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Thread: Factory Five and The Forum from Dave

  1. #1
    President, Factory Five Racing Dave Smith's Avatar
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    Factory Five and The Forum from Dave

    Guys,

    I got an email today from Rick K. from Canada talking about the forum being biased. Anyone who knows me and knows that I've been running this company for 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year, for 23 years, knows that I love this company and am personally committed to doing business with the highest standards. I don't get on the forums much although I was painfully aware of the recent back-order post and also the "False advertising post" Allow me to address this.

    I asked Dave Hodgkins to lock out (not delete) the "false advertising" post. I am too busy running Factory Five and I never, nor does anyone at FFR edit or delete posts. That daily work is the moderators. I called Hodgkins yesterday because the False Advertising post was made by a guy who had just reported me to the better business bureau and was doing everything he could to slam the company. He had all of TWO posts on this forum and he had never taken the time to call me before venting in the extreme and going on his path to do as much damage to the company as possible. His complaint was handled by me personally and I had my guys make him hand made carbon parts to make him happy. We went above and beyond to make him happy and whole despite my dislike for the manner in which he went about doing this. If you never contribute to the forum and then use it for the first time to blackmail a company with facts that cannot be disputed by our company, I will definitely call a moderator and have that deleted. Remember, the guy has never contributed to this forum in any way other than to bash me and accuse the company of False Advertising

    The back-orders.. tough problem. Always has been and likely it always will be, but we've gotten really good over the years as we have in almost every part of the company. I am spending just over $200k in 2019 on a new MRP/Ops system as Amazon has trained everyone that same day shipping is the default. Truth is that these parts are hand made, custom fabricated, sourced from small cottage industry suppliers, on small margins, in an industry that lacks the network and professional associations of industries like the pharmaceutical industry where I came from. We are by definition a niche business and the downside/challenges are the reality I face every day for 23 years in getting parts to customers that are well-engineered, safe, perform great, value engineered, on time, complete and perfect in every way (and when they aren't, they are usually reported to the forums). Tough challenge. We've shipped over 12,000 vehicle kits, and each one of those has been built as though we were building it for a friend. I am building a kit with my son right now and we are waiting on some parts. We also got a notice that our harness had to be returned to Ron Francis. We build 10 cars a week, that means we handle and ship maybe 35,000 to 40,000 parts a week! We are not perfect and yet strive to be better every single day.

    I love this company and the people who work here. Myself and every single person here wants you to have the best car and the best parts. NO-one here is happy when things go south and we are doing everything possible to do a great job. Truth is that we hurt worse than you when something goes wrong.

    Is the forum a biased, edited, and slanted forum that is a propaganda arm of the company?! Ha. Hardly. It is barely ever managed beyond the basics and, like our community, it is a product 100 percent of you guys. I am so so proud of this company, but that pride makes our failures even more painful. To any of you waiting on parts or struggling with something we did that wasn't to your satisfaction, I offer my deepest apology and my promise that I will personally address your issue myself until it is resolved. You can call me here at FFR or write me an email.

    I am one of the luckiest guys in the world, this community is one of the most remarkable places filled with exceptional people. I've got a pretty good track record and plan on continuing it. The best way to do that is to remember that we all here at this company only exist because of our customers who have bought our product and trust us with their dreams. I will try to keep that even more in mind and am ever grateful for the chance to work for you all. Have a very Merry Christmas.

    Dave Smith
    President
    FFR001
    Last edited by Dave Smith; 12-21-2018 at 12:13 PM.
    Dave Smith, FFR 001
    President
    Factory Five Racing

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    Thanks for your response DAVE. As a customer and farmer and ranch mechanic that has used a lot of parts there is no company that does not have to order parts and they don,t just appear! Thanks for the 33 and i will go and modify it some more.
    As for the advertising i had no problem understanding what i was getting.
    Thangs
    Thomas H Platter
    Last edited by 1932; 12-21-2018 at 12:32 PM.

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    Dave,

    Just the fact that you addressed this "event" proves you and your company have the right attitude toward dealing with problems. 45 years in the medical business servicing imaging systems and computers. I know all about irate and anxious customers demanding with "right now" attitude. Of course patient health hung in the balance, so most of it was justified. But even then, I had doctors throw stuff at walls, cuss and carry on like babies, on a pretty regular basis.

