Thursday, February 25, 2010

Why Eminence

I see a lot of posts on Bill's forum asking about this driver, that driver, isn't there something else that's better.  I thought I might address that.

I've been around business a long time.  Grew up in a hardware store, owned by my father.  I watched him for years interact with his suppliers.  The hardware industry until the 70's was dominated by small, independent stores and wholesalers.  We'd go to shows and everybody knew Dad.  Everybody.  The whole thing was built on interpersonal relationships, everybody helping everybody else succeed.  Show were fun, we got TONS of swag, and were pretty much treated like vip's, even though it was a small town hardware store.  Then vendors would bend over backwards to help you make money, be successful with their products, and know you on a first name basis. 

That all changed in the late 70's.  WalMart, the rise of the hardware co-ops, Home Depot, and such changed the face of retailing.  Suddenly we weren't so important anymore.  They could send two truckloads to a big box, or a pallet to us.  Which became more important?.  The small personal wholesalers disappeared, replaced by buying co-operatives like Ace and True Value.  It was a join or die proposition to compete with the boxes.  The personalization disappeared.  There are still vestiges of it around, but nothing like the old days. 

Which is a long way around to Eminence.  When I first got into this, I approached the suppliers like the hardware store suppliers became in the 80's and 90's.  Wrong.  This industry is like hardware in the 60-70's.  It's built on relationships, personal and business.  Eminence reminds me so much of those old wholesalers.  I call, the same people answer, every time.  If you need something technical, well, you get to talk to the speaker designer.  If you have a problem, you can talk to the president, vice president, whoever you need to get it done.  I treasure that.  I have it with most of my main suppliers in this business.  It feels like the old days.  Are there better drivers out there? Maybe, on an individual basis.  Comparing overall lines of drivers, I don't think so.  The neo's are cutting edge designs, and the other mfgs are just now starting to catch up.  And the prices of their drivers are truly great compared to many of the others.  Bang for the buck is off the charts with Eminence. 

There's one more big bonus.  Eminence is a US made driver.  Entirely except for I believe the ASD 1001 is an import.  They do have a plant in China, but it only supplies the Asian market, it does not ship here.   US jobs, US manufacturer, committed to that.  Sure, I sell stuff made in China and elsewhere, there's no choice.  But I have very little interest in another line. Sure, that may limit my growth, but so be it.   Loyalty and service are rare commodities these days.  On all three sides of the equation, supplier, seller, and customer. 

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