Thursday, 19 January 2012

Less for More?

We are going to pick on Tim Hortons a little here.


If it were not for the fact that those two cans were sitting side-by-side on the same shelf and that something was being put on them we would have remained oblivious to the fact that there was a distinct size difference between them.

In fact, we would have gone on happily paying more (increase was ~$2.00 per tin for that coffee) without even paying close attention to the size reduction _during_ that increase.

So, we have a smaller tin that we are paying more for.

Now, given the fact that Tim Hortons coffee is a staple in our day-to-day diet we will not be jumping ship anytime soon.

However, it will give us cause for pause in that we may look at alternatives a little more closely such as some of the so-called Fair Trade coffees. We have a bag of Columbian and a bag of Zambian (iirc the African country’s name and spelling right) coffee that is very rich in flavour.


When it comes to technology we pay particular attention to all of the various product manufacturers and their products.

We are always particularly mindful of the following:

  • Is there a good compatibility list for the manufacturer’s products?
  • Does the manufacturer have good post-sales support?
  • Is there an 800 number, or even direct dial, to talk to real people that _know_ the product?
    • Some manufacturers obfuscate the whole process with their voice prompts after calling in.
  • Is the RMA process simple or a rat’s nest to get through?
    • Ever try to RMA an Asus product? We gave up.
    • Kingston and Crucial both are fantastic to deal with.
    • Intel has an Advanced Warranty Replacement program that is second to none.
  • Does the product have good documentation?
    • Most manufacturers fall short in this category as hard as some of them try.

In all of the products we work with we also need to keep in mind that the more time we waste on shoddy post-sales support with manufacturers that it costs us big-time. That in turn costs our clients in lost production time if things go down.

Some of you from Canada may remember IPC and Bondwell PCs back when. Their systems were hundreds of dollars less than the competing Tier 1 or our own quality component built systems.

The IT business owner I was working with decided to dive right into them. In the end it cost us a huge amount in lost time replacing cheap flaky components that it became readily apparent that IPC and Bondwell PCs were not the way to go.

Because of this experience we here at MPECS Inc. have not delved into any entry-level or consumer grade components and systems. It is our preference to stick with the higher end Chevy/VW and Cadillac/BMW series of systems, servers, and software products.

Though, the following video aught to make clear where our preference lies for both the solutions we deliver and the automobile product we prefer. :)

Cadillac CTS-V Supercharged

And, just in case there is _any_ ambiguity:

My favourite Cadillac Commercial of all time!

BTW, just like the Linux versus Windows, Hyper-V versus VMWare, AMD versus Intel, and so on one can get quite “religious” about one’s preference in finer automobiles. ;)

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

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