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Rio and other suppliers and shippers


Hi All, I learned a long time ago that no matter what you do in a
large organization that growing problems will happen and that no
matter what you do as the Ceo of large (or small ) companies, you
cannot foresee the future when you make changes. In the past years of
being on orchid, I have noticed many people being upset and saying
they will not do business with a supplier or another due to some
mistake or communication problem that happened with an order or an
individual. Mistakes and miscomunication will happen… Has it not
happened to you in the past, or are we all perfect ???

In Thailand, They have a saying… "Cha yen yen " …what this
means is keep your head cool… keep your temper in check… Deal
calmly with the situation … Anger and retribution does not get you
anything but more anger and retribution…

I know that this is not always the easiest thing to do, but if you
don’t, eventually you won’t have a supplier you can deal with. I had
a friend in the jewelry business who ordered some materials from a
supplier previously mentioned and he received the wrong material,
returned the merchandise, reordered and got something different
again… He refused to do business with that company and refused to
call and straighten out the problem, claiming that the company was
trying to rob him… He noticed that I had some very sophisticated
tools and equipment that he wanted to purchase and they came from
the company he refused to do business with…Well, I called the
company at this point, spoke to a rep and explained my friends
problem and they sent a salesperson to him to find out all the
specifics and get the problem resolved which was done to everyones
satisfaction. I had to do this because my friend had already told me
of 3 suppliers he had problems with and refused to do business with
any of them… he was running out of good suppliers !! Now, he has
learned that it is neccessary to practice diplomacy on occasion to
resolve problems… and as I explained to him, ask to speak to
someone in accounting or a sales manager if your problem is not
resolved at the lower level. No company intentionally tries to loose
customers and all of us deep down know this to be true. Shipping with
UPS, FedEx, US postal service… All of them have their problems at
one point or another… Some people say they won’t use one or the
other because of lost packages or something to that effect… It will
eventually happen with any of them. US postal service… they lost
packages and it took me 6 months to get the refund… Fed ex : made a
mistake delivering an overnight package to a customer taking product
to Europe… I caught hell from the customer for a week… UPS lost
one package in 4 years … and it was not lost… it was delivered
and someone stole the merchandise off the front porch… UPS sent me
a check within one week for the lost merchandise… My answer to good
shipping…once you have a problem… go to manager level and
explain the problem… perhaps they have a driver who is not doing
their job properly . they won’t know this until someone complains
high enough to make a change in your area. My personal preference in
shipping is UPS … why? because their computer software works
flawlessly, they pickup at specific times… they supply free boxes
,labels,software, and a printer for their free labels for your

Fed ex is similar…

US postal service will pick up … if neccessary, but , no software,
hand written froms that take a fair amount of time to complete for a
business owner…Specifically when you ship 5 to 10 packages a day !
If I have to send someone to the post office, it will cost me 1/2
hour + in labor for the employee and i can’t easily track the
packages when a customer calls me …

Again, these are only my opinions Best wishes ,

Daniel Grandi


Daniel, et al. I wholeheartedly agree with the points you have
brought forth. Any of us who are business owners have undoubtedly
experienced troubles in many areas. I applaud Rio Grande for their
stellar customer service. They have always treated me with utmost
respect and generosity. When I have had problems I haven’t had to
wade through layers of “superiors” for satisfaction-the agent has
rectified the situation on the spot in most cases. Their agents
aren’t all jewelers, but their tech support agents are willing to
help in any way they can-if they don’t have the answer right away
they do the research and get back with options.

I sent samples of my line in to them for finishing tests and
received a report of what machinery to use, and how to achieve the
desired results. I saved several hundreds of dollars on that
purchase alone! I will stick with Rio Despite the wait times ( I use
the wait for catching-up on paper work.) They have always surpassed
my expectations in the past and will again soon, I am sure.


While Daniel’s points ring true the net result will be realized over
time. I haven’t had any problem with Rio but can understand why others
may have depending on what was order and so on. What I don’t
understand is why is a good thing ever to rely on 1 source? I buy my
metal stock from at least 5 different companies based on what I need ,
how fast I needed it, or if I ran out in the middle of making a piece
:smiley: to get more. So 2 are local. As far as my rant on UPS well I’m
done. Over time I found their mess up’s cost more in time and money
than just paying the %5 extra for FedEx.

Just my $.02,
Guy Payton…


Hi Daniel (and everyone),

A nice, level headed and rational perspective… thanks for the
refreshing change! I’d just like to add that it is now possible to
check Post Office delivery confirmations online. They also have these
really convenient (and free) fold-up boxes for priority mail that are
just perfect small stuff like jewelry and

All the best,
Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)



The ongoing conundrum about suppliers vis a vis Rio vs.Stulller is
kind of like apples vs. oranges. Each is a valid entity and each has
its merits and demerits.

Rio has a history of being out of stock and slow in delivery and
Stuller tends to avoid involvement with low volume items. In either
case, the net result is that both companies have valid positions in
the industry. Whether Rio survives the current crisis is
speculative. Rio has always had a position of family involvement
wherein different members have had responsibility for divisions
within the company ( The Bell Group ) whereas the Stulller company
has ,seemingly, been the product of an autocratic single owner. In
either case, whether either one is better than the other is
circumstantial. Ultimately, it may not matter. Rio has made a big
commitment to being a state of the art equipment supplier whereas
Stuller has made a commitment to providing incredible service and
quality. Each has its merits and I would be sorry to see either
unavailable. I maintain an account with each company and I am happy
with both. Each has its merits and I am sure that Rio will survive
its current dilemna.

                     Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, Ca.