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How to Protect Yourself when Purchasing Capital Equipment part 1

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Old April 12th, 2012, 04:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How to Protect Yourself when Purchasing Capital Equipment part 1

The purchase of capital equipment can be a major investment for any size business, but especially so for small businesses. In fact, a capital investment that turns sour can put a small company out of business. If you're a small company, and you think you don't have the time or resources to thoroughly vet the manufacturers you're considering, ask yourself what would happen to you and your business if you spent $10,000, $20,000, $50,000 or more on a machine that didn't perform as expected, broke down frequently, was hard to get repaired, or wasn't worth fixing. If you don't have the resources to vet a manufacturer beforehand, will you have the resources—and time—to sue? Or the resources to keep your business afloat while you continue to make payments on non-functioning equipment?

Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself:

1. Talk to Friends & Business Associates: If you have friends or associates in the industry, learning about their experiences and seeking their recommendations should be your first step. While you shouldn't limit your consideration to the manufacturers they recommend, advice from those whose judgment you value should be strongly considered.

2. Search the Internet: General internet searches are a good way to get information. Unfortunately, information on the internet can be accurate or inaccurate, biased (for good reasons and bad) or unbiased. Because the internet is so easy to access, it's a good place to start just as long as you remain skeptical of everything you read, at least until it's confirmed by multiple trustworthy sources.

While you're on the internet, you should, of course, visit the websites of all the manufacturers you're considering. While a full-featured website doesn't guarantee a scrupulous manufacturer, a very limited website might be cause for more investigation. Such a website might be a sign that the company is small and without the resources for a greater web presence. However, that should not automatically eliminate them from consideration. It just means you have to place more emphasis on other areas of investigation. The absence of a manufacturer's website should be a real concern. A basic presence on the web is not that expensive. At the very least, the lack of a website might speak to the manufacturer's financial condition.

3. Visit Industry Forums: This is where you're almost guaranteed to find a variety of experiences with—and opinions on—the capital equipment you're considering. However, here, too, you should remain skeptical of anything you read while you are getting more versed in the pros and cons of the various manufacturers and specific pieces of capital equipment. Don't confine your reading to opinions about manufacturers and equipment. If a member posts such opinions, see what he/she has to contribute in other areas. Is that member's input limited to bashing and or praising certain manufacturers, or do they also extend their expertise to providing practical tips and helping fellow members overcome problems. And, speaking of problems, do manufacturer representatives spend time helping users isolate and fix problems with their equipment? Don't hesitate to ask for assistance in selecting your next piece of capital equipment. You may even be able to arrange visits to the shops of some forum members who use the equipment you're interested in.

4. Meet with Company Sales Representatives and/or Company Officers: Start at the source. Are you comfortable with the face the company presents to the public? Keep in mind that virtually every company strives for a good first impression. If your first impression of the company is a poor one, it's probably best to look elsewhere unless there is a compelling explanation. Do the company's representatives seem knowledgeable about their products and about the industry? Ask how long your salesperson has been with the company—and in the industry. Can the representatives effortlessly answer questions about the equipment they're selling? Do they offer to arrange for you to visit shops in your area that use their equipment? Or would you be the first in your city, your state, or your region to purchase their equipment?

Specific to the equipment you're considering, ask how many units are in operation. Find out if the company has its own technical staff support staff, and if support is available by phone and online. Ask if the company has its own field technicians (and, if so, how many) or if work on your equipment will have to be performed by contract technicians.

5. Talk to Satisfied Customers: Even the worst manufacturer can probably find a few people to say positive things about its equipment (even if it has to pay in some way for such testimonials), but a reputable manufacturer should be able to supply a large number of references, including long-time customers and first-time buyers. For manufacturer-supplied references that come in the form of email or copies of letters praising the manufacturer, verify that the customer actually exists by searching the internet for that company website. If the email addresses are not tied to the company's website, use the website's Contact Us page and call or email them directly. For references over the phone, try to arrange it so that you call the company at the number listed online.

