Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Short Term Gain, or Long Term Success?

Too often we hear the complaint that big companies are putting little companies out of business.  It happens.  With the economies of scale that larger companies can harness, they can often get favorable pricing on their goods, and sell them at a lower price than smaller competitors can, making just enough off of volume to keep going.

That works fine with commodities, items that are identical no matter who makes them.  Most people don't care what company made the table salt they buy for their kitchen, so whoever can get it to them for the lowest price usually wins the battle.  Morton's has won the battle over much of the rest of the market precisely because they are the largest. They have lower unit costs because they have driven the volume up so high.

What's this got to do with fence?  Morton didn't copy someone else's formula for table salt, they simply came up with efficient ways to obtain it, process it, package it and deliver it.  Anyone can mine salt, grind it up, and put it in a box. (I know it is much more involved, humor me, it's beside the point.) Their success is predicated on having a huge footprint in the industry, and it works for them.

What about products that are not commodities, but are unique and innovative?  There are two ways to beat an innovator.  One, you can simply come up with more and better ideas to make oneself more competitive.  The second is by nature anti-competitive and ultimately prevents innovation.  One can obtain a temporary competitive advantage by copying a competitors design, then, by flooding the market with cheaper imitations, drive the competitor out of business, using a cheapened version of his own idea.

This is always temporary because, in the end, the consumer is disappointed in the quality and performance of the product and either switches to the next innovator's product, or switches to the next rip off because it is cheaper.  It is not a sustainable business model.  It destroys true innovation, and it destroys the businesses and lives of the kinds of people who make this country great.  In exchange for temporarily lining the pockets of investors, companies that capitalize on taking the businesses of others rather than innovating new and better products are destroying industry, not building it.  That's not 'the American Way'.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Safe and Sound...


Is that the “noise of summer” you remember from childhood? When I hear the sound of a wooden screen door with its long “automatic closer” spring slamming shut it makes me think of endless, hot summer days filled with things to do. It's a happy sound.

When I hear that sound coming from a gate it makes me cringe. Why the difference? Well, a door is part of a structure that supports it on all sides, being connected across the top by the header and across the bottom by the floor, with a stop running the entire latch edge. When a door slams, that energy is transferred to the rest of the house. When a gate slams, all the energy is absorbed by the gate and the latch post. Slam that gate once too hard or once too often, and it soon will not latch at all. It may not even stay in one piece.

Yet that is what some self closing gate systems do. Unless there is a way to control the closing force on your self closing gate, you may be creating memories you'd rather forget. Lost security from a broken gate, high repair bills on your fence and gate, maybe a runaway dog or a toddler injured by the gate or near your unattended pool. These can all be consequences of a poorly designed or installed gate system.

Make sure the hardware you use is reliable, safe, and adjustable.

 Modern Fence Technologies

Thursday, September 8, 2016

As If You Needed Another Reason to Buy American


The inevitable rate increases caused by the failure of Hanjin containerized shipping from Asia to the U.S. are about to hit...Just in time for Christmas shoppers and businesses utilizing their capital before years' end.  You can add price increases due to product shortages to the higher transport cost.

See here for more details.

  Don't get caught paying for someone else's mistakes.  Buy American, get better quality, lower cost of ownership, and better service.  You'll be glad you did!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Hard(ware) to Get


Hanjin Shipping, a major player in the importation of goods from China has filed for bankruptcy.  This means that if you regularly buy products imported from China, you may find yourself waiting much longer than you expected.

  Hanjin has gone into receivership, and their ships and containers may have to wait to be off-loaded until settlements have been made. (For details click here)

  Don't wait for the mess to get better.  We have superior quality American made hardware, at excellent pricing, on the shelf and ready to ship.  With warehouses in the Midwest and on the West Coast, we are within 3-4 day delivery for UPS packages, anywhere in the continental U.S., with orders in California usually arriving next day.

  Call Modern Fence Technologies today for fast, knowledgeable, friendly service, and top quality American made solutions for the professional fence installer at excellent prices.

West Coast: 888-613-8146
Midwest and East Coast: 888-456-6786

Friday, August 5, 2016

Specifiers are always right...until they're not.

Most commonly, when you see a specification for hinges, you will see that gate manufacturers offer 180 degree opening hinges, and you will see that they almost always call out a minimum weight rating for the hinge.

The number they give is almost never going to be accurate.  Why? Because that number does not take into consideration the differing loads that gates of different proportions place on the hinge system. Consider a gate that is six feet by ten feet.  Hung horizontally, that gate will put much higher stress on the hinge system and post than if the same gate were hung vertically.

This is because the gate acts as a lever, with the fulcrum at some point between the bottom hinge and the point where the post enters the ground.  The longer the lever, the more stress a given weight will create in the system.  That stress is what causes most hinges to fail.

At Modern Fence Technologies we have made the effort to determine the actual load bearing capacity of our hinges, taking into account the proportions of your gate, as well as its weight.  Using our handy Proportional Load Charts is an easy way to make sure that the hinge you buy will support the gate you are hanging, and that you won't pay for more hinge than is necessary.

We offer American made hinges that open 180 degrees, are adjustable, fit on any combination of round or square post or gate members, have 100% stainless steel moving parts, and, when selected using our Proportional Load Charts, will offer a lifetime of service.

Most gate builders are experts at building gates, but when it comes to hanging gates, we are the experts.  Call your MFT service rep at (888) 456-6786, or, on the West Coast, call (888) 613-8146.