Just In Time Manufacturing
Pat and Mike Or, How We Designed a Golf Club That Looks Like a Dining Room Table and Plays Like a Buick.

You can get almost anything custom made on the Web

Just don't let Pat & Mike do the ordering.

One day, we're sitting around, unable to rest our elbows on the dining room table because we didn't happen to have one, and minding our own business because, after all, whose business should we mind? Rupert Murdoch's? We don't think so! Anyway, our business was doing so well that we decided to play golf. Unfortunately, neither of us had any golf clubs. As we started for the local golf store, we suddenly remembered the World Wide Web. Actually, we read a sign that we had put up on the door to our garage which said: Hey! Before you go, don't forget the World Wide Web!

Made-to-measure clubs manufactured in a week
We jumped on the Internet, and within a matter of seconds we were browsing a website (www.pinggolf.com) where the golf club manufacturer custom fits and makes your clubs, delivers them to you, and guarantees your satisfaction. This method of selling something before you manufacture it used to be called: fraud. But, that was in the old days when you did not have the Web and all of its capabilities. Now, it's called: Just-In-Time Manufacturing. Why? We don't know. But, it's pretty catchy, huh? We both put in our measurements, but before we finished the order we decided we should also look for that dining room table we needed. Unbelievably, the golf club maker did not sell dining room tables.


Here's a tip that will help you figure out how to finance that new car you want to buy from that just-in-time manufacturer. Just go to: leasesource.com.

This site is the place to land before you consider buying or leasing a new vehicle. Designed with the consumer in mind, leasesource.com will help you understand the fine print that can get you in trouble. The site comes complete with a special calculator that will guide you through an accurate and complete comparison between leasing and buying. And, it's done so simply you can feel secure in recommending it to that first time car buyer friend or relative.

Built-to-order furniture from more than a dozen manufacturers
Faster than John Madden could say "Pow," we were back surfing on the Web. Almost instantaneously, we landed on a website (www.furniture.com) that let us browse the dining table designs of more than a dozen furniture companies, any one of which would manufacture a table to our specifications and deliver it to our door. We picked a design, plugged in the measurements, and we were about to submit the order when we spotted an ad banner that said: SAVE A FORTUNE ON A NEW CAR! CLICK HERE! Unable to resist either the lure of a fortune or the command to "Click Here," we soon found ourselves on a new website from General Motors (www.gm.com).

Shop online for the car of your dreams
Hoo, boy! What a site this is! You can pick the model, the colors, the engine size, even the type of wheels you might like. (Most people prefer round.) A week later, General Motors delivers your car to your closest General Motors dealership. Can you imagine if they figured out how to do this for spouses? On second thought, we better not go there! We were so overwhelmed with how easy it was to design our own car that before we knew it we were plugging in the details on a new Buick.

But, before we could finish, an amazing thing happened. Our computer got hit by a surge, throwing us off the Internet. By the time we picked ourselves up, and re-booted our computer, our just-in-time manufacturing enthusiasm had been dampened.

A few days later a package arrived. It's hard to describe exactly what was in it. Suffice it to say that the thing looked like the product of some unholy union between a Buick Roadster and an Ethan Allen table with a titanium shaft. But, we're not complaining. Whatever it is, it's already knocked six strokes off our game!

To hear Pat & Mike's World Wide Web Radio Show, visit patandmike.com. The show is broadcast live every Saturday and features The Last Word by our own E Business editor.