Obviously, testimonials via email or over the phone are no substitute for onsite visits. Arrange to visit as many operations as seem reasonable. If that's not possible because the manufacturer can't offer any candidates in your region, it might mean that satisfied customers are few and far between. It also might mean that the company has satisfied customers—but hasn't had any sales in your area. That in itself doesn't mean you should cross the company off your list, but it might mean that timely service and repair could be harder to come by—and more expensive. No manufacturer can afford to station a technician in every city, but a large base of customers in a given area often means that technician travel time and expenses will be shared among several or many customers, and not borne by you alone.

When you visit the company's customers, ask those customers about the time from order to delivery on their most recent capital purchases—and if the times seem reasonable. More importantly, no matter what order-to-delivery time the manufacturer promised, was it met? Some pieces of equipment are available in many configurations, so some manufacturers build to order. That can mean that the equipment you want isn't sitting in a warehouse waiting to be shipped. In addition, some models, especially new ones, can be in high demand, and with that can come a waiting list. The important thing to know is, can you get what you want when you need it—and does the manufacturer have a proven record of delivering on time?

Ask about the machine's performance, build quality, and durability. Ask about manufacturer-provided service and repair. Has the equipment had to be repaired? Has any other equipment by the same manufacturer been serviced or repaired? Was the service or repair satisfactory—and priced fairly? Did anything fail that would not have been expected? And the bottom line: does the customer have any regrets about making the purchase?

The number of customers you visit may vary by what you learn on your first few visits, but try to visit three to five. At a minimum, visit at least two. Keep in mind that, as a whole, screen printers are a close-knit group, and most are more than willing to share almost everything but their customer lists, so your visits can be good opportunities to learn—and to share your knowledge and insights. More than a few business relationships—and friendships—have evolved from such visits.

6. Attend Trade Shows: Trade shows provide a great opportunity to see the equipment in action, to talk to company executives and technicians, and to talk to other prospective customers you find in and around the company's booth. Strike up conversations with those prospective customers. Ask what they know about the company's equipment, especially the specific equipment you're considering. Ask what other manufacturers—and equipment—they are considering. What have they found out in their research? Have they made site visits to customers who own that equipment? Arrange to keep in touch as you both continue your research and decision making. Finally, don't confine you time at the show to a single manufacturer, even if you've narrowed you choice down to their machine. There's always the chance that you'll find something even better at another booth. At the very least, visiting the booths of other manufacturers may help confirm that you're about to make the right decision—and it can help you avoid second-guessing after the purchase.

7. Visit the factory: While this is not essential, it is an opportunity to see how the equipment is made. If you show up to a busy operation, that's more evidence—though no guarantee—you're looking at a sound company. If the company doesn't welcome visitors—or you show up at a building that's quiet enough for your voice to echo—you may have more questions to ask. However, it's unlikely you'll be invited to tour the factory of a shady company.
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Old April 13th, 2012, 08:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to Protect Yourself when Purchasing Capital Equipment part 1

The success of MnR was built on the backs of small printers like us who grew out of basements and garages and sweated blood to save and grow and invest in their machinery.
That's right MnR wouldn't be where they are today if it weren't for the entrepreneurial spirit of printers in America and around the world, even New Zealand!


Applying the above logic, MnR would be completely out of business if our customers looking to buy printed t-shirts applied 244's "only buy from BIG companies" mentality, extrapolate that out and say that big printers with scale do it better, so only buy from shops who convert say 500k or a million shirts a year. That rules out most of us, the guy in the garage, the guy growing, celebrating taking on staff, moving up, bigger building, another wheel, and then an entry level auto, and onto a mid level machine - all too risky to deal with, all wiped out on Mr Hoffmans logic, I mean its only printing right, not 10 / 20 / 50 grand on an auto. WRONG! What we produce is essential for a clients appearance, marketing, product launches, annual appeals, brand strategies, some mums and dads mortgage their houses and bank their asses on their business and put it in our hands, printers like you and me who dont meet 244's check list, heck how many DiamondBacks did 244 tout he had on order recently (something like 30+) never mind manual machines, exposure units, and the like. He wants to advocate the little guy and make out hes on the side of the battler trying to make a fair and honest way, yet put into place rules for purchasing condradictory to hold his competitors or new entrants down, and that my friends is not the spirit that America or printing was built on. Cant we champion the little man in a fair spirit as well?


