Posted by Marty on 12/21/2012 to
What has happened to our beloved Thompson Center? It can be best answered in the letters "S" & "W", a bit of a play on words but I think you get my drift.
That means Smith & Wesson, a great company within itself BUT ever since they bought our beloved Thompson Center in 2007 they have been systematically trying to take one of the most creative gun companies EVER and turn it into a profitable entity like itself. I'm not against profit at all, I'm in business too but it's been downhill since that fateful board meeting when some bean counter suggested moving the TC plant from its 45 year location in Rochester , New Hampshire to Springfield, Massachusetts.
I think that board meeting went something like this:
Chairman- George, how are things going over at TC?
George- Ok I guess, boy those guys sure run a loose ship up there. I was in the Customer Service Dept the other day and overheard them Express shipping some parts to Africa because some hunter's TV show was waiting for them. And of all the horrors, it was for FREE.
Chairman- FREE! Why of all the ?><+_)(??!#. This is going to stop. I want a plan on my desk in 30 minutes to make this new aquisition profitable. We need to show them the errors of their ways.
Obviously the names were changed to protect the guilty, but I believe that's how long they thought about the corrective action. They decided that the best wat to control their new creative toy was to move them 138 miles to the mother ship. Yes under the big umbrella at S & W. They would have them profitable again in no time. Trouble was, they didn't count on some things:
1) Although offered to most of their workforce, only 3 of 225 employees moved with the company.
2) They had unhappy workers packing up for the move, whoops, couldn't find anything when it got there.
3) How hard can it be to operate all that equipment anyway. We can just hire some new guys off the street.
4) Customer Service is overrated anyway, besides we have some great CS reps here at S & W and after all a gun is a gun right?
I think you see my point. Diminished inventories, deciding not to produce blue barrels and frames ( that's almost unAmerican), introducing an entirely new product line before sufficient production existed to support it, closing Custom Shop, and telling your Customer Service reps to just say "we are out of that" are just a few of the issues. In fairness things have started to improve, the products are still the most creative in the industry, and the quality is still excellent. I wonder if in light of all the negative PR that bean counter kept his job?
Shoot straight and be safe. Marty