    This isn't medical, nor emergency stuff - I can't see ever it being that. But there are always some who see money spent as creating a right of some sort to go ballistic if the return isn't "on the money", and quick to boot.

    So I've had a "need it now" attitude myself over the years, because I had to deliver that way. But at 69 now, in the past 10 years I finally got some maturity and calmed down. I understand now the problems of delivery when waiting for others to deliver first. By learning to take a breath and back off, wait for results, and just ask first instead of throwing a fit, a person literally lives happier, longer and does better work once the materials are in hand.

    My advice to others getting on edge when there is a problem, regardless the source, just arrange what you can to solve it, back off and do something else. If your life is in that big a hurry, you are running headlong into nothing but anxious, unhappy days ahead. And it will probably take a toll on your health as well.

    We say around here - "tomorrow you'll wake up and it won't be so bad after all".

    Art Q - lovin' my 818 project, thanks to FFR.
    Art Quillen

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    Seasoned Citizen NAZ's Avatar
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    Good response Dave, sounds like you went the extra mile to make the guy feel whole. How many times did you have to write that response? I'd probably be on rev-5 or 6 before I even had the language suitable for print.
    33 Hot Rod Super Pro Drag Racer
    33 HR NHRA Cert Roll Cage Build

  6. #5
    President, Factory Five Racing Dave Smith's Avatar
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    Thanks Art and Thomas and guys, I hate when things don't go right and I'm the guy at the top so I take responsibility in full. I have to admit that part of my personality is at fault. I literally cannot sit still and cannot help but add projects to our plate. I do think I have ADD and ADHD and have learned to channel this into productive processes but there is never a challenge I want to shy from and I want this company to have a reach that exceeds it's grasp! This company is doing so much every day and over the years we've been successful precisely because of that. Still, blocking and tackling are basic skills that enable bigger plays. Back-orders are part of this and need to be managed better. We're building charity cars, doing R&D projects we can barely afford, racing when we should be doing something else... strike that, we should always be racing! Truth is I push this crew really really hard and we're not perfect. But in the mess and effort, we have changed the entire kit car world. We have brought people together with these cars and made a tremendous difference. After the difficulty of the build is over, the esprit de corps we share with others who have built Factory Fives is unlike anything else. I had a friend stop by today. Over the years he has built more than a few factory Fives and he said that the FFR experience and friendships and cars have literally changed the trajectory of his life for the better. My real job is to make everyone at FFR understand that we BUILD. Not just cars. We build friendships, we build value, we build heirlooms, we build family stories, we build race and show wins, we build stuff. When a customer experience is so negative, it destroys that which we set out to build and it pains me more than I can fully express. What we are doing here over the years is building an iconic American Motorsports company. It's far from perfect, but it is the best company by far and I would lay down in traffic for any of the folks who work here AND for anyone who has supported us by buying our product and paying our paychecks.
    Last edited by Dave Smith; 12-21-2018 at 01:03 PM.
    Dave Smith, FFR 001
    President
    Factory Five Racing

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    President, Factory Five Racing Dave Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NAZ View Post
    Good response Dave, sounds like you went the extra mile to make the guy feel whole. How many times did you have to write that response? I'd probably be on rev-5 or 6 before I even had the language suitable for print.
    Ha! maybe just deleted a few words..
    Dave Smith, FFR 001
    President
    Factory Five Racing

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    I did not realize that FFR has very little to do with the forum and does not edit it in any way. I suppose that is both good and bad. Most people, I assume, would think (like I did) that this forum is one arm of the company and statements by the moderator represent statements by FFR. Apparently that is not always the case. Interesting.
    Last edited by FFRWRX; 12-21-2018 at 01:08 PM.

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    President, Factory Five Racing Dave Smith's Avatar
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    Its just a matter of time and energy really. Our webmaster here Mad Dog is a moderator, but he really only publishes content from our website and social media pages.. Truth is we are too busy building cars, shipping product, working on new designs, paying the bills, going to shows and events.. and a million other things. The forum sorta manages itself and is truly built by the customers and community. I always ask our tech boys to post more but they are busy too. We don't have salesmen as our model always required our customers to sell for us by relating their experience. Maybe that wouldnt work in a car company where you sell finished cars, but when you build your own car it seems you don't mind helping others get theirs done.. and so it goes. fellowship friendship, the shared work and talents of like-minded hard-core car types. Factory Five.