So which is it Mr. Hoffman? Do you believe in small business? Or only when its lining you're own pockets?


I believe this is a hypocritical paradox 244 has created for himself.


Take a small company like 2M who builds the RPM / Mustang as an example, shouldn't printers as a small business buy from 2M? As you grow your t-shirt company shouldn't you practice what you preach? Aren't you asking much bigger companies than you to trust in your ability as a small business to provide them with printed apparel, promotional goods, packaging and signs? Many multinational brands have been printed in garages, and small factories by good people delivering as agreed, even supplying unscrupulous print brokers, promo companies and intermediary agents and on-sellers. Now you can make the argument that a t-shirt is a lot different than a piece of capital equipment, but aren't the smaller companies more innovative than the bigger ones? Small companies certainly have more at stake than the big ones - we bet our next weeks rent or mortgage payment, juggle bills, wages for staff we know to put food on their plates - not staff who are numbers. By being small we are more accountable to the bottom line and repurcussions of something not delivered, out of spec or retutation from a dis-satisfied customer. Its our immediate cash on the line, not bondholders or corporate shareholders, and what we do now, todays deliveries, affects us in the following months.
So, if 244 has so many orders on the floor then why would it matter so much if 2M/RPM/Mustang absorbed 5 or 6 machines a month out of the market, or for that matter any small or new entrant.

These principals are in any industry. Growing up I was in awe of Disney, Hollywood and Brand America. It was beyond concept that outside Hollywood anything but the news or sports could be made for TV. Thirty years later most countries have decent local content. Here in NZ we have Weta Studios and Peter Jackson putting out LOTR, Avatar, The last Samurai, PowerRangers etc, and James Cameron (Titanic and Avatar) is moving here to live, close to Weta Workshops. Every Oscars we win at least one these days. These are the small guys with no credibility who started out of garages with camcorders.

I don't want to get into the technology feature battle, but I want to mention evolution. I talked to my dad on this. He worked in apparel a long time then started printing in 1974 out on his own, from a garage too. Building up into a sizeable clothing manufacturer knitting the fabric, making the garments and printing, originally with a four colour carousel, then a six, another six and finally with a TAS. I started printing properly in 1992. So in that time much has changed in machinery and hardware, process, and consumables.

Continuous improvement and innovation. Its a bit like empires, they start from nothing, they rise, some stay, some fall and others rise and replace them. Business is just the same. Suppliers who were leaders became complacent, others innovated, trialled and tweaked new lines and people trialled their wares and the industry moved forward. The machines, equipment, ink, consumables, art and film, screenmaking, computers, and now DTG is all about innovation, evolution and newer features and technology to improve speed, quality, changeovers etc. None of the leaders just happened, they all started out with one thing, asked people to believe in them and try them, and in return they would give value and service them well so that they would grow with their reputation. For smaller companies it may be argued they are hungrier in that customer service is more important and they work harder for reputation to justify themselves to compete and grow.

Now i am not knocking all the benefits of economy of scale and size, the ability to move resources in larger amount or faster if they had or wanted to as this and many of Rich's points do have logic and validity if looked at from his angle. There are many benefits, but history points to many failures also of big and dominant players, but I dont want to turn this into a finger pointing game either. All I am saying is to set generalistic rules written by one company doesnt mean its right or correct by any means and some people may not open their eyes to a peice of equipment that maybe more suits their operation because they predetermine and write off many options before they create a shortlist.


