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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 2:22 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 6:22 am
Posts: 1263
Location: Zion
As I recall from the thread that won't / can't be mentioned, CL said ZG tries to get in front of bad press. This is interesting timing for a mfg to start his own thread.

Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.
Third time? Come on, man.

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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 4:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 3:53 am
Posts: 156
Location: Athens, GA
I have stated that issues were being addressed but the solutions I attempted post recession have been difficult to execute and take time. The crank project became a huge liability when it was entered into as a hope of bringing new life to the company after devastating hits from the recession. My situation over the years following the hardest part of the recession was grim. At the beginning of the recession I had enjoyed a run of triple growth per year for four years straight. I had sales growing each year with the build season of 2006 commanding 600 brake sets per month. I hired 15 employees and took on credit the purchase of about a million dollars of CNC machinery. With triple growth seeming like a trend, it didn't seem dangerous to take on that debt. When the recession hit, machinery payments and payroll became a challenge to say the least. I lost a lot of good people because I simply couldn't afford to pay them. I began to issue desperate deals with dealers to keep the cash flow up and hired lower caliber employees to keep the flow of production up. Neither solution was effective. I was not in a position with the bank to simply reduce my operation ... I needed to maintain an infrastructure and sales level to make the machine payments. The strategy was to refinance, hire lower paid employees to run the equipment, and offer discounts to improve sales volume. I built my shop and want to hold on to my machines so at times I over promised and under delivered. That is changing now because my financial burden is beginning to lift with many of the machines recently being paid off. I no longer require a larger infrastructure to pay the bills. I am able to scale back now without losing what I built. Yes, I have come here before saying things are being addressed and the solutions did not work at times but I am a fighter and I don't give up. Things are improving here and I am very sorry to those who were affected by my past struggles. I made some mistakes ... I am however, willing to go above and beyond to make things right as my resources to do so improve. Anyone here who feels they have had a raw deal from me, please contact me and allow me to set it right... the best stuff ever made by Ciamillo is coming out of the shop now and maybe I can sort some frustration by getting it on your bike.


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Posted: Tue May 20, 2014 4:11 pm 


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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 4:12 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 3:53 am
Posts: 156
Location: Athens, GA
Contact me at tciamillo@gmail.com


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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 4:42 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:10 pm
Posts: 45
Location: Gien, France
Well, this thread is interesting because when you read all the messages you can have a good idea of the history of the brand and the perspectives that it may have.

I'm probably the most implicated distributor in the history of the brand. It means that I not only sell the brand but I also make 80% of the after sales service tasks.
The only things I cannot do are machining and anodizing/powder coating. I have all the Ciamillo spare parts in stock that can be bought individually or that I can change for you. As I know the delays that it takes to get delivered, I order more in order to have always the stock that I need.
My customers have all had a very good experience on the Ciamillo brakes, and the reason is that I apply a second quality control before shipping.
So, during the past 2 years I haven't met structural issues, and anyway it remains a rare issue, only met on OG and a few more Gravitas.
The rest of the issues are focused on the cam or the assembly of the quick release.
Yes, Ted is responsible of these few issues because he's the boss, and he's supposed checking the work of his employees.
But at the same time, these issues have been resolved easily on my European market.

The procedure to fix the brakes is easy for Europe and it has not changed. You send me a picture of your brakes with a description of the problem.
If the set has been sold by me or my retailers I fix the brakes for free within the 3 year warranty. And my delays are not 1 week or 1 month, they are 24h; the brakes don't stay longer than 24h here ! I proceed like that because it's more difficult to fix brakes that arrived 1 month ago than brakes arrived this morning. If they are not under warranty, ask a rate wit a picture and a description of the problem. You'll pay through Paypal only once the problem fixed.

I visit Ted in GA about twice a year. I have been trained by his best employee who assembled 25000 brakes in his life. I haven't assembled so many brakes but I have 5 years of experience on his brakes now.
During my last visit we spoke about the crank project but also on new brake projects.
I cannot detail on what we are working now, but I share all the experience that I get from my customers. Ted and I are not always OK with all R&D solutions... but that's exactly what's making a good brainstorming.
What I know is that:
-OG customers who bought brakes in 2005 are still riding with them because it's hard to find a better product in terms of weight (Gravitas are more expensive and just a little bit lighter).
-GSL micro are a good solution for those who are looking to buy recent brakes and drop the weight of their DA9000 by 113g with using both wide rims & narrow rims...
-The most recent production is better than last year because Ted is now doing everything. In 2013 I had to service about 20% of my brand new brakes going out from the factory. There was not big issues, but some various things to improve in order to reach the Ciamillo standards. On my latest arrival, I serviced 0% of the items made by Ted. Good job !
-The licence of the cam is used successfully by Sram, with a good result (Sram Red is 250g verified and I consider them as the best factory brakes of the market).
-I'm in touch with pro teams to use the Ciamillo brakes in the future. It's not yet done, we have to wait again. The primary reason is that the 6.8kg limit is reachable even with Zipp 808 and aero frames ! So, the only use would be TT. The second is that it's hard to request Shimano or Sram or Campy to replace the factory brakes by Ciamillo brakes. Even brands 50 times bigger that Ciamillo have difficulties to do that against these leaders.
But when the UCI will decide to drop the authorized weight by 1kg or less, a new market will open for aftermarket brands like Ciamillo. At this time we will need to be ready !

