I've been getting RFQs from companies I've never heard of, and for good quantities. None of my competitors have gone under nor are any in deep trouble that I know of. I get the buzz that Chinese imports are being displaced by domestic products. I'm not sure what has upset the balance. Meanwhile, I've actually had to hire another new employee to catch up on repair work and other non-production tasks. I started him with the understanding that the job would only be for a month but I'd like to be able to keep him, he has a good work ethic.
My neighbor works to make a key part for the hard disk that goes in your P.C. They had a big layoff. But now business is picking up and they can't keep up. A little story like this tells a lot. Business stopped until inventory was sold off. Now manufacturing has to ramp up to refill pipelines.
Don't celebrate too much until you start making parts. I'm on the other side of the fence and I've been busy rebidding many of my parts because I don't seem to be getting a fair shake from my long-time vendors. I ask them for a rebid because AL is cheap again and the part comes back
25% higher anyway.
That said, I'll take any good news. It's good to stay busy.
None of my competitors have gone under nor are any in deep
I introduced a lower-cost version of my primary product last November and have been out straight ever since. My first Quarter ending March
31 will be the best in 11 years. One thing that has been different is the new product is lighter and cheaper to ship, and my export orders have shot way up, to about a third of Sales. EU, Scandinavia, Pacific Rim. My competitors, who make higher priced products are hurting badly. One of them just announced PRICE INCREASES! In this economy, that is not an advertisement, that is a suicide note.
My dealers are very happy. UPS is happy. Birds are singing. I am tired all the time and working long days, 7 days a week. The South Bend is singing opera. If this keeps going I will not have to start eating the plump squirrells at the bird feeder after all. I can't believe I am in a good mood after seeing the wreckage of my
401(k) recently, but screw it. I am too busy making money to care.
We had a firm in that makes induction heaters. They were evalutating ours and are going to quote new tooling so we can repurpose it. They said a lot of customers are bringing out old mothballed equipment to use again. Money is still tight but it is being spent very carefully.
In the past times, we would have just bought one tailored to our needs. Now we try to re-use old assets.
Sounds like your customers held off as long as they could and now are buying. At some point, there is no other choice.
I took a long shot and bought a lot of equipment, tooling, and raw materials at the end of 2008 to get it into that tax year, where sales had been listless. I lost sleep over it. But it did pay off when the orders came rolling in and I got to keep the money, with all the upfront paid off. Had I been wrong it would have been pretty dismal looking at all the stuff sitting idle. Not sure if I'd have the balls to do it again...We'll see how the year turns out.
On Fri, 20 Mar 2009 09:17:12 -0400, the infamous Grunty Grogan scrawled the following:
Cool. Congrats on being able to pull that off. Is your deluxe version still available, too? Considered a gilt version, just in case the bankers and AIG management want some?
Not necessarily. If several of his competition businesses folded, leaving a large vacuum, he can charge what he wants until that hole is filled. It's how his customers react to those prices which determines whether or not he stays in business after the competition comes back.
There ARE people who wouild like to prepare neutron-activated ones for that market. Relax, they will not let me into the local nuke plant...
Because the metals prices have collapsed I have been able to roll back my prices several years, so the original product is still very much alive.
The new "Cheaper" one actually performed so well it took on a life of its own and has its own following now. I cannot take credit for this. I developed it out of desperation in response to the metals prices. It was either that or shut down. My neccesary price increases drove the price right up to the limit as to what the cusomers would pay, for the original product .
I just did not expect the cheaper one to work as well as it did, and introduced it low-key..."Of course it is not the premium product, but it is easier to buy and easier to use." So no one expected much out of it, and when it not only worked, but worked well, it hit the fan.
Hmm. Gotta try marketing more stuff like that. Maybe people were just sick of everyone using all the superlatives and promising the world in everything they advertised. How many times have we bought something and had a HAPPY surprise, rather then the usual?
Usually it is like the damned pressure washer I bought last year...A staked part in the ZINK housing fell off. There was hardly any metal there to hold it in. The units is, as usual, thrown away. There would be no point in even saying where it was made; We all know.
On Thu, 26 Mar 2009 13:28:24 -0400, the infamous Grunty Grogan scrawled the following:
Cool. I was able to build enough profit into my glare guards that I haven't had to raise prices on them, despite price increases on all of its components over the last decade.
So, now you know how the Chinese do it! Take a perfectly good working part and cut corners until it fails, then bump it up a notch. ;)
Trademark the PERFECTLY USABLE name?
That's precisely why I tried Harbor Freight tree-'n-an-arf decades ago. Take the brand name away (and with it, the presumed value) and you have a perfectly usable tool without the gawdawful price tag. But marketing is "where it's at", as they say. Look at Thomp***'s Water Seal. I feel that it's the worst product in the lineup, but we see that it's also the #1 seller in the market. That's marketing at work.