Here is the bigger picture that needs to be said, if Mustang wasn't such a threat to MnR then why are these MnR supporters working so hard to discredit the Mustang?


I will tell you why, 2M has been perfecting their machine for almost a decade, with a 2M Rhino in the field recently acheiving over 10 MILLION impressions M&R now has a real dilemma, M&R can no longer say the competitions machine won't last, nor can M&R say the 2M products don't have phenomenal resale value. What does this mean for M&R in the future? Screen Printers are going to seriously evaluate and consider the Mustang and RPM made by 2M against Sportsman made by MnR. Why you ask? Simple, RPM / Mustang can offer a screen printer looking at that bracket IMO a far better design with advanced functionality that is 100% proven to work, add comparable longevity, for about the same money and it's a no-brainer.


My prediction is that many traditional MHM, TAS, Anatol and M&R buyers looking at mid to high level Sportsmans and Challenger III's will start to look at and choose the RPM / Mustang by 2M because of the features at a possibly cheaper price. This is not about features for features sake, or price for who can be lowest, I am talking about functionality, quality, useability, lifespan, re-sale, speed, cost of maintenance, lack of downtime or failures, simplicity, use of common and easily replaced parts, speed and ease of use, speed of changeover and makeready or set-ups. In other words best real value. Now like I said this will vary from shop to shop according to what you do, how you do, why you do where you do etc. There will be different strokes for different folks, across all the models, and across all the manufacturers.


So, where does this leave MnR in the near future, no where different really at all, it just means that 2M will continue to grow their small business one P24 Mustang or an RPM at a time.
MnR have a good and solid business making good and solid machines. Ive frequently said I think between them and Vastex they make the best carousels, and the Diamondback and Anatols IMO have the best entry level automatics. The Sportsmans and CIII's are reliable and you never hear many faults with them, there is nothing fundamentally wrong with any of their product range, and I could not imagine MnR dissappearing any time soon. The greatest asset they have is Rich Hoffman. I am in awe of his service level and dedication to his customers, he is fantastic at this and the loyalty and respect he has earned is genuinely deserved. While Rich is heading MnR and controlling the compnay culture they will continue to do their best to get every sale and look after those clients through the life of the service contracts.
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Old April 13th, 2012, 08:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to Protect Yourself when Purchasing Capital Equipment part 1

Now, the ususal knockers will come in and attack Barnes and try and tie 2M to Printex and derail this but the reality is that 2M has a super competitive model when compared to other models like the Sportsman which is not a bad product, M&R has proved that they build fairly reliable "basic design" equipment with simple, proven, accepted, traditional features.

My opinion is that up until the RPM / Mustang, M&R has had the luxury of being the biggest and locally made mid to high range automatic, and with that M&R hasn't really needed to innovate all that much to stay in business, with that said, one would think that a company the size of M&R and with the resources that would normally be afforded to a market Goliath, that M&R would have re-invested much more in R&D of their own, not buying liquidated patents and to be the technology leader and companies like 2M would be trying to figure out a way to keep up (instead I think it is the other way around), and that is really the foundation of the entrepreneurial spirt that made America one of the greatest countries on earth.

This has taken me some time of course, but I have more in draft form about the purchasing process in a more neutral context rather than written by MnR for MnR, so watch this space for my next version......
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Old April 13th, 2012, 08:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to Protect Yourself when Purchasing Capital Equipment part 1

Wizard all I can say is your statement is eloquent and refreshing but I cannot for the life of me read any where in Rich's statement that he only supports big business and ignores the small, in fact his whole premise is based more or less towrds first time buyers. He does not state only deal with the big manufacturers at all, where do you glean that?

You can take his whole article and apply it to almost any manufacturer there is, it is generic enough. Workhorse, Anatol Vastex and RPM could easily state all Rich did and it would be the truth.

