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Thread: Ordering a Cronkhite Gig Bag

  1. #1

    Ordering a Cronkhite Gig Bag

    I currently have a Cronkhite bag on order but who knows when it will ship - it's been months now.
    Yamaha Neo w/Trigger, Lacquer
    K&G 3.5D

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by JakeGuilbo View Post
    I currently have a Cronkhite bag on order but who knows when it will ship - it's been months now.
    Not to sidetrack this thread, but below is the email response I received the day after I ordered my bag (about 3 weeks ago). I actually thought it was a pretty cute way to make we who are waiting be more patient. But Jake, if it's been longer than 8 weeks, it sounds like they would not be surprised to hear from you now.

    Thanks for placing your Glenn Cronkhite Custom Case order — we really appreciate it!


    Some time in the next few days, our production manager will create a ticket that will follow your order through to completion. But it’s going to hang on a peg for a while!

    See, we have to make about 300 unique gig bags every month. Right now, we are generally backed up by about 400 or 500 hundred bags. Some items are in stock, but most of our orders are quite specific: “British Tan Leather Body with Black Leather Gusset Contrabassoon Bag,” or, “Cinnamon Leather Slide Trumpet Bag.” With 5 leather colors, 8 Cordura options, and hundreds of patterns, this would be impossible to stock!


    So please be patient. If you received an email confirmation, we have your order! You are in line!


    With 500 people waiting, Lindsey is swamped answering, “When will my case ship?” She could be helping to tape up boxes and shipping orders like yours, but she’s answering emails instead. Lots and lots of emails. She doesn’t mind answering them, because she’s awesome, but it will slow down your order.


    Now, our goal is not to make you wait. But if we ever got to where we could make these in a few days, we’d have to lay off people during slow months. Those people would then go work elsewhere. And we’d have to train someone new when orders pick up. And there would be mistakes and quality problems while they learn, and nobody wants that. The best way for us to do this is to have a bit of a backup so we can keep the same workers and the same quality. A good backup is 3-4-5 weeks. When we are busy, that’s going to be 6-7-8. And if we get a 50 case OEM order for Getzen or Shires a day before your order, we might even fall further behind.


    So, plan on 6-8 weeks. If you don’t get tracking at 8 weeks, then, please, email Lindsey. We’ll see if someone can’t work late and get yours done, OK? But give us a bit. Chances are good it will go out much sooner than 8 weeks, so hang in there, Doc!


    Thanks again. These bags are really high quality, and you’re going to know it was worth the wait.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams E3, Denis Wick 4AL (classic)
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    YouTube: dwerden
    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Leadwood, MO
    Posts
    530
    [QUOTE=davewerden;152719]Not to sidetrack this thread, but below is the email response I received the day after I ordered my bag (about 3 weeks ago). I actually thought it was a pretty cute way to make we who are waiting be more patient. But Jake, if it's been longer than 8 weeks, it sounds like they would not be surprised to hear from you now.



    I bought my son an upright bass bag this summer and got the same message. I didn't much care for the email. Our bag was a month late. Customers don't really want to hear about the issues of the business. My opinion anyways. I am very happy with the bag. I've owned a Cronkite before but hadn't owned one since he retired and sold out to Torpedo bags. The quality was good but wasn't happy about the late delivery or the email when I inquired. Not sure if I'll order from them again. I am planning on getting a new euphonium bag but we'll see. The quality is very nice I will say!

    John 3:16

    Yamaha YSL-630 Trombone
    Conn 15I Euphonium
    Mack Brass Euphonium
    Conn Victor 5H Trombone
    Yamaha 354 Trombone
    Mack Brass 200S BBb Tuba

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Davidus1 View Post
    I bought my son an upright bass bag this summer and got the same message. I didn't much care for the email. Our bag was a month late. Customers don't really want to hear about the issues of the business. My opinion anyways. I am very happy with the bag. I've owned a Cronkite before but hadn't owned one since he retired and sold out to Torpedo bags. The quality was good but wasn't happy about the late delivery or the email when I inquired. Not sure if I'll order from them again. I am planning on getting a new euphonium bag but we'll see. The quality is very nice I will say!
    I was not crazy about the delay, but I didn't mind the message. People are not inherently patient (although I'm getting a LITTLE better as I get older). And it's nice to know why the delay exists. I view it like I view Adams. When you do high-quality, custom work, it's not easy to ramp up production and retain quality. Adams can be quite slow to get a new custom horn out. Of course, they have the added issue of the European summer vacation that cause so many companies to close down.

