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CAP Talk  |  General Discussion  |  Uniforms & Awards  |  Topic: New Uniform Supplier?
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CAPSOC_0pur8ur
Member

Posts: 52

« on: December 11, 2017, 11:38:29 PM »

Alright, here's a question: if everyone hates vanguard so much (and rightfully so), why don't other companies make CAP stuff? Is it something national has to authorize? What's stopping another company from selling high quality CAP accessories/apparel? It just doesn't make sense to me that a company like vanguard is the only option for CAP accessories.
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"To be somebody or to do something. In life there is often a roll call. That’s when you will have to make a decision. To be or to do? Which way will you go?” -Col John Boyd
SarDragon
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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2017, 11:42:51 PM »

Vanguard has an exclusive licensing agreement to produce CAP specific merchandise. In return, they return a portion of the profit to CAP. It's an intellectual property issue, which CAP, Inc. diligently protects.
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Dave Bowles
Maj, CAP
AT1, USN Retired
Mitchell Award (unnumbered)
C/WO, CAP, Ret
CAPSOC_0pur8ur
Member

Posts: 52

« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2017, 11:46:30 PM »

So basically, only vanguard can make CAP stuff, and national wants to keep it that way. Correct?
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"To be somebody or to do something. In life there is often a roll call. That’s when you will have to make a decision. To be or to do? Which way will you go?” -Col John Boyd
SarDragon
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« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2017, 11:52:33 PM »

Yup. There's a legal contract involved.
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Dave Bowles
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Mitchell Award (unnumbered)
C/WO, CAP, Ret
CAPSOC_0pur8ur
Member

Posts: 52

« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2017, 11:55:23 PM »

Well phooey. I kinda thought there must be a legitimate reason, since everyone obviously dislikes vanguard, but I figured I'd check and make sure. Thanks for the info
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"To be somebody or to do something. In life there is often a roll call. That’s when you will have to make a decision. To be or to do? Which way will you go?” -Col John Boyd
CAPSOC_0pur8ur
Member

Posts: 52

« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2017, 12:02:33 AM »

Is the Vanguard/CAP agreement public?
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"To be somebody or to do something. In life there is often a roll call. That’s when you will have to make a decision. To be or to do? Which way will you go?” -Col John Boyd
SarDragon
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« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2017, 12:39:38 AM »

What does it matter? There is little you or I can do to change it.

Let's drop this and move on to something more productive.
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Dave Bowles
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C/WO, CAP, Ret
CAPSOC_0pur8ur
Member

Posts: 52

« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2017, 10:10:16 AM »

Not to be rude, but that attitude is exactly why we still have a company like vanguard as our vendor.
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"To be somebody or to do something. In life there is often a roll call. That’s when you will have to make a decision. To be or to do? Which way will you go?” -Col John Boyd
stillamarine
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« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2017, 11:58:04 AM »

There used to be another supplier. Great supplier. Vanguard put them out of business with a cease and desist. No one is going to try again.
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Tim Gardiner, 1st LT, CAP

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kwe1009
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Posts: 915

« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2017, 12:03:05 PM »

Not to be rude, but that attitude is exactly why we still have a company like vanguard as our vendor.

Actually SarDragon is correct.  CAP NHQ is happy with the agreement they have with VG and it is doubtful that any other company would be willing to take this on.  Things are getting better with VG as far as quality and speed of shipping but there is still work to do.  The prices are high because the volume is low and the fact that VG give 10% to CAP (not sure if that is gross or net).  That 10% is passed on to us so we are paying a higher price so CAP can get some additional funding.
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Ned
Resident Philosopher

Posts: 2,195

« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2017, 01:21:00 PM »

We've talked about this several times before, but it's worth remembering that CAP formerly ran our own uniform and insignia sales (along with a bunch of doodads and trinkets) in the form of the Bookstore and CAPMart for decades.  And despite multiple reorganizations and restarts, we lost our shirts trying to do so.  That lost money came from your dues and mine.  Tens of thousands of dollars.  And members often complained about the level of service.

So the volunteer leadership decided that running a retail operation was not one of our corporate core competencies, and wisely decided to outsource the function.  There was a competitive process where several companies submitted proposals, and after a careful vetting, VG was selected.  They are granted a license by CAP to produce those items which are exclusively CAP property - things like our unique insignia and other items that are reserved to the corporation by law.  The license does NOT cover things like uniform clothing items, which members are free to purchase at AAFES, military clothing sales, or eBay.

The license agreement is a "win-win" for the membership and CAP.  We stopped losing thousands of dollars annually (dues money, remember) and gained a small, but significant revenue stream from licensing fees.  Initially that money was fenced for use at training sites like Hawk, Blue Beret, and others. 

This kind of licensing is the norm, not the exception.  No one can produce or sell official Boy Scout, NFL, NCAA, or (insert your favorite rock band)'s merchandise except licensed manufacturers/venders who pay a licensing fee for the privilege.  The groups get to control the quality of the gear, and some control over distribution.  Good for both sides.

The members gain reliable and rapid delivery of their orders, reasonable prices, and a responsive customer service staff that go out of the way to make it right should there be errors or quality issues in a member's order.

We should also remember that VG has absolutely no interest in poor customer service or substandard products, because they know that the license is for a limited term (3 years at a time, IIRC), and accordingly is up for renewal periodically.  When other companies can make a pitch to take over the license because they can show that their service would be better and the products of higher quality.  It is actually reassuring that so far, VG continues to earn each renewal of the license.

Members should absolutely complain if their order is incorrect or of poor quality.  VG's staff genuinely wants to make it better.  Ultimately, if after dealing with VG staff, the matter can't be resolved, members should send feedback on VGs performance to NHQ through the chain, so that we will have it available to discuss with the VG folks, especially around license renewal time.