I hate to say it Wiz but it seems you are getting defensive and seeing smoke where there is none.
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Old April 13th, 2012, 09:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to Protect Yourself when Purchasing Capital Equipment part 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Printwizard View Post
The success of MnR was built on the backs of small printers like us who grew out of basements and garages and sweated blood to save and grow and invest in their machinery.
That's right MnR wouldn't be where they are today if it weren't for the entrepreneurial spirit of printers in America and around the world, even New Zealand!


Applying the above logic, MnR would be completely out of business if our customers looking to buy printed t-shirts applied 244's "only buy from BIG companies" mentality, extrapolate that out and say that big printers with scale do it better, so only buy from shops who convert say 500k or a million shirts a year. That rules out most of us, the guy in the garage, the guy growing, celebrating taking on staff, moving up, bigger building, another wheel, and then an entry level auto, and onto a mid level machine - all too risky to deal with, all wiped out on Mr Hoffmans logic, I mean its only printing right, not 10 / 20 / 50 grand on an auto. WRONG! What we produce is essential for a clients appearance, marketing, product launches, annual appeals, brand strategies, some mums and dads mortgage their houses and bank their asses on their business and put it in our hands, printers like you and me who dont meet 244's check list, heck how many DiamondBacks did 244 tout he had on order recently (something like 30+) never mind manual machines, exposure units, and the like. He wants to advocate the little guy and make out hes on the side of the battler trying to make a fair and honest way, yet put into place rules for purchasing condradictory to hold his competitors or new entrants down, and that my friends is not the spirit that America or printing was built on. Cant we champion the little man in a fair spirit as well?


So which is it Mr. Hoffman? Do you believe in small business? Or only when its lining you're own pockets?


I believe this is a hypocritical paradox 244 has created for himself.


Take a small company like 2M who builds the RPM / Mustang as an example, shouldn't printers as a small business buy from 2M? As you grow your t-shirt company shouldn't you practice what you preach? Aren't you asking much bigger companies than you to trust in your ability as a small business to provide them with printed apparel, promotional goods, packaging and signs? Many multinational brands have been printed in garages, and small factories by good people delivering as agreed, even supplying unscrupulous print brokers, promo companies and intermediary agents and on-sellers. Now you can make the argument that a t-shirt is a lot different than a piece of capital equipment, but aren't the smaller companies more innovative than the bigger ones? Small companies certainly have more at stake than the big ones - we bet our next weeks rent or mortgage payment, juggle bills, wages for staff we know to put food on their plates - not staff who are numbers. By being small we are more accountable to the bottom line and repurcussions of something not delivered, out of spec or retutation from a dis-satisfied customer. Its our immediate cash on the line, not bondholders or corporate shareholders, and what we do now, todays deliveries, affects us in the following months.
So, if 244 has so many orders on the floor then why would it matter so much if 2M/RPM/Mustang absorbed 5 or 6 machines a month out of the market, or for that matter any small or new entrant.

These principals are in any industry. Growing up I was in awe of Disney, Hollywood and Brand America. It was beyond concept that outside Hollywood anything but the news or sports could be made for TV. Thirty years later most countries have decent local content. Here in NZ we have Weta Studios and Peter Jackson putting out LOTR, Avatar, The last Samurai, PowerRangers etc, and James Cameron (Titanic and Avatar) is moving here to live, close to Weta Workshops. Every Oscars we win at least one these days. These are the small guys with no credibility who started out of garages with camcorders.

I don't want to get into the technology feature battle, but I want to mention evolution. I talked to my dad on this. He worked in apparel a long time then started printing in 1974 out on his own, from a garage too. Building up into a sizeable clothing manufacturer knitting the fabric, making the garments and printing, originally with a four colour carousel, then a six, another six and finally with a TAS. I started printing properly in 1992. So in that time much has changed in machinery and hardware, process, and consumables.