    Which reminds me, it's getting late and I just decided to give everyone Christmas eve off (we didn't have it as an official holiday but bonuses were not great this year and so a day off is a good last minute add!) so we'll be closed next Monday. Gotta get that out. Have a great weekend!
    Last edited by Dave Smith; 12-21-2018 at 01:26 PM.
    Dave Smith, FFR 001
    President
    Factory Five Racing

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    Bonus ? I worked for a Major Insurance co for 37 yrs and never got any Bonus ! In fact after retirement they took away promised benifits ! Nice touch about Christmas Eve being off !!!
    Any of us "older" guys realize that family and health is # 1'
    Merry Christmas Dave. !

    Ken

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    Senior Member HiggyMK4#9579's Avatar
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    Back ordered parts which always arrive eventually...pfft!
    Mix ups in descriptions, not really what you thought you were gonna get....pfft!
    Customer service beyond most companies that I have ever dealt with to make things right, no matter what!! PRICELESS
    Can't wait to deal with all the issues when I order my kit!!!!!!
    Higgy
    Picked kit up on 4/3/19
    Build plan 351C, 3 link, 15's

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  17. #11
    Senior Member SSNK4US's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FFRWRX View Post
    I did not realize that FFR has very little to do with the forum and does not edit it in any way. I suppose that is both good and bad. Most people, I assume, would think (like I did) that this forum is one arm of the company and statements by the moderator represent statements by FFR. Apparently that is not always the case. Interesting.
    I mentioned in one of my posts that this forum is by builders, for builders and about builders.... you know what assume means right?... lol No ill will intended, just some humor. I actually signed up in 2016 and lurked for years before that and I never got a sense of any real FFR involvement other than what Dave said above.

    I was going to post a big long deal on my thoughts (all good) about Dave’s first response and my experience in life.

    I’ll just stick with I applaud you Dave for both your responses and the company you’ve created!!
    Now get back to work and quit wasting your time with this stuff and get me the last of my B/O parts LOL!

    Hopefully we can put this to bed and behind us....

    Have a Merry Christmas Dave! And the same or Happy Holidays to the rest of my extended family out here....

    Kurt
    If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough....

    Build thread

    MKIV complete kit # 9395 delivered 7/31/18

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    Hi Dave

    Just wanted to say thank you for all you do. I would also like wish you, your family and entire Factory Five crew a Merry Christmas and Happy new year!

    Thanks John

  19. #13
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    Dave,

    I've never met you or spoken to you, but it's obvious that you are 100% hands on and involved with every aspect of Factory Five Racing. I don't let too may rants get under my skin, but the two recent threads really bothered me. I thanked David Hodgkins for allowing for the discussion to continue as long as he did, and also for shutting them down when there was nothing more productive to be accomplished.

    I want to personally thank you and the entire FFR team for allowing guys like me to realize our dreams.

    Sincerely,
    Dave
    There are 10 types of people in this world;
    those who understand binary and those who don't.

    My Build Thread: http://thefactoryfiveforum.com/showt...ter-Build-9754

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    Dave,
    Thanks for your honest 360 assessment. My dad often told me that 10% of the people you deal with in business are out to screw you the trick is to identify the 10%. They made themselves pretty apparent. I'm new here but it seems like you have about 99% happy customers. I think that's a job you and your team can be proud of. See you in February to pick up my Roadster so , like you, I can build it with my son

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
    Nick
    Last edited by Ponymedic; 12-21-2018 at 03:04 PM.

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    Thanks Dave. I am on my12th FFR kit and not once has a POL part caused me to go berserk. There is always something to be done. 95% of the time I get everything in 90 days or less.
    Last edited by wallace18; 12-21-2018 at 05:33 PM.

