
LP is waiting for all current stock including boats are gone so they can bring out all the replacement goods being made in South Africa.
 

Rob B

Well-Known Member
LP is waiting for all current stock including boats are gone so they can bring out all the replacement goods being made in South Africa.
So they are no longer building boats in the US at the Rhode Island facility? Is that just going to be a warehouse?
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
LP is waiting for all current stock including boats are gone so they can bring out all the replacement goods being made in South Africa.
Tests on the replacement goods will be conducted in the now empty soccer (football to the Brits) stadiums (remember the World Cup?) that will be flooded. Should be quite a sight.

 

torrid

Just sailing
OK folks, enough time online. It's October, the weather's cooled down, so go out and sail your Lasers. I've got a feeling it's going to be a long winter.
 

Wayne

Member Emeritus
[lumpy] LP is waiting for all current stock including boats are gone so they can bring out all the replacement goods being made in South Africa.

[49208] I read it on the internet, it must be true...

[lumpy] LP is waiting for all current stock including boats are gone so they can bring out all the replacement goods being made in China. [torrid] Fixed

[Wavedancer] Tests on the replacement goods will be conducted in the now empty soccer (football to the Brits) stadiums (remember the World Cup?) that will be flooded. Should be quite a sight.

Hmmm..., credibility appears to have gone right out the window... :rolleyes:



Back to the original proposal, Field Trip to LP Rhode Island!. Anybody game to drop by on Sunday and shoot some pictures through the windows?


. . . it's what's inside that counts. ;)

.
 

49208

Tentmaker
Seeing that the factory is busy/not busy and has/doesn't have supplier parts (spars/blades/sails/hardware) on hand, IMHO won't really tell us much of anything that we don't already know or help us with the real problem which is:

Class legal parts from our builder are damn hard to come by and have been for some time now.

I would hope this should be something that our class elected officials can speak to.
 
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