Continuous improvement and innovation. Its a bit like empires, they start from nothing, they rise, some stay, some fall and others rise and replace them. Business is just the same. Suppliers who were leaders became complacent, others innovated, trialled and tweaked new lines and people trialled their wares and the industry moved forward. The machines, equipment, ink, consumables, art and film, screenmaking, computers, and now DTG is all about innovation, evolution and newer features and technology to improve speed, quality, changeovers etc. None of the leaders just happened, they all started out with one thing, asked people to believe in them and try them, and in return they would give value and service them well so that they would grow with their reputation. For smaller companies it may be argued they are hungrier in that customer service is more important and they work harder for reputation to justify themselves to compete and grow.

Now i am not knocking all the benefits of economy of scale and size, the ability to move resources in larger amount or faster if they had or wanted to as this and many of Rich's points do have logic and validity if looked at from his angle. There are many benefits, but history points to many failures also of big and dominant players, but I dont want to turn this into a finger pointing game either. All I am saying is to set generalistic rules written by one company doesnt mean its right or correct by any means and some people may not open their eyes to a peice of equipment that maybe more suits their operation because they predetermine and write off many options before they create a shortlist.


Here is the bigger picture that needs to be said, if Mustang wasn't such a threat to MnR then why are these MnR supporters working so hard to discredit the Mustang?


I will tell you why, 2M has been perfecting their machine for almost a decade, with a 2M Rhino in the field recently acheiving over 10 MILLION impressions M&R now has a real dilemma, M&R can no longer say the competitions machine won't last, nor can M&R say the 2M products don't have phenomenal resale value. What does this mean for M&R in the future? Screen Printers are going to seriously evaluate and consider the Mustang and RPM made by 2M against Sportsman made by MnR. Why you ask? Simple, RPM / Mustang can offer a screen printer looking at that bracket IMO a far better design with advanced functionality that is 100% proven to work, add comparable longevity, for about the same money and it's a no-brainer.


My prediction is that many traditional MHM, TAS, Anatol and M&R buyers looking at mid to high level Sportsmans and Challenger III's will start to look at and choose the RPM / Mustang by 2M because of the features at a possibly cheaper price. This is not about features for features sake, or price for who can be lowest, I am talking about functionality, quality, useability, lifespan, re-sale, speed, cost of maintenance, lack of downtime or failures, simplicity, use of common and easily replaced parts, speed and ease of use, speed of changeover and makeready or set-ups. In other words best real value. Now like I said this will vary from shop to shop according to what you do, how you do, why you do where you do etc. There will be different strokes for different folks, across all the models, and across all the manufacturers.


So, where does this leave MnR in the near future, no where different really at all, it just means that 2M will continue to grow their small business one P24 Mustang or an RPM at a time.
MnR have a good and solid business making good and solid machines. Ive frequently said I think between them and Vastex they make the best carousels, and the Diamondback and Anatols IMO have the best entry level automatics. The Sportsmans and CIII's are reliable and you never hear many faults with them, there is nothing fundamentally wrong with any of their product range, and I could not imagine MnR dissappearing any time soon. The greatest asset they have is Rich Hoffman. I am in awe of his service level and dedication to his customers, he is fantastic at this and the loyalty and respect he has earned is genuinely deserved. While Rich is heading MnR and controlling the compnay culture they will continue to do their best to get every sale and look after those clients through the life of the service contracts.
Couple things:

Nothing about his post was brand specific.

You took a lot of what he said out of context for the purpose of your agenda and this is basically the same drivel Barnes said about Playtex. I mean almost word for word. Tell us, how did that work out.

My opinion is you are COMPLETELY out of touch with the american market.
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Old April 13th, 2012, 02:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to Protect Yourself when Purchasing Capital Equipment part 1

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Originally Posted by inkman996 View Post
Wizard all I can say is your statement is eloquent and refreshing but I cannot for the life of me read any where in Rich's statement that he only supports big business and ignores the small, in fact his whole premise is based more or less towrds first time buyers. He does not state only deal with the big manufacturers at all, where do you glean that?

