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Stuller's new "system"

Hi Orchidians;

OK, tell the truth . . . what do you folks think about Stuller’s new
ordering system? I’ll be frank. I think it sucks, and I can’t wait
to get the next postcard for customer input to let them know about
it. Jeez, I mean, if it’s not broke, why fix it?

Today, with considerable effort, my office manager tried to explain
to the order taker person that we needed 10-14 karat casting alloy.
That’s a mixture of silver and copper, basically, and it’s pretty
cheap. Before, we would have simply said, “20 pennyweights of
G20-CA14, please”. Instead, they must have put down 20 pennyweights
of 10 karat casting GRAIN, which is 10 karat gold (and which I have
zero use for, by the way). When my office assistant told me the
bill was for nearly $700, I knew something wasn’t right, since I
knew this was an unusually small order for us. Normally, we spend
around $800 every couple weeks. But this time I had something I
needed right away. We called them right back. Too late, already
charged to my credit card. Cancelled the order, ordered all over
again, and another charge to the credit card. The first charge will
take who know how long to get credited back to my account. Good
thing I had enough money on the card of I’d have been screwed. But
they were very apologetic about it.

And by the way, if they are going to continue this way, they need to
give us order forms that have room to write these complete
descriptions instead of the stock numbers. I’m always nervous now
that the person taking the order is going to send us what we
actually think we are ordering. The only reason I am airing this
publicly is because I fully expect them to continue with this
system, short of a complete public outcry. And really, this is one
of the very, very few complaints I’ve ever had about this excellent
company which has become such an integral part of my business. I
just wish things were back the way they were.

Help others make informed buying decisions with Stuller Inc. We
welcome your opinions and experiences with ordering, customer service
and and over all satisfaction.

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David L. Huffman

Well David, sounds like you did have a rough time with that order.

I have had no problems with my orders since the put the new system
in. I have had to talk with the order taker a bit when it comes to
some of the new items they have in there metals book but not yet on
the shelf. Result was once I could not get what I wanted but the
next time that was fixed.

Hopefully it was just a temporay problem.

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry! @coralnut2

Last week, I sent an email to every Stuller address that I could
find, with a list of problems that all occurred within the last 6
weeks aprox. One screw up cost me a $400 sale and an additional $600
sale to the same person, who was a 1st timer to my store, and a very
prominent local new car dealer. What a way to make a 1st
impression,huh? Call Priscilla- head of Public relations at Stuller
and tell her your woes. If enough longtime customers call her,
something might get done. Right now, Stuller is on my probation
list, and so far this week they haven’t rewon my customer loyalty.
Three different people were supposed to call me back on various
scenarios, and only 1 of the 3 did it.And that one was about 6-7
hours later, after I made the decision to purchase the item
elsewhere. Apparently they have become big enough, they don’t need
the business from us little guys who only spend a couple thousand
dollars a month for the last 15 years. I would have dumped them
already but I have a big website built thats starting to produce $,
almost totally based on their finished goods, and 2 months before
Christmas isn’t exactly time to start over. I ordered a pair of
$2300 earrings today for overnight delivery- we’ll see how this one
goes. And then we’ll see if they go - or not!

Help others make informed buying decisions with Stuller Inc. We
welcome your opinions and experiences with ordering, customer service
and and over all satisfaction.

Write an Anonymous Review
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Ed in Kokomo

Whom else would you recommend to buy from???

David,

Why are you bothering to call an order into Stuller when you have a
computer.

For the past couple of years I have used their online ordering and I
would never call an order in again unless I had computer problems.

This is not to say they don’t have problems with the online ordering
because they do. The online shopping cart is slow but at least you
get what you ordered.

Try it sometime and you may give up on speaking with someone that
doesn’t understand what you are ordering

Greg DeMark
email: greg@demarkjewelry.com
Website: www.demarkjewelry.com

I agree David. Stuller has gone from one of the best companies to
do business with to one of the worst within a 6 month stretch. The
new system stinks. I have already switched most of my ordering to
Frei & Borel.

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Mike Rogers
Precious Metal Arts
www.finecustomjewelry.com

Greg and Orchid !

Thank goodness ‘we’ have up here in Toronto many ‘other’ jewellery
suppliers, such as Gesswein, Eisinger, Lacy, Transcontinental,
Northcot,…and of course Stuller. Each of these companies are
receiving “person to person” visits from actual clients. Phone orders
can be also faxed in. I prefer to see the item as I need sometimes
school supplies too. Visits are great, interpersonal exchanges take
place and each of us are happy to see the other. If I order large
school supplies, I will ask for the 10%+ discounts. If not bye-bye!
Its like a great big jewellery family up here…gerry!

    elsewhere. Apparently they have become big enough, they don't
need the business from us little guys who only spend a couple
thousand dollars a month for the last 15 years. 

