Since 1911, H.A. Stiles has been a nationwide supplier of wood components ranging from wood dowels, turnings, and moldings to flatwork, boxes, and more.
Online PR News – 03-November-2016 – Westbrook, ME – In today’s world of instant communication of social media, email and cell phones with corresponding perceived immediacy in communicating needs for products, it is interesting to think back on how business has “progressed” over the past century. Most people today have no idea what a telex is, though 40 years ago, it was the common way of written communication with overseas customer, via a telegraph type coding. Telephones have been in place in most urban businesses for 100 years, maybe 80-85 years for the more rural locations (at the source of lumber and many factories) and until 35 years ago, “long distance” calls were a big deal and used sparingly, due to the high cost. When faxes first came in to use, it seemed a novel idea versus the mail, for those “emergency” or rush situations, only to be standard fare, within a few years. Now email, orders and demands are paperless and accessible 24/7.
We stumbled across business correspondence from over 100 years ago, prior to all this “technology” which gave an interesting view into ways of the past. A New York or Chicago buyer sees an ad in a trade publication, sends a letter requesting a quote on custom wood parts on bulk supply of spools, turnings, dowels, chair legs or toys parts. The letter arrives within 2 weeks and a reply is typed or more typically handwritten and returns within 2 more weeks. The buyer than commits to an order, via another letter and promise of payment, another two weeks in transit and Production is scheduled, completed, transported to the nearest rail station and eventually arrives 5-6 months after the initial inquiry. That was considered good service. That was the pace of business. Obviously product variety and quantity has expanded exponentially today, though sometimes in our world of JIT planning, rush charges, overtime and next day air shipping, it is interesting to ponder “progress”.