It all sounds good, but reading the posts on this forum from people who have bought in the last couple years, they still find all sorts of mechanical problems, dirt and metal shavings in the bearings etc. Maybe Tommy is just a real good self promoter.I visited the Industrial Hobbies shop in CT just over a month ago to take a look around, and I wanted to add my 2 cents. Tommy is a nice guy, and definitely a perfectionist. I just wanted to emphasize something important that contributes to IH's long lead times. Upon receiving a mill from Taiwan, IH opens the shipping crate and tears down the mill. Everything is meticulously inspected. Tommy modifies the mill himself to the customer's specifications, and some of these modifications seemed to be quite extensive and time consuming as I recall. The mills are than carefully re-assembled. For a turnkey CNC mill, Tommy sets up the computer and the Mach 3 control software. This whole process is going to take a long time. There are lots of small production aspects that are done in Tommy's shop, rather than on the floor of an overseas supplier.
Also, I got the sense that Tommy has been constantly re-designing the IH mill since he acquired Industrial Hobbies. New features are constantly being added, and Tommy seems to be on the constant search for the perfect high-end hobbyist mill. Big things are always happening in the IH shop, and a lot of Tommy's time is going towards future products (this I know for a fact ).
Most IH competitors get a batch of mills made to their specification from wherever, and than simply ship the crate out to the customer. If that's what you want, buy something else.
As for successfully running a business, keep in mind that Tommy's acquisition of IH is still somewhat recent. Some people would call a few years a long time, but it really isn't when it comes to running a business such as IH. As I described above, IH is a lot more than a simple buying and selling operation. There is a steep learning curve, and many of these things are learned through trial and error as small companies making products such as IH are not especially common. There is no instruction manual for how to run a unique place like Industrial Hobbies. Some of the stories I have heard here do seem inexcusable (not getting simple parts shipped out or a software license), however as Tommy himself has not extensively commented on these stories, I will not go as far as to judge when there are mixed reviews and the negative ones are one sided. I am not trying to take credibility away from anybody on here, however hearing one persons argument is rarely enough to fully understand a situation.
I would definitely look further into the claims various customers have put fourth on here before buying one of Tommy's mills, however I have to say that I was very impressed with Industrial Hobbies, their products, and Tommy's enthusiasm and hospitality.