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    Senior Member wareaglescott's Avatar
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    Dave the only way this forum is biased is by your satisfied customers. If someone comes on her talking that junk we collectively will take them to task. I have said many times any shortcomings in parts deliveries are made up many times over by superior customer service and amazing attitudes when you call in for help. Keep up the solid work. I understand in your position you will carefully listen to the 1% disgruntled folks and work just as hard for them as you do for the rest of us. Don't let them get you down though.
    Merry Christmas!
    MK4 #8900 - complete kit - Coyote, TKO600, IRS - Delivered 6/28/16 First Start 10/6/16 Go cart - 10/16/16 Build completed - 4/26/17 - 302 days to build my 302 CI Coyote Cobra - Registered and street legal 5/17/17
    Build Thread http://thefactoryfiveforum.com/showt...e-build-thread
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    David aka Ducky2009 Ducky2009's Avatar
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    Yes, I've had a few issues with back order parts. Nothing I couldn't work around. We all have. While calling to rectify the issues, I've never had the president of the company answer the phone, talk to customers, and suggest solutions.... Until I called FFR. Thanks Dave for all you do.
    MK4 Build #9035 Delivered 2/17/17, First Start & Go-Kart 6/2/17, Licensed 9/1/17
    Paint - Lightning Blue Metallic, No Hood Scoop, No Stripes
    Coyote Engine & TKO-600. Solid Axle, 8.8-3.55, Power Brakes, Dual Roll Bars
    Heater and Glove Box, Drop Trunk, Wipers, Radio, FFR Vintage Gauges W/GPS Speedo
    Build Thread: http://thefactoryfiveforum.com/showt...MK4-Build-9035

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    Dave, thank you and everyone at Factory Five for everything you do every day to make a dream, that most of us have had for many many years, finally come true. I lurked on these sites for years before I purchased in 2012. Still haven't finished, (slowest builder ever), but if I call in to FFR with a question, I have never had anyone care how long ago I purchased, just proceeded to get me the info I needed, even if it required them to get back to me. Don't ever let the negatives get to you. May you, your family, and everyone at Factory Five have a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

    Rick

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    Senior Member Joel Hauser's Avatar
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    My experience with FFR has been, to say the least, outstanding. Your employees are polite, knowledgeable and encouraging. I never could have completed my build without their help. As for the kit itself, while there were a few parts on back order, that was made very clear on the invoice. And one of the items that was on back order - the exhaust manifold - encountered a slightly longer delay, but only because you guys took the time to inspect it before shipping. You found a flaw, let me know that there was problem, and did not send it out until it was corrected. That is the definition of great customer service. Every other back ordered part was delivered months before I was ready to use them. I can also say that not a single part, not a single nut or bolt or washer, was missing in your shipment.
    FFR is a great company, great people, with a great product. Thank you. You don't deserve nasty criticism from a loud mouth complainer.
    Joel

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    Thanks Dave, to you and the team at FFR. Merry Christmas

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    Senior Member edwardb's Avatar
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    Dave, thanks for the great message. Wouldn't have expected anything else. I'm on build #4 and have found it to be one of the most enjoyable and satisfying things I've ever done. The social aspect of the greater Factory Five community was something I never expected and just adds to the goodness. Had to work through a few things on my builds, including some backorders of course. But the team at Factory Five has always been helpful and friendly to work through it. As I said in one of the threads, I can honestly say while blasting down the road with one of the builds the issue of backorders never entered my mind.

    Glad to hear you are upgrading your MRP/Operations systems (what I used to do for a living...) which while painful at first should help keep up with the growth and increasingly diversified product mix you guys have. Hopefully will give you better forecasting and ordering capabilities and maybe reduce backorders. It's not about being a perfect company (haven't found one yet) but about having great products and then being about constant improvement and a culture and leadership that encourages it. I tried to offer some input to the backorder thread, but when it went to the dark side, backed away. Thought about replying to the false advertisement thread, but that one was off the rails from the start. There's a side of me that doesn't like to see bad behavior rewarded, e.g. custom making all C-F parts. But I understand and applaud the effort to do whatever is necessary to keep the customer satisfied. No matter how unreasonable.
    Last edited by edwardb; 12-21-2018 at 10:26 PM.
    Build 1: Mk3 Roadster #5125. Sold 11/08/2014.
    Build 2: Mk4 Roadster #7750. Sold 04/10/2017. #7750 Build Thread
    Build 3: Mk4 Roadster 20th Anniversary #8674. 03 of 20. 2015 crate Coyote, 2015 IRS. Legal 04/18/2017. #8674 Build Thread
    Build 4: Gen 3 Type 65 Coupe #59. Gen 3 crate Coyote. Delivered 12/2/2017. #59 Coupe Build Thread

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    Senior Member AZPete's Avatar
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    Dave, I understand why you feel like one of the luckiest guys in the world because I feel the same. I was incredibly lucky to buy from Factory Five 11 years ago, with little research. I was lucky to love building, driving, upgrading and selling a roadster, then an 818. Along the way I've been lucky to have gained some friends and lots of lessons. I'm just lucky you and the staff of Factory Five enhanced my life.

    Thanks and Happy Holidays.
    818S/C : Chassis #25 with 06 WRX 2.5 turbo, ABS, cruise, PS, A/C, Apple CarPlay, rear camera, power windows & locks, leather & other complexities.
    Mk3 Roadster #6228 4.6L, T45, IRS, PS, PB, ABS, Cruise, Koni's, 17" Halibrands, red w/ silver - 9K miles then sold @ Barrett-Jackson Jan 2011 (got back cash spent).

  31. #23
    Brandon #9196 TexasAviator's Avatar
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    Dave you needn't waste your time with that guy, he came off the wrong way from the start. Your moderators and knowledgable customers answered him quickly and honestly but he wouldn't listen. It's a non issue with us. Thank you for the post.

  32. #24
    Not a waxer Jeff Kleiner's Avatar
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    Hey Dave,
    You know where I stand so there's nuthin' I can add. I was one of them who called the guy out.

    Got your back my friend!

    Jeff

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  34. #25

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    Dave,

    Though I've owned 3 FFR cars so far, I've never done a complete build. Thus, I went to the build school several years ago. It was very encouraging to see eager folks of all age groups attending the build school. They were all excited about their upcoming builds ... swapping ideas of what engine, transimission, rear axle assembly, paint colors, etc. I was able to lend my perspective as one who had about 40,000 miles of Factory Five seat time. I told the assembled group that the real value of their "soon to be" builds was not the mechanical facet but the relationships that you will develop during and after your build. You will interface with so many vendors and FFR owner/builders as the build goes forward. The Factory Five family is HUGE and you will meet them all over the USA! Back in 2015, my good friend John Tongish and I were on a summer "adventure" hauling our cars all over the country. One of our stops was at Taliesin East in southeastern Wisconsin, a home of the legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright. We had parked our rigs in the large visitor parking lot and took the tour. After the tour, we returned to our rigs and what did we find parked nearby ... a Factory Five Mk3!

    Whenever you are out driving your newly built Factory Five car and stop for gas or for some type of shopping, it is almost always an impromptu car show. For many years, the most likely question was "Is it a real one"? Now days, the most likely question is "Is it a Factory Five"? Dave, you have not only built a strong, diversified company but also a "brand" that is recognized by folks in the automotive industry.

    Many thanks for making the dream come true for so many people, myself included.

    Peace,
    Garry
    I sure miss my coupe!

    F5R1004503SP 2004 Challenge Car, 331 Stroker

    Coupe # 031, 422" Windsor stroker by Southern Automotive (Dash autographed by Peter Brock)***SOLD***
    Unique 427 Roadster, 482" Aluminum FE by Southern Automotive***SOLD***

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    Dave,

    It's unfortunate such events happen. It is evident that you love what you and your team do, and that you are all continually working to improve not only your products, but your processes.

    It was great to chat with you at the factory on Thursday, which is a perfect example of how you and your team support your customers... It was obvious you were super busy, and yet you came out and chatted with a couple of your Canadian customers until we had to hit the road.

    I wish you, your team, and your family a happy holiday.

    -Chris

  36. #27

    Steve >> aka: GoDadGo
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    My Personal Experience With Factory Five Racing:
    I've had nothing but good experiences with Factory Five Racing. The folks there have always done an outstanding job to assist me. When I first got my project I had some back ordered parts and they all came in within 15-75 days. Whenever I called for assistance, Dan, Tony or Courtney (Think She Made A Mistake Leaving) helped me with my problem(s) so that I could move on.

    Now For The Good Stuff:
    The 1st time I called F5 to ask them about a Chevy Option, Dave Smith happened to be manning the phones because all the tech folks were busy HELPING CUSTOMERS! Dave was super nice and explained why they didn't have a Chevy fitment option, but then gave me Randy Jones' contact information if I Really, Really, Really wanted to stuff a Chevy in their car. He said it would be a lot easier if I installed a Ford and we talked a while and he wrote down my information. The cool thing was 3-4 days later a few of Factory Five Posters showed up in the mail which my son flipped over. (How Cool & Smart Marketing)

    About two years later we took the plunge and ordered our car and now 4 years later we are nearing completion. For those of you who know don't know me my build delays were family first life issues and a butchered block, but I digress. Anyway, I can't say enough good things about Factory Five & This Forum, especially folks on this forum who were praying for our family during some very tough times.