With these considerations we are working underground. We don't want to reproduce the mistakes of the crank. The brakes will be released only once ready and tested.
For Ted it's possible now because there are no employees to pay like in the past and no pressure to imagine that these employees have shipped brakes with issues.
As the brain of the project, Ted is also imagining an easier way to manufacture his future brakes in order to reduce the risks of issues.

So, as of today, you need to consider that there is Ciamillo.com (USA) and Ciamillo.eu (Europe). USA and Europe are separated businesses in terms of turnover and liability, but we work together to grow up the reputation of the Ciamillo brand.

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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 6:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 9:41 pm
Posts: 724
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
but lewolive, you only talks about the products, not the thing peoples here in the thread talks about, poor service


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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 6:10 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:30 am
Posts: 277
"But this time it's different."


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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 6:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 9:41 pm
Posts: 724
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
Ahillock wrote:
"But this time it's different."


how many times have we heard that? :D


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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 6:57 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 11:35 pm
Posts: 37
Location: Denmark/Herning
How is it exactly customer care should improve???

Now he's the only guy in the shop fabricating and answering calls/emails. Maybe he should hire Santa and the Easter Bunny

/Martin


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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 7:05 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 3:53 am
Posts: 156
Location: Athens, GA
Martin.dk wrote:
How is it exactly customer care should improve???

Now he's the only guy in the shop fabricating and answering calls/emails. Maybe he should hire Santa and the Easter Bunny

/Martin


I already tried that... Santa wanted to bring in the Elf Union and the Easter Bunny wants vacation right at the height of the build season.


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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 7:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 3:53 am
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Location: Athens, GA
The employees were needed to make the larger volume needed due to reduced margin. Now that I don't use dealers, I make full retail... With no employees to pay I have less overhead. The only thing that suffers is volume but the employees were not keeping the volume up anyway. Soon I will be selling only what I have in stock as my inventory is the only one that needs servicing. Selling from stock means no lead times... if I run out of stock, it will be indicated on the site. This is how it should be but it is difficult to get there right away. Lead times are coming to an end soon.


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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 7:14 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 11:35 pm
Posts: 37
Location: Denmark/Herning
sorry to hear that Ted :wink: ,but still curious on how you expect to improve the ONE issue you haven't really touched yet: Customer care.

I don't own any of your products, but i'm sure the brakes are good. i've been reading not only this thread but also some of the older ones, and it basically comes down to you as a person and your lack of customer care.

You sucked at it before - how will it improve now when you have to do everything on your own??

/Martin

EDIT: overlapping post, but the question is still unaswered


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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 7:25 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:10 pm
Posts: 45
Location: Gien, France
JensW wrote:
but lewolive, you only talks about the products, not the thing peoples here in the thread talks about, poor service


I would like to be clear. The biggest issues happened in 2010-2011: change in the team with unskilled employees. I precised that there has only a few structural issues and that the majority of the issues came from a bad assembly.

On all my visits, the number of brakes to be serviced was between 7-20 sets, which is not a phenomenal number compared with the number of brakes sold. When I visited 6 months later, I have never seen the same brake set to be serviced than the ones there were 6 months earlier. So, I think that the majority of the brakes are really serviced within 6 months.
But what I'm sure is that Ted is loosing an amazing time with waiting for servicing the brakes. It takes so less time to do it immediately instead of waiting just 2 weeks...

The idea of the restructure is to produce a limited number of brakes at full price and to stop offering discounts to customers. Instead of that we'll raise the overall quality of the products with a perfect supply chain. The problem with a large team is that you have to produce a lot of products to absorb the labor costs. So, when the sales are not regular you need to offer discounts to retailers ready to buy a large stock at the same time. Then, the pressure is on the team and they make mistakes in the production, and the mistakes that they make may be more expensive than what they have produced. Then, retailers don't make the job that they should assume. On Ciamillo brakes, 80% of the issues may be serviced by a dealer with basic tools. When retailers buy brakes and never buy Ciamillo spare parts, they clearly want to make money and not assume any service to their customers. But in 2014, customers want a good service for goods bought through internet and we have to be good about that. Check the other brands, they are all offering free training to dealers. Ted offered me an awesome training at the shop. All brands need to be supported by efficient dealers who know the products. Too many customers returned brakes to dealers because there was an e-clip missing, one thing that should be fixed by dealers because it's more and adjustment than an issue. (Sometimes we mount 2 eclips on the cam instead of 1 in order to adjust the play in the quick release, of course all brakes sold have at least one eclip).
Servicing Ciamillo brakes is something expensive for me but I assume it because I want to satisfy my customers in order to sell again Ciamillo brakes or other brands. So, it's one reason for which my prices are higher than in the USA. Too many European people are buying micros from the USA or unofficial dealer. That's a real problem for me and that's the reason why Ted is giving me the charge of the entire Europe.
All European people know that we have to pay import duties and VAT in Europe and that's why our prices in Europe will be 30% higher than in the USA.

To conclude, what I'd like to say is that Ciamillo brakes are made with the highest raw material and process available. They are designed to be used at least 20 years. However you may need assistance to change small parts or to improve the efficiency of your brakes.
On the french forum veloptimal, we are sharing our experience with the products and explain how to improve the efficiency. That's something I don't see enough on weightweenies Ciamillo threads.
So, please send pictures into the thread and explain what's your problem or what you'd like to improve on your brakes.
If you don't have a reply, please contact me or Ted through weightweenies message center. I'll personally reply to your messages even if you didn't bought the brakes from me.

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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 7:29 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 3:53 am
Posts: 156
Location: Athens, GA
Martin.dk wrote:
sorry to hear that Ted :wink: ,but still curious on how you expect to improve the ONE issue you haven't really touched yet: Customer care.

I don't own any of your products, but i'm sure the brakes are good. i've been reading not only this thread but also some of the older ones, and it basically comes down to you as a person and your lack of customer care.

You sucked at it before - how will it improve now when you have to do everything on your own??

/Martin

EDIT: overlapping post, but the question is still unaswered


Good question and I think it is at the heart of everyone's criticism. Actually the first three years of operation I was a one man show and I enjoyed the praise of here of having the best customer service in the industry. The answer is based in manageability of the operation. As I said I over promised based on the capacity of personnel due to the requirement to meet the bills. I put myself in 12 hour a day six days a week work fight to make ends meet hoping that I could perform to what I promised and walking a tight rope of what is possible. Throw in a design bug, employee problem, or machine failure and the trickle down effect results in poor follow through. Dropping the employees and selling at retail will allow me to meet my current financial requirement without putting myself on a tightrope. I am seeking a manageable operation that relies on my performance and well maintained equipment and selling from stock only. With the machines paid for I am able to produce 5 sets of brakes and 3 lunocets per day by myself... that's only a maximum of 8 customers to take care per day... It's a good living and manageable.


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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 7:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:10 pm
Posts: 45
Location: Gien, France
Martin.dk wrote:
sorry to hear that Ted :wink: ,but still curious on how you expect to improve the ONE issue you haven't really touched yet: Customer care.

I don't own any of your products, but i'm sure the brakes are good. i've been reading not only this thread but also some of the older ones, and it basically comes down to you as a person and your lack of customer care.

You sucked at it before - how will it improve now when you have to do everything on your own??

/Martin

EDIT: overlapping post, but the question is still unaswered


The ingredients are the following and I shared it with Ted (inventory is missing bu he's working on):

-Contact only by email (phone is taking too much time and you cannot remember all, there is no proof of contact...)
-Have in stock a bunch of quick release, eclips, shims, springnuts, springs, cams... Being out of stock is forbidden on all these parts.
-Keep 1h a day to look after after sales services
-Have a reliable payment offer used worldwide (I use Paypal) if you need to charge customers

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Posted: Tue May 20, 2014 7:36 pm 


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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 8:44 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 2:13 am
Posts: 26
Just a question. Will the Gravitas Cranks still be made?

I have been waiting for a while now. I realize that it takes time, and I am willing to wait, as I have been. I love the look of them, and would rather have them than not.

I also have 4 sets of brakes, 2 sets of Gravitas and one set of Micro's with the new cam. And one old set. I will never part with my brakes, and yes they take a little knowledge to set up, But once done you don't have to touch them again. Remember they use Campy type pads not Shimano, although they can be made to fit (table edge, and some force) cork pads.

How long? in your opinion will it be before I can expect the Cranks to be shipped out? I still have a frame built up with everything but the crank, all done in the same carbon that is used on your Crank tubes. A proper showcase.

Shimano, BB30, 130bcd, 175 length, Black with Silver.

Just a little future delivery notice is all I need. Thanks


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