Hi Ed;

That’s me too, and I suspect that’s a huge percentage of their
business. But your story makes me feel I have nothing to complain
about. Really sorry to hear you went through all that. Best of luck.

David L. Huffman

    Whom else would you recommend to buy from??? 

Hi FB;

Well, I’d just as soon order from Stuller, although there are many
alternatives. I can send you a list if you’d like. But nobody beats
Stuller for having everything in one place, consistent quality, and
delightfully friendly and supportive staff. I have always found their
service and product excellent. I just don’t like their new ordering
system. It’s not completely different from the old system, some
components still are ordered using stock numbers, but stones, metal,
are ordered using descriptions. I don’t know why they went with it.
My guess: they were ill advised by some consultant who had the bright
idea to make the ordering more user friendly (read: accommodate the
amateurs and lazy store owners and their untrained sales staff). And
also, I spend about what you do, and frankly, I think that’s probably
the way it is with the majority of their customers, so I can’t
imagine they’d want to lose our loyalty.

David L. Huffman

Stuller has split three different orders up three times and billed
me twice for shipping on each order even though everything was
supposed to be shipped at once. They have sent me the wrong items
twice and the wrong sized stones twice even though I gave them
specific info. I told customer service If it aint broke don’t fix it.
The sales staff seemed just as flustered as me. They have told me
they have changed the new system. It is much better than it was and
their service reflects the old system more than before at least that
is my experience. I have had an account with them for about fifteen
years and can count the mistakes they have made on three hands. Their
customer service has always been superb. They will get it right. If
you are using a credit card to by about $800 a week why not just open
an account with them? I believe the interest would be lower.

Regards
J Morley
Goldsmith/Laserwelder.

    Why are you bothering to call an order into Stuller when you
have a computer. 

Hi Greg;

I’ve been meaning to try that, ordering online that is. Problem is,
I’m playing musical credit cards at this time :slight_smile: so they have the
numbers of several on file. I DREAD the idea of typing in a credit
card number while online, with all the port sniffing, keystroke
logging, browser hijacking crap that’s become the Internet. Every
few months we find there is another “security flaw” in Microsoft’s
operating system or Outlook Express. I’m waiting till the smoke
clears, or until I finally get around to setting up a credit account
with Stuller. By the way, I have a crummy dialup account, so if the
site is slow at the 50,000kps I get, I’d find that a pain in the arse
too. Nope, cable modem is still too pricey for my likes. I like
having the Stuller order clerk confirm my order, one item at a time,
as I place it. I’ve avoided a whole lot of mistakes that way. I
never thought it was too much to expect for the $150,000 or so I’ve
probably spent with them since I became a customer.

David L. Huffman

I think Stuller’s new system problem is a typical example of todays
software developement methodology. Today software is released with
known bugs that are to be fixed in production along with the unknown
bugs. It’s all about speed to market. Back in the day when I was
coding software (1980’s - 1990’s) we had very strict testing
processes and progresive test bed environments. But since the dot
com era development cycles have shrunk and speed to market is the
name of the game.

At least Stuller has been able to track their inventory and I have
had very few backorders, (remember Rio Grande’s fiasco last summer).
Stuller will rise above this with their renown customer service. But
whoever developed Stuller’s new system should have their feet held to
the fire. Who knows how much this has cost Stuller in lost
productivity, overtime, etc.

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan and Computer Geek :wink:
Colorado Springs, Colorado
http://home.covad.net/~rcopeland/

I’m sure most of you will remember the problems that Rio Grande had
a couple of years ago when they were changing their computer
systems. We all suffered through it, including the people at Rio
Grande. So far I haven’t experienced any problems with Stuller. I
guess that I am one of the lucky ones. I simpathize with anyone who
has lost a sale because of Stuller. They to will get through the
change over. They certainly are one of the most organized and
efficient companies that I have dealt with and I am sure that they
will return to that level of service, hopefully soon.