    Think About This:
    Nobody builds a finer product than Factory Five and they survived a really dark economic time so now they are dealing with a much stronger economy and are having some issues keeping up with demand which is not a bad position to be in. While this isn't fun for Dave and the gang to deal with these issues are good issues to have compared to the alternative.

    Also, as a Commercial Loan Workout Officer, who specializes in restructuring critisized and defaulting small business credits, I personally find it amazing that a Niche Company that sells something that nobody needs (This Is A Want-/-Luxury Product Business) they have not only survived but seemed to have thrived while others stumbled with many closing their doors forever.

    Hats Off To Dave & His Crew Because They Have Done The Impossible For Over 20 Years!

    Remember Too That Because Of The Factory Five We Are Allowed To Build Our Dreams!

    How Cool Is That?


    Steve

    https://youtu.be/b9434BoGkNQ
    Last edited by GoDadGo; 12-22-2018 at 06:59 AM.

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  38. #28
    Senior Member Fixit's Avatar
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    As the former webmaster of our local Chevelle Club, I ran into my fair share of people who seemingly have nothing better to do with their time than bytch.
    It doesn't seem to matter what "hobby" or interest it is, there's always one or two people whose "glass of life" is ALWAYS 1/2 empty... and they want to infect everyone around them with this toxic attitude.
    As you and your FFR team have done, do what it takes within reason to make them happy (if that's even possible), then ask them to go away. All we can hope is that someday they'll see the light and begin to enjoy themselves.

    Forums such as this foster life-long friendships and perpetuate a rapidly vanishing facet of the car hobby - actually BUILDING a car - not bolting on "dress-up" items.

    Aside from the one or two occasional bad apples, forums of this type are largely self-policing. The other members usually will step in and comment is someone's "out of line". Everyone here is passionate about the hobby, wants to share ideas & techniques, learn new skills & methods, and have a quick & accurate source of information... and frankly it's a way for people to politely brag a little bit about their accomplishments - which is a good thing.

    I want you to thank your team for providing a superior product, and for what they do to make FFR the success it is... then go home and thank your family again - running FFR has undoubtedly meant many missed meals, events, occasions, etc.

    Have a very Merry Christmas, and a great New Year Dave!!
    John D. - Minneapolis 'Burbs

    1965 El Camino - LT-1, 4L60e, 4wh discs, SC&C susp.
    2013 F-150 Platinum - Twin Turbo 3.5
    2018 Mk4 Roadster - #9365 Build Thread

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  40. #29
    Senior Member cv2065's Avatar
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    Hello Dave. Just wanted to add that I’ve worked in customer service all my career, and with any company, there are going to be challenges, but it’s how the company reacts when they present themselves. That said, I will tell you that the customer service at your company is second to none. I am actually blown away at the responsiveness your team has to both technical and parts related questions/issues. I did initially have some heartburn over a few back ordered parts, but again, the customer service end of things overwhelmed it ten fold. Very satisfied that I went with FFR and would recommend to anyone in a heartbeat. Quick shout out to Dave Correia. He has been exceptional!
    MKIV Roadster - #9380 - Complete Kit - Delivered 7/17/18
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    Build Thread: https://thefactoryfiveforum.com/show...V-Build-Thread

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  42. #30

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    Dave,

    Enjoy your time with the family and co-workers. We've got your back!

    Maybe we all should flood the BBB with compliments and praise about how well FFR does with the product/support/giving back to the various charities/communities across the nation.

    Merry Christmas,

    Ray
    I'm not getting gray, I'm adding chrome....

    “Under-steer is when you hit the wall with the front of the car and over-steer is when you hit the wall with the rear of the car. Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall and torque is how far you take the wall with you.”
    -- Jacques Schnauzee "World Famous Racecar Driver"

    "If you can make black marks on a straight from the time you turn out of a corner until the braking point of the next turn, then you have enough horsepower."--Mark Donohue

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  44. #31
    President, Factory Five Racing Dave Smith's Avatar
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    Guys, I sincerely appreciate the kind words. The truth is that we are imperfect in many ways and while I'm pleased that over the years the company has gotten better and better and better.. The truth is that building a car and the nature of this project and product makes it very challenging. A really great couple is here from Franklin MA visiting this morning. Dave B. is working on theri order. Guy is building a Coyote-powered mostly street car.. drives a V8 BMW M3 and has been planning on building this car for more than 5 years. Kids are finally out of college and his wife is the one who dragged him here so that he can finally build his car that he has been dreaming about for so long. As I talk with him and listen to his story, I realize how lucky I am that we are the ones he trusts with his car build, with his safety, with his dreams to build this with his younger of 2 daughters before she leaves for the world and starts her post college life. I would sooner cut my own arm off than let this guy down.

    but in the end, NONE of that makes back orders better, or makes a customer less entitled to get upset if and when we let them down. Nobody is perfect and no company does it right all the time, but the people who work here care a great deal about others and understand that we are building something far greater than cars. This forum, the FFR community, the friendships we've helped build and that our work has been a part of... All of this is an amazing story of Factory Five and I have understood our job from the earliest days. Thanks for all your kind words and Have a very Merry Christmas.. Ive gotta go wrap a killer new FI tech fuel injection carb-look-alike system that I got for Adam from Santa. Good times these are.
    Dave Smith, FFR 001
    President
    Factory Five Racing

  45. #32
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    Dave, Get ready to lock down this thread! I happen to agree with Rick K from Canada. This forum is extremely biased and you have created the whole mess. One of my favorite threads is "WOW!! FF really dropped the QC ball here!". I cringed when I read title. Yeah I am new to the whole Factory Five forum and new to the world of Factory Five, and I cringed when I read it. My first thought was here we go, someone complaining that they received a component car and not a production car with a Lego like instruction manual. At that moment I realized how biased I was regarding Factory Five. At the time I read the thread I had only learned about Factory Five two years prior when I made the trip to pick up his MK IV. I couldn't pass up a car build related road trip. I had no idea that 11 months later I would be making the trip again, this time for my kit! But after talking to the team you created on the first trip, I was hooked!! I met Nate, Dan and Courtney. They are like me, passionate car people! So back to my favorite thread. The individual that started the thread wanted something in his car that Factory Five did not provide. In my biased opinion, it is not Factory Fives' fault. I think that is what is great about the product you provide. My car is a one off, a kind car of which your team has created the canvas. And that thread that made me cringe, gave me both ideas and techniques that created my finished product. BTW, the thread is still there. No one deleted it because is says FF dropped the QC ball. Every time I drive my FFR 818c on the street I feel like I am getting away with something! It is an incredible handling fast go-kart that I can drive on the street!!! So I am biased! Your team makes a high quality foundation at an outstanding price point that places huge smiles on faces around the world. I am not sure where else any one can get that, but that is my biased opinion as a new Factory Five Racing customer that is going to be following for a long time!

    Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

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  47. #33

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    Dave, my wife and I fly out to your open house in 2012 to find out more information about your company. I was standing around outside after the open house looking over your Cobra, you walked up shook my hand and asked if I had any questions. I’m sure you were tired with all the work getting ready for the show, but you took the time see if you could help. I told you I was thinking about buying a Cobra and installing a Coyote, you asked if I ever sat in one and I said no, you looked at me and said well then we better go for a ride. Here is picture my wife took of us leaving your parking lot. My wife and I talked on the flight home about the experience and how you went out of the way for us. I ordered the kit the next week and this past 6 years has been a great experience working with your company and all the fantastic people on this forum. Keep up the great work and I can’t wait to start my next build.]
    Dan & Kay
    Attached Images Attached Images

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  49. #34
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    I think it's pretty obvious where most of us come down on this just by taking a stroll through those posts. Dave, if it were easy being an entrepreneur, more of us would do it. If it were easy engineering component cars, there'd be more of them. If it were easy to handle the logistics of producing component cars, we'd see a lot more variety on the street and at the shows.

    I know this doesn't excuse shortcomings, and I'd never try to. But I'm being honest about the role you play for us (and me in particular). I looked at EVERY component car manufacturer I could find, and NONE of them hit the sweet spot I needed to get started. I would be restoring some OEM car if it weren't for you and your team.

    I'm at a point right now where I'm looking at building a Locost after my 818 goes into service. Not because I don't want to build a Factory Five (65 is SO sweet), but because I now have more skills, and more confidence IN those skills, than I did a year ago.

    Name for me any other company that would have done that. I'll wait.

