In-house manufacturing became less popular with globalization as companies moved manufacturing to third-party companies, typically in countries with low labor costs. However, the extended supply chain often results in orphaned products within a very few years. This is an inappropriate philosophy for organs, which are expensive and expected to serve for decades.
With COVID-19, the situation has been made worse with companies that rely upon third party vendors in China being unable to obtain critical parts. This has put customer investments at risk.
By building important subassemblies and in-house, a manufacturer is able to provide long-term support, along with a higher level of quality. For example, with a refrigerator, if a circuit control board malfunctions, who is responsible for support? The refrigerator manufacturer did not build the circuitry and the supplying third-party company can no longer support it. The entire product will need to be discarded.
When making a purchase for a church, it is important to be considerate of church stewardship and make a purchase decision that will be able to sustain the church for decades. Many organ builders, both pipe and pipeless, rely on third-party manufacturers for important assemblies, which include stop controls, amplifiers, console control systems, and even the consoles themselves. Such companies are unable to oversee quality control and do not have the ability to assure customers that the organ’s assemblies will be available for the lifetime of the instrument.
Vertically manufacturing, a strategy used by Allen Organ Company, allows for support of even its earliest built decades ago. Allen produces circuit boards, consoles, stop controls, keyboards, amplifiers, and other important assemblies in-house. Before signing a contract for a church organ, customers should visit the manufacturing facilities of the builder to insure that they have these important capabilities.