Joel Schwalb
@Joel_Schwalb
www.schwalbstudio.com

In all fairness, after my lengthy rant on Stuller service as of
recent, I wish to report that the $2300 diamond earrings arrived as
planned, on time, and , in addition, a 2nd of the 3 return calls was
finally made by the promising person, after our business hours, and
left a message on the recorder with the required

Ed in Kokomo

David,

I am also using a dialup service and I generally run at 40kps. This
has not been a problem with ordering on Stuller. As for confirming
your order, when you are finished you get to see the entire order.
This way you can confirm everything. One other nice thing about it
is that you get to see the actual cost in real time once you complete
the order.

The only drawback is the way the shopping cart is set up. As an
example if you want to order a #2257 head in 14kt. yellow gold in a
.25ct size you would type in the 2257 and then select the quality.
This would load a new screen and then you would choose the size and a
new screen would load etc. I find this a little redundant but it is
still a lot easier than calling an order in and you can order 24
hours a day.

You should open an account. It is just one more convenience. Good
Luck

Greg DeMark
email: greg@demarkjewelry.com
Website: www.demarkjewelry.com

    I think Stuller's new system problem is a typical example of
todays software developement methodology.  Today software is
released with known bugs that are to be fixed in production along
with the unknown bugs.  It's all about speed to market. 

I saw a term in a computer mag not so long ago…

It’s called POGE…

The Principle Of Good Enough…

What that means…is, that some new system, (and Hanuman…don’t you
even think that this works well)…is implemented, (a SAP or an
ORACLE for example) using a more or less 80-20% approach…

And then you have to back all of the other stuff in…because it
does hit… While the thing is running…

OK…OK…systems people out there tell me it’s a 90-10 or 95-5…
YEAH…!

Once you’re past the chaos…it’ll be slick…

Gary W. Bourbonais
A.J.P. (GIA)

    elsewhere. Apparently they have become big enough, they don't
need the business from us little guys who only spend a couple
thousand dollars a month for the last 15 years.

I have been ordering from stuller for 17 years, they have screwed up
a couple of times, and I have screwed up a couple of times.

Over the years I have been frustrated ordering findings or tools
from different companies from sales help that are not familiar with
what they are selling.

I have not had any problems with my orders recently, but I don’t
understand throwing the baby out with the bath water. The advantages
of stuller for me outweight the time I have to spend to make sure
they understand what I want. As if the other suppliers are not going
to make mistakes??!!

Perhaps, don’t take things so personal.

Stuller has always had the friendliest most knowledgeable staff I
ever worked with. The technical staff is always there to give advice
on difficult problems other companies would have no answer for.

Richard in Denver

It sadly seems every now and then a situation comes up that is
outside of the norm for the company involved. One or more among us
has an urgent need that is not met, and that is shared onlist.

There are a few humans who feel the need to kick when one is down,
and the messages of both real and anticipated problems begin to flow
far too freely.

I have been a Rio Grande customer and felt secure in coming to their
defense. In the case of Stuller, I have never had the opportunity to
buy from them. Recently though I asked about a device mentioned in a
post that Stuller sold. Andy Kroungold (sp) responded very
helpfully, as did Andrea Hill of Rio.

All I ask now is to understand this is a situation beyond Stuller’s
immediate control and it too will pass. Please resist the urge to
jump on the bandwagon and dump on Stuller.

Over the years I have read many great posts regarding them, they
enjoy a great reputation, and I certainly have seen Andy respond to
many requests for help and/or

Peace,
Terrie

Excellent points, about on line ordering. I wanted to put in a plug
for DSL, for those of you who have it in your area, it’s usually
cheaper than a cable modem. After struggling for years with dial
up, I finally got DSL and it has changed my life. It is a
totally justifiable business expense and I love it. It’s changed
the way I use the internet. I’m faster, more efficient.

And, to avoid problems with MS Outlook, consider Eudora. After
years of putting up with inferior software, I finally got Eudora and
it’s amazing. It’s absolutely terrific software and you can try
it for free.

Download it free at http://www.eudora.com/

(See, when I had dial up, I never would have gone and picked up that
link for you.)

You might also want to consider the freeware Pegasus mail.
http://www.pmail.com/

Pegasus mail helps us to run Orchid :-))
Hanuman

Usual disclaimer.

~Elaine
Elaine Luther
Chicago area, Illinois, USA
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com

One thing I want to add about ordering online is the Stuller
shopping cart is a good way to keep a shopping list. I add items
that I need but don’t necessarily need the nest day (saw blades,
solder, etc.). Then at the end of the week or when I do need
something the next day I check out and submit the order. Cuts down
on the expense of shipping separate orders.

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
Colorado Springs, Colorado
http://home.covad.net/~rcopeland/