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Why within the last 18 months has the number of complaints related to my hot-dip  galvanized products skyrocketed and what can I do to minimize them?

I know its not polite to answer a question with a question but what is the leading cause of customer dissatisfaction with the hot-dip galvanized steel you produce?

  • There is an excess of 30,000 attorneys graduating from law school each year in the U.S. and a similar number per capita in Canada
  • The economy is driving many customers to seek unjustified concessions and back-charges
  • I have many new customers who just dont know much about hot-dip galvanizing and have unrealistic expectations
  • Normal production and inspection procedures have been compromised because I have fewer shop personnel who are being asked to produce more in less time
  • Six Sigma and other quality programs have made specifiers and owners more demanding

If your answer is all of the above you may want to think about another line of work. An ancient proverb says Complaining is nothing but a distraction from facing the true issue at hand. And very likely the issue at hand may have nothing to do with your customer, the economy, or the number of lawyers, but rather you.Because the AGA staff is the clearinghouse for problem calls from galvanizing customers and A&Es and we log each call by contact name and issue, recognizing a causal pattern is quite easy. According to the calls we receive, little or no education of the customer and/or A&E is the root cause of most problems. Ignorance is no excuse but it sure can complicate matters, as is obvious from the top ten most common statements we hear: 

  1. I The galvanizer left the steel in the molten zinc too long and a very thick, brittle coating developed 
  2. I didnt expect the chain and wire marks to be so visible….my project is architectural steel and marks are unacceptable
  3. I should have been told my weldment of ¼ thick polearms to ¾ poles might cause stress cracking 
  4. I only stored the stack of parts outside for three months… I didnt expect the coating to develop white rust…. Its unusable 
  5. I painted over the galvanizing coating and it caused the paint to peel in a matter of months 
  6. I rejected the parts because I measured the coating thickness and found two of the 30 to have less than the specification requires 
  7. The holes in my fabrication need to be bored because the zinc filled them up…. Im going to have to charge the galvanizer to have that done 
  8. My newly galvanized steel is rusting at every overlapped surface
  9. I seal-welded all of the overlap areas and the galvanizing still caused the part to completely distort 
  10. The coating is blotchy and different shades of gray and the owner wanted the bright shiny silver appearance.

If Paretos Rule applies here and you systematically provide the information necessary to prevent the ten issues identified above from making a visit to your operation, the next 18 months should be a vast improvement over the past.  

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