You can take his whole article and apply it to almost any manufacturer there is, it is generic enough. Workhorse, Anatol Vastex and RPM could easily state all Rich did and it would be the truth.

I hate to say it Wiz but it seems you are getting defensive and seeing smoke where there is none.
He is getting defensive because he wanted to carry M&R and told people he was carrying M&R and could'nt. so now he found a way to carry the MUSTANG from 2m and ANYBODY can buy one of these wholsale..yes ANYBODY.
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Old April 13th, 2012, 03:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to Protect Yourself when Purchasing Capital Equipment part 1

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He is getting defensive because he wanted to carry M&R and told people he was carrying M&R and could'nt. so now he found a way to carry the MUSTANG from 2m and ANYBODY can buy one of these wholsale..yes ANYBODY.
Hey PushingInk, I did approach Rich about carrying MnR, that is correct, and his answer was flat out no, that he didnt sell to agents who printed. That is it. No more than that. At one point I looked at buying a machine off him, but not through the local agent and he gave me a price ex poland, not to sell, but for my own shop. Ive sold a couple peices of stuff traded secondhand, and thats all totally irrelevant to the point I was trying to make.

I agree that a set of rules needs to be in place to get rid of the sharks and cowboys, but not to give so much advantage to the big guns over genuine smaller players and new entrants. Go back and read the threads like Remember When.... because so many leading brands that were in Every factory have come and gone. You cant rule out new or smaller manufacturers with these rules. I mean, say you have 50 tech agents in the field. Line them all up in the same room. Binkspot will verify this, commonsense, just like printers. There will be a few of them that are just amazing at problemsolving and depth of knowledge, a few of them who are average and do the bare minimum, a few who struggle and try really hard, sometimes getting a problem fixed eventually, and sometimes not eliminating the problem but adjusting something downstream to compensate, and there will be a few shockers with bad practice or workmanship. Not getting at engineers, because they are so similar to printers in trade quality, problemsolving and the like. Now, if a company entered the market and had NO representation directly, I sincerely believe they could function flawlessly using independant techs (Winston or Bink and the like), as well as shops using local engineers if and when required. In some cases the local guy will be better than the dedicated service agent, other cases not. Sometimes the local will have the machine running way quicker because he isnt running five places over a state before he gets you up and running where the guy down the road took an extra two hours, but was there the same afternoon, not three days later.
That being the case I dont see Companies like Schenk and SRoque etc having that as a reasonable barrier to entry to the US or any other market, nor the above principal applying to MnR, or for that matter any decent machine manufacturer - say someone who builds rock crushers for quarries, to enter any market in a developed country. Obviously parts supply chain, communication skills or ability, tooling etc may be a challenge in developing nations or smaller areas, but those are also less likely to need the service support of automated machinery.

Sorry Bink, I am not attacking Rich or MnR. What I am questioning is the need for some of those things for an emerging competitor if there is a viable solution or a reasonable explanation or different way to achieve the same outcome.

Take Toyota. They have authorised service network and dealers etc. If they didnt have that, they would still be probably the biggest carmaker here because of reputation and good product etc. Fact is law of supply and demand means people will always find a way to import new parts or aftermarket parts in order to fill a want or need and make a profit, as well as wrecking cars for second hand parts. The fundamentals of fixing a car mean that nearly any garage will work on your Toyota because they have a skill set, can get manuals from the manufacturer, they have the tools, and the basic instinctive knowledge on how to find a fault through process of elimination and rectify that by repair or replacement.

All I am doing man is applying that same principal, and saying that model will work for any small maker and not hinder the print shop unduly if when you find the right people, they are all around in most major towns and cities.

Its not a swipe at Rich, and its not a swipe at MnR so much as writing a methodology that I dont believe isnt taylored to them. Also, