Author Archives: Kyle

Factory

A Case Study on Tariffs – Sparkfun

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For SparkFun, the story of tariffs is a story about managing uncertainty, and doing everything we can to keep losses to a minimum as we transition from 1-5 percent to 25 percent tariffs on a significant number of our components. For us, it’s not a story about manufacturing in America, or the threat of recession, […]

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Technicians, So Engineers Can Have Heroes Too…

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That is a pretty funny saying but it is true to some extent. Being an engineer who has designed a few products I understand that it is easy to get wrapped up in your design and over look some basic problem. Recently I came across a problem with a coffee machine. The machine is a […]

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I’m Getting Closer…

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I wrote a while ago that I would really like to replace my Casio Sea Pathfinder watch but since it still actually works I don’t feel justified in doing so. The reason I bought that watch was to replace a Suunto Vector that leaked while diving. I liked the ABC functions of the Vector but […]

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Question and Answer Time

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After a recent meeting with a prospective manufacture I thought I would give the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions I get about overseas manufacturing. How much can I save? Possibly a lot, possibly nothing, it depends on what you are making. Plastic like ABS or Polypropylene are commodities and as such […]

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Is American Watch Making Coming Back?

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For a while during American history watch making had a strong foothold in America. I am of course talking about pocket watches. Waltham, Illinois, Elgin, Hamilton and a slew of others actually produced from raw materials some of the most beautiful pocket watches made, anywhere. With the great depression of the 30’s and the invention […]

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Brexit, Time to Take a Holiday To Britain!

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Well it seems that 2016 might be time to get a good deal on that luxury watch. With an average decline in sale of 11.9% since June of 2015 and the Brexit disaster happening in Europe ad the fall of the British Pound I think you might find some dealers trying to move some stock. […]

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Trust, But Verify

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Yi dian dian is a Chinese expression meaning “a little bit”, which you often hear from Chinese manufacturers. I have heard this phrase used often during my working years as a sourcing agent for an U.S. importer. Once, I was told to source a Reacher that matched the requirements needed by the client. I did my […]

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This Dam Casio Still Works!

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It may be going on 20 years that I have had this watch. I bought it in New York City on a trip with my wife and I must say it has served me well. The bezel fell off about seven years ago, I went through three replacement straps before I bought this NATO version […]

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Can I Get Screwed By A Supplier?

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That’s not really the correct question. The correct question is “Will I screw myself? Possibly. In reality you are trying to make money, you want to get a product at a low price, mark it up and re-sell it for a profit, that’s how the world works. Guess what, your supplier is doing the same […]

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Why Is This Going Wrong?

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Things change, we all know that. Sometimes for the better and sometimes for the “What the hell is this?” The first samples you received from the overseas supplier were pretty good, a tweak here and there and it’s perfect, “Go ahead with the run and I’ll wire the deposit!” Then a couple of months later […]

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