    Fortunately I have my Altieri bag and my Bonna case to use in the meantime. That helps me be patient.
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams E3, Denis Wick 4AL (classic)
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    YouTube: dwerden
    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Leadwood, MO
    Posts
    530
    Quote Originally Posted by davewerden View Post
    I was not crazy about the delay, but I didn't mind the message. People are not inherently patient (although I'm getting a LITTLE better as I get older). And it's nice to know why the delay exists. I view it like I view Adams. When you do high-quality, custom work, it's not easy to ramp up production and retain quality. Adams can be quite slow to get a new custom horn out. Of course, they have the added issue of the European summer vacation that cause so many companies to close down.

    Fortunately I have my Altieri bag and my Bonna case to use in the meantime. That helps me be patient.
    Very true! Quality takes more time. Patience is a virtue no doubt!
    John 3:16

    Yamaha YSL-630 Trombone
    Conn 15I Euphonium
    Mack Brass Euphonium
    Conn Victor 5H Trombone
    Yamaha 354 Trombone
    Mack Brass 200S BBb Tuba

  6. In late spring, I ordered an 'in-stock' bag, received it within two weeks and I'm still receiving messages telling me that it won't be long now. The bag is very nice, with the same quality as the pre-Torpedo bags. I don't think that waiting a few months is unreasonable for such a nice, custom product. The company should, however, implement a better system of customer communication.
    Last edited by nycbone; 10-12-2019 at 12:19 PM.
    Blessing M300 / VMI 46 / Holton B601 / Kelly 51D

  7. #7
    Well, their automated system (I assume it is automation) just sent me this. It's just 1 month since my order was placed.

    Subject Line:

    Your Glenn Cronkhite Case is...well shoot, we don't know either!

    Message Body:


    Hi David,
    So…it’s a been a month. You really want your bag! We get it — they’re the best!
    You might even think, “Hmmm, if I let them know I really want my bag, I bet they’ll make mine faster!” But you would be wrong — we’ll make it slower!
    Not on purpose! No, no, not that!
    See, Lindsey has a variable job here — some days she’s helping organize production, some days she’s helping Steve ship, and some days she’s traveling to trade shows. And of course, some days, she calls in sick so she can have lunch with a friend.
    But to be serious, she does have a role in production, usually on the organization/scheduling/shipping side. She doesn’t sew, thank goodness (I’ve seen her try — her nickname is now “Lindsey Nine Fingers”). If 10 or 20 of the 500 people in line ask “Where’s my case?” it slows everyone’s case down, because someone has to pick up her slack in production. And that person could be sewing your bag. We don’t want that. Lindsey does get 10-20 of these emails every day — whew — and it speeds up exactly none of the bags!
    “When will it be done?” is another question she gets. It’s not that easy. Once the ticket is pulled for cutting, it gets taped to a box of cut pieces, usually with a bunch of other cut pieces of the same model bag as yours. Those boxes are all lined up for sewing. Some of these boxes go home to our contract sewers (our highest skilled workers get paid “per piece”). Then they line up on the shipping table. In a pile of a few hundred orders, it takes time to find “Your Order,” and that makes your order, once again, go slower.
    So please be patient. If you received an email confirmation, we have your order! You are in line!
    If you don’t get tracking at 8 weeks, then, please, email Lindsey. We’ll see if someone can’t work late and get yours done, OK? But give us a bit. Chances are good it will go out much sooner than 8 weeks, so hang in there, Doc!
    Thanks again. These bags are really high quality, and you’re going to know it was worth the wait.
    Sincerely,
    Steve Kriesel
    President
    Torpedo Bags
    …and…
    Glenn Cronkhite Custom Cases
    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams E3, Denis Wick 4AL (classic)
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    YouTube: dwerden
    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  8. #8
    It has now been 6 weeks and I got another email. This one is a little cuter; perhaps then cute them up progressively to help diffuse the tension. But I like and appreciate all the construction details, kinda the way I love learning more about how our instruments are made.

    (JAKE: they pound on that 8-week time as when it's OK to bug them. It sounds like you have a good case!)