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  51. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Smith View Post

    I have to admit that part of my personality is at fault. I literally cannot sit still and cannot help but add projects to our plate. I do think I have ADD and ADHD and have learned to channel this into productive processes but there is never a challenge I want to shy from and I want this company to have a reach that exceeds it's grasp! This company is doing so much every day and over the years we've been successful precisely because of that.
    Dave,

    I agree you and the company go above and beyond expectations - exceptional!

    Unfortunately - I believe you're always going to have a small percentage of customers who would have served themselves (and everyone else) much better by simply buying a Corvette (or similar).

    This case strongly resembles that sort of situation.


    I'm actually pleasantly surprised that those customers are as rare as they appear to be.

    You absolutely should be too.

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  53. #36
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    I have had the pleasure to meet Dave several different times as I used to work basically around the corner from Factory Five. I am in the process of building a 33 and have popped in unanounced several times with questions and always recieve a warm welcome and if Dave is there he comes out to chat. (and the answers to my questions)
    I worked in manufacturing for years, back orders are a way of life.
    Its fantastic to work with an outfit like FF5 !!!!

  54. #37
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    Nice to hear from you Dave! Big announcement! It is great so see that relative to back orders:

    1. You are planning to spend just over $200k in 2019 on a new MRP/Ops system.

    That is fantastic! Can’t help but improve delivery over the long run.

    2. You acknowledge that “Blocking and tackling are basic skills that enable bigger plays. Back-orders are part of this and need to be managed better. We're building charity cars, doing R&D projects we can barely afford, racing when we should be doing something else.”

    I know if you refocus on the basics, delivery will definitely improve, which will absolutely make all customers very happy. Those other endeavors are fine now and again but not if they cause you to lose sight of or get in the way of what is really important to your customers.

    3. You state “Guys, I sincerely appreciate the kind words….. but in the end, NONE of that makes back orders better, or makes a customer less entitled to get upset if and when we let them down.

    I couldn’t have said it better! The most astonishing thing to me about various responses to my backorders post were the low expectations many of them have as to FFRs willingness to address, ability to improve or even focus upon the matter of backorders.

    Frankly, it appears they don’t believe you can do it and don’t seem to care if you do. That is misguided short-term thinking.

    I’m here to tell you that I know you can do it, I believe you will and it does matter in the long run!

    Thank you for addressing the elephant in the room. Looking forward to many more purchases with much improved delivery in the years to come.

  55. #38
    Senior Member edwardb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stallion View Post
    ...The most astonishing thing to me about various responses to my backorders post were the low expectations many of them have as to FFRs willingness to address, ability to improve or even focus upon the matter of backorders.

    Frankly, it appears they don’t believe you can do it and don’t seem to care if you do. That is misguided short-term thinking...
    Never mind... Deleted my comments. I'm tired of this. Back to building.
    Last edited by edwardb; 12-23-2018 at 08:16 PM.
    Build 1: Mk3 Roadster #5125. Sold 11/08/2014.
    Build 2: Mk4 Roadster #7750. Sold 04/10/2017. #7750 Build Thread
    Build 3: Mk4 Roadster 20th Anniversary #8674. 03 of 20. 2015 crate Coyote, 2015 IRS. Legal 04/18/2017. #8674 Build Thread
    Build 4: Gen 3 Type 65 Coupe #59. Gen 3 crate Coyote. Delivered 12/2/2017. #59 Coupe Build Thread

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  57. #39
    Member Jetfuel's Avatar
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    Dave
    First off, may you, your family and all the members of your team have a Bless Christmas and may the new year be your best one yet.
    Secondly please remember that you do not build cars...you build dreams....left or right hand drive.
    What you've done have been tried before by many but many have not experienced the success that you and your team have created and to me the proof is in driving mine and have somebody yield out the window " is that a Factory Five"?

    I'll tip my hat and raise my glass to you
    Cheers

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  59. #40
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    Stallion:

    What is your purpose on this forum? If it's nothing more than to be an antagonist, we don't need that here. It wasn't your "catalyst" that caused FFR to make the changes Dave described, as it's clear to me that those were already in play. Had you simply called FFR to express your concerns, you would have been told what was being done to make things better and you wouldn't be seen as the fool you've made yourself appear to be. I certainly hope you are satisfied and can let those of us that want to help each other build our cars get back to the business of doing that.
    Last edited by Papa; 12-23-2018 at 08:48 PM.
    There are 10 types of people in this world;
    those who understand binary and those who don't.

    My Build Thread: http://thefactoryfiveforum.com/showt...ter-Build-9754

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