What’s your expectation regarding expectations?

At California Quality Plastics, much of the work we do is creation of custom products.  In fact, many of our production runs aren’t “production” runs at all. If you make one item, and only make it once, can you really call it a “production” run?  When we only get one shot at making the product right, knowing our customer’s expectations upfront is critical.

Custom domes, spheres, and hemispheres are an important product category for CQP.  Often, a customer will ask about the optical clarity or optical distortion of our domes. “Will your dome work as a surveillance camera dome?”  “How clear are they?”  “Can they be used outdoors?”  “Can they be used in water?”  And these are just some of our customers’ questions; we also have additional questions we will need answers to.  When you call about a custom product, we except you’ll have a lot of questions, and we certainly will ask you additional questions, because we want to make sure we will meet, and hopefully exceed your expectations.

Many years ago, we made a 7′ diameter x 3′ deep clear dome to mount into the bottom of a swimming pool.  Located under the pool was a grotto with a bar and game room. Needless to say, the mechanical properties of the dome had to be perfect. The general contractor for the customer sent out engineers with laser levelers to test the flatness of the flanges.  Next, they probed the dome ultrasonically to determine the material thickness.  Finally, they took dozens of measurements to determine if the part was within specifications.  They had certain expectations we had to meet.

A week later, the actual customer came out to examine the product with his own eyes.  He walked around the dome several times, crossed his arms, tilted his head a bit and walked around it again. After his last lap, he bent down and looked up at the dome from underneath. After his inspection was complete, he walked over to me and said in a thick Texas accent, “I just wanted to be sure I could see some naked asses through that thing, and I do believe I will.” Clearly the engineers and the customer had different expectations, and we were happy to be able to meet both of their needs.

We look forward to helping you with your next project.


Bob Kaplan
President and COO

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