    We’re getting into the home stretch, aren’t we?
    6 weeks to wait for anything is not easy, and 6 weeks for a high quality leather product…well, it’s just not fair now, is it? But we want to make these right, and leather work is the hardest of all the textile work. A lot of our products are huge (tuba, harp, upright bass), our leather is THICK, and our amazing crew can’t be expanded easily.
    Here are some reasons why yours might be taking so long:
    We have to cut the leather by hand. There are CNC cutting tables available, but the ones that do what we need done cost $230,000+. Leather cutting requires photography, hide grading, and zone marking, so a standard CNC table doesn’t work for us, to say nothing of the software. We’ll get one someday, but even that will only shave off 30-40 minutes for a medium sized bag. There’s a great time lapse video showing our cutter getting the pieces together for a trombone bag HERE.

    Sewing a leather tuba bag takes about 6 hours. Closing it is extremely hard. We have 2 closing machines: Big, fat cylinder arm machines that weighs more than your car (I’m exaggerating a bit). The needle is about 4 inches long (exaggerating again), and looks more like a pencil than a needle (also exaggerating). It has to go through 5 layers of 5 oz. leather in the final step (true story). If the operator messes this up, the entire bag — and a hide and a half of leather — has to be turned into a “Factory Second,” and we have to start over. Not only do I only have 2 closing stations, most of my crew doesn’t even want this job. It’s too critical.

    Our materials list is well over 200 items long, from specific T138 poly threads to stainless steel rivets to 14 types of leathers (8 for Cronkhite, 6 for Torpedo Bags). Leather, in particular, can take a long time for us to get. The leather has to match from year to year, so we get batches custom made at the same tannery every time. They have up to a 12 week wait. If we don’t plan production and predict orders absolutely perfectly, we can be stuck without leather. Or, if some other leather goods company buys up our supplier’s stock, we can get stuck. Or, if we get a huge leather bag order for a military band, we can get stuck. If we drag your order past 8 weeks, leather supply is the most likely reason.

    We make OEM products for other manufacturers such as Getzen, Dusty Strings, and more. These orders can be quite large. If your order was unfortunately timed, you could be in line behind a 50+ piece order. If your order was fortunately timed, you should buy a lottery ticket — stat!
    We understand that no one wants to wait. We really do. But reach out to us at 8 weeks, please. There are about 300 people in your shoes, and everyone’s got an itchy email finger. It might be scratchy. We’re really not sure if you scratch an itch or if you itch a scratch, but regardless, step away from the send button! It will slow down your case! If 25 of you ask today and 5 of you call, Lindsey is fielding those for a few hours when she could be helping Steve ship bags. If she can’t help Steve, he will pull a sewer off YOUR BAG! I checked. It’s yours. It would be done by now had you not sent those 3 emails 4 weeks ago, twice last Friday, and 6 again last Monday.
    If you don’t get tracking at 8 weeks, then, please, email Lindsey. We’ll see if someone can’t work late and get yours done, OK?
    Thanks again. These bags are really high quality, and you’re going to know it was worth the wait.

    Dave Werden (ASCAP)
    Euphonium Soloist, U.S. Coast Guard Band, retired
    Adams E3, Denis Wick 4AL (classic)
    Instructor of Euphonium and Tuba
    Twitter: davewerden
    Facebook: davewerden
    YouTube: dwerden
    Owner of TubaEuph.com, DWerden.com

  9. #9
    It seems to me if they do not send any package within 2 weeks, this is already strange. I hope you are lucky and deliver everything.

    Of course, if this is all manual work, then you need to find out the approximate dates from the master himself. They can be different and depend on many factors.

  10. #10
    Just to add a couple more points of reference to this thread:

    I ordered a Cronkhite bag in green cordura on February 21, and it shipped on March 26. I guess maybe leather bags take longer to make?

    I also corresponded with Lindsey Deming, the sales director at Torpedo, and she was very quick in response both by phone and email.
    Sean Kissane
    Development Director - International Tuba-Euphonium Association
    Geneva Oldroyd Cardinal Custom Euphonium
    Adams E1 Custom (.6 Gold Brass, Brushed Lacquer, Sterling Silver Leadpipe)
    Giddings DHWA-S Mouthpiece

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