Remember Dave’s post last year about “Glasnost”
Well, after yesterdays phone meeting there have been some developments in what we do here. Most of it concerns the following from our FAQ:-
“Q: Will you always be making these?
A: So long as it is practical and viable to do so yes, however if that should change for reasons out of our control then like most companies we would re-evaluate the practicality of continuing to manufacture these. While all of us here do enjoy doing it, it still has to remain financially viable for us to continue.”
Most of the work we do here is volume cutting and engraving for industrial end users, this can be small sealing rings right up to very large stainless steel sub-assemblies, most of these are high value long term contractual obligations so are not something that varies very much. However we submitted a tender for a contract towards the end of last year with one of our current customers and found out last week that we have secured the contract for the next three years. This will increase our workload by as much as 70% in some areas (mainly engraving work) but this kind of work still has to be manned and we have to have machinery available to process it. That has never really been a problem but of late with the Christmas postal problems the impact on our available time has been a lot bigger than expected.
Over Christmas and into the new year we had 68 packages that either got lost, damaged or were generally unsuitable for purpose, a far higher number than usual but still manageable with our current workload.Chuck in a lot of emails and shop software problems though and this won’t be the case though once we have more machines tied up on the new work from Mid March so something had to *give*.
In effect we have been left with a very simple decision to make (hence the tele-meeting) we either bring in more machines and continue with everything we do or we reduce our workshop demands on time. Dave did the figures yesterday along with myself and Brian and we decided that we can continue to make boxes until the end of February and at that point we will either have to buy in more machinery (not a problem) or stop making Game Storage boxes OR some of the other things we make entirely and concentrate on the much larger aspects of what we do.
Up till now our workflow has been as follows:
The guys on the actual machines make the items
Brian is responsible for the day to day running of the machining aspect and machine schedules
I (Terry) oversea the workshop in general including the drawing office
Dave is the overall boss who makes the final decisions (and has always been the public face of work)
With an increased workload this quite simply won’t work, all it would take is an over run on a few lines and we would find ourselves fighting fires every day (as it is there are very few weeks we don’t work 100+ hours each of the three of us) so this left us with the above choices.
Dave decided it would be down to Bri and Myself to make the final choice and this is what we came up with (and he approved)
None of our positions will change but I will be taking over doing the blog stuff here rather than Dave. At the end of Feb we will look again at workload and decide if we are going to buy in more machinery (a very quick process) to ensure that no piece of equipment has over a 70% of it’s time scheduled (that gives us a 30% buffer to cover any eventuality) OR if we will drop out of retail sales of Game components. (currently 38% of our available time makes 8% of our return)
If it was a basic choice we would continue with game accessories as all of us here do enjoy doing it but there are many things to consider before making that kind of decision.
What all this means: We will continue to make game accessories until the end of Feb but from then onward we currently do not know if that will continue. This will NOT affect warranty or spare part requirements and we will still of course keep full stocks of parts for any such issues.
Dave has already said he is happy to buy in 6 – 8 more machines if that is needed and we will be looking at that tomorrow night when he gets back from doing deliveries.
cheers for now Terry