I have a broken part on an LGB freight car that is made out of that slippery sort of black plastic often referred to in advertisements as "engineering plastic". Can anyone who has had success mending that sort of plastic please share their experiences with the glue they used? Thank you in advance for your help.
I've found similar with HO model parts from Roco and to a lesser extent from Fleischmann. I guess it's one of the advantages of in-house production as opposed to stuff being churned out half-a-world away.
The down-side is that both LGB (currently) and Roco (recently) have had financial problems.
Their bank, a local concern, was taken over by a larger (multinational?) bank that has a different loans policy. Apparently the new parent company wanted to call in LGB's loan, and that has caused some practical problems.
But LGB - more correctly, Ernst Paul Lehmann Patentwerke - is trading profitably as it has done consistently for many years.
They had to file for protection from one creditor - the bank.
That's a ridiculous comment, John. The company has traded profitably and consistently for over two decades. The banking arrangements were consistent throughout those two decades.
Now the bank has a new owner with a different policy. Solely as a result of that policy, the company has a problem - yet it is still profitable, as it always was.
If you still refuse to acknowledge where the problem lies, I am clearly wasting my time replying to you. But I hope my reply helps to inform those with an interest in the survival and future prosperity of this fine company.
Then you are fortunate, but also perhaps not qualified to comment on businesses that have no option but to rely on loans from a bank for investment and expansion.
As you have never - on your own admission - been in a position where your liquidity relies on a (perfectly sustainable) bank loan you are hardly qualified to comment on the vast majority of businesses that do rely on such loans.
Companies that wish to expand have little alternative but to borrow money. If you are happy as you are, that's fine, but with respect, that's a luxury that's only available to very small businesses that lack the opportunity or ambition to expand significantly.
In contrast, I have had exactly that experience, in my own businesses, in businesses run by members of my family and in corporate businesses that employed me. Banks are very keen to lend money, because that's how they make their profits. However, several UK banks have been seen, very publicly, to change their loans policies jeopardising businesses of all sizes that were profitable, well-managed and sensibly geared. Barclays Bank, Bank of Scotland and Yorkshire Bank have all been reported as changing their loan policies. All have seen companies controversially close as a result of their arbitrarily calling in short- and long-term loans that had previously been agreed, resulting in liquidations and many redundancies.
For example, a company run by a relation of mine had an annual turnover of £13 million and made a pre-tax profit of £2.3 million. It had been consistently profitable for over 15 years. Yet its overdraft was called in by one of the banks listed above and the company folded soon afterwards because of cash flow problems. Even after liquidation the shareholders received several £ millions, demonstrating that the company was highly solvent. It was sunk by a change of policy at the bank, and that's all.
That is precisely the position E. P. Lehmann, the makers LGB, would have been in if they had not sought protection from one creditor, their newly taken-over bank. If you are exempt from such pressures, you are fortunate indeed, but as I stated above, you are one of very few businessmen in that position.
I have to say that I don't understand this continuous need for businesses to expend and increase their profitability. My business gives me a satisfactory income, but I'll never become rich in the accepted sense. Still at least I am able to control all aspects of the business, I don't rely on other's capital, nor have to continuously be looking at other employees whose only aim in life is to screw me.
It is certainly a better option that working for someone else, even if it does mean that I never really stop working.
In the hard, commercial, corporate world, you have to expand, or you die. The principle is that if you don't continually try to do it bigger and/or better, you are simply leaving a gap in the market for others to exploit at your expense. And believe me, they will.
If the world of model railway retailing was anywhere near as competitive as the corporate world, you would be subject to much the same pressures. However, it isn't, and that is something to be grateful for.
The breadth of knowledge needed to operate a retail model railway business, and the fact that those who possess that knowledge are less likely to have access to the funds needed to set up a business that could compete with yours, means that as long as you offer good service and reasonable prices you should have little to fear.
Thats misquoting drucker somewhat 'orrible. You have to keep finding new customers or markets because the old ones atrophy. That doesn't imply you have to expand.
Ref your 13M t/o 2.3 pre coy that they let go. - organising finance for a coy like that should be simple - unless the shareholders decided that they had collected enough 1.6m pa for long enough and tomorrow looked redder than orange so thank you and goodnight.