Finally, VG has nothing whatsoever to do with policing other venders who might be pirating CAP's intellectual property by manufacturing CAP stuff that is protected by law.  VG has no rights to CAP IP; all they hold is a license to produce it.  It is our corporate legal staff at NHQ that is responsible to the occasional letter to offending businesses to remind them of the protected status of IP that belongs to CAP, Inc..

I buy my insignia at VG, and have always had a good experience personally.  I don't buy my uniforms there, because I can get both my AF-style and corporate uniform components elsewhere because I can get a better price.  Not everyone has choices, but I do.

Ned Lee
Col, CAP
Former Senior CAP Leader

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CAPSOC_0pur8ur
Member

Posts: 52

« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2017, 01:26:50 PM »

I guess what's surprising to me is that even with issues like the fake ABU's and other poor quality uniform items, another company hasn't been able to earn the contract yet  :-\
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"To be somebody or to do something. In life there is often a roll call. That’s when you will have to make a decision. To be or to do? Which way will you go?” -Col John Boyd
Briank
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« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2017, 06:44:47 PM »

since everyone obviously dislikes vanguard,

VG has done fine by me.  No complaints here.
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abdsp51
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« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2017, 08:50:36 PM »

Only ever had minor issues with Vanguard and they always came through after a phone call.
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SarDragon
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« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2017, 09:01:34 PM »

I guess what's surprising to me is that even with issues like the fake ABU's and other poor quality uniform items, another company hasn't been able to earn the contract yet  :-\

Did you not read Ned's response all the way through?

To restate an important point, emphasis mine:
Quote from: Ned
[Vanguard was] granted a license by CAP to produce those items which are exclusively CAP property - things like our unique insignia and other items that are reserved to the corporation by law.  The license does NOT cover things like uniform clothing items, which members are free to purchase at AAFES, military clothing sales, or eBay.
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Dave Bowles
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« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2017, 10:18:02 PM »

As someone who remembers the bookstore from way back when, I've been happy with Vanguard's service. I've only had one issue and it was minor.
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Mitchell 1969
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

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« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2017, 10:32:30 PM »

I guess what's surprising to me is that even with issues like the fake ABU's and other poor quality uniform items, another company hasn't been able to earn the contract yet  :-\

When it gets renewed, does it go out for bid? Or just get renewed? If the latter, then nobody else will ever earn the contract.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Bernard J. Wilson, Major, CAP

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MSG Mac
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« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2017, 11:22:29 PM »

A request for bids is put out whenever the contract comes out, But remember that VG is the largest supplier of insignia for all the armed services, ROTC, and the auxiliaries. I would assume that any bid would have to include one time startup costs for the winning bidder, including purchasing VG stock for a quick turnover. VG wouldn't have these added costs. So they would have to be the winning bid in almost all cases. 
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Michael P. McEleney
Lt Col CAP
MSG USA (Retired)
Alaric
Salty & Seasoned Contributor

Posts: 781

« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2017, 09:59:45 AM »



The license agreement is a "win-win" for the membership and CAP.  We stopped losing thousands of dollars annually (dues money, remember) and gained a small, but significant revenue stream from licensing fees.  Initially that money was fenced for use at training sites like Hawk, Blue Beret, and others. 

This kind of licensing is the norm, not the exception.  No one can produce or sell official Boy Scout, NFL, NCAA, or (insert your favorite rock band)'s merchandise except licensed manufacturers/venders who pay a licensing fee for the privilege.  The groups get to control the quality of the gear, and some control over distribution.  Good for both sides.

The members gain reliable and rapid delivery of their orders, reasonable prices, and a responsive customer service staff that go out of the way to make it right should there be errors or quality issues in a member's order.

We should also remember that VG has absolutely no interest in poor customer service or substandard products, because they know that the license is for a limited term (3 years at a time, IIRC), and accordingly is up for renewal periodically.  When other companies can make a pitch to take over the license because they can show that their service would be better and the products of higher quality.  It is actually reassuring that so far, VG continues to earn each renewal of the license.

Members should absolutely complain if their order is incorrect or of poor quality.  VG's staff genuinely wants to make it better.  Ultimately, if after dealing with VG staff, the matter can't be resolved, members should send feedback on VGs performance to NHQ through the chain, so that we will have it available to discuss with the VG folks, especially around license renewal time.


Ned Lee
Col, CAP
Former Senior CAP Leader


I disagree with the "win-win", reasonable prices, reliable and rapid delivery, and responsive customer service

Other than that they're great, and at least they're giving us kickbacks  Which certainly justifies their outrageous prices
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Alaric
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Posts: 781

« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2017, 04:25:07 PM »

Not to be rude, but that attitude is exactly why we still have a company like vanguard as our vendor.

Actually SarDragon is correct.  CAP NHQ is happy with the agreement they have with VG and it is doubtful that any other company would be willing to take this on.  Things are getting better with VG as far as quality and speed of shipping but there is still work to do.  The prices are high because the volume is low and the fact that VG give 10% to CAP (not sure if that is gross or net).  That 10% is passed on to us so we are paying a higher price so CAP can get some additional funding.

Basically, CAP is using wealth redistribution by requiring members to buy from Vanguard so they can continue their revenue stream.  I have seen no evidence that VG is getting better (and in some cases is getting worse) which makes sense from an economics point of view, they are a monopoly and monopolies have no incentive to change because their is no competition in the marketplace to incentivize them to improve quality or lower price.
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CAP Talk  |  General Discussion  |  Uniforms & Awards  |  Topic: New Uniform Supplier?
 


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