[Bell Historians] Re: Olympic bell

Stephen Stanford steve.h.stanford at PeRxZhmtKlkOuufmufVFY3CZICaQ9O2s6Bembr7zFBfV3woBGw7ud09DJCHR3Pe-3WionflX8qDcnCL0AVGE8Ep3ZN1Q.yahoo.invalid
Thu Jul 26 07:48:01 BST 2012

Yes, Taylors, or indeed Whitechpael, may have claimed that it was
possible to cast the bell in-house. But taking the buyer's
perspective, I rather suspect that they did their research and
considerd that the probability of successfully commissioning a
mothballed foundary (irrespective of which foundary) in a relatively
short space of time to achieve a right first time casting of this size
was too low, and this represented an unacceptable risk that could not
be mitigated, not to mention the financial risk to the supplier (I
assume there would have been penalty clauses in the contract for
failure to deliver, and in this case the financial capability of the
supplier to sustain that liability would also have been a
consideration). So I rather suspect the buyer selcted the obviously
less desirable, but possibly more pragmatic and significantly lower
risk option - to award the contract to the firm that was more prepared
to outsource the casting to a proven sub supplier and take contratual
and financial responsibility for that. If Taylors had offered to
outsource the casting (at least as an option), it is possible their
offer (or proposed offer) would have been more favourably considered.
In that regard their sales strategy - to strongly promote the
advantage of an in-house UK based casting - may (unfortunately for
them) have backfired in this particular instance. In my mind, the
responsibility for the decision to have the bell cast outside the UK
firmly lies with the buyer (not Whitechapel for making that offer). It
does appear from various press and other reports we have read that the
manner in which the bid solicitation and contract award process was
managed, or at least communicated,  may have been, to say the least,
questionable, but if after initial enquiries a decision had been made
against UK casting on the basis of risk, it may have been the criteria
on which the decision was finally made, irrespective of whether that
was openly stated in the original request for quotation. Of course, it
is all speculation - we shall probably never know the basis for the
contact award decision, and we shall never know whether the bell could
have been successfully cast in the UK - until such time as there is
another purchaser of a similar or larger size bell. Like most others
(including perhaps those at Whitechapel) I am a little sad that the
bell was not cast in the UK, but that is an emotional, not necessarily
a pragmatic, thought.


On 25/07/2012, David Bryant <davidbryant at fLvNo3lCjp2cZZcn3K6100eVss-NF2P9eseMZ7K76KzrB-gKk34nqQs8gZKc0PvIkWEPQORZm-h_yMPSsobxSiT1.yahoo.invalid> wrote:
> Dickon wrote: "I have no doubt Taylors would have also considered the option
> of using facilities overseas rather than rearrange their foundry to manage
> such a large casting, had they been allowed to quote on that basis. " I was
> told by one of the owners of Taylor's bellfoundry that if they had got the
> contract they would have cast it themselves, not sub-contracted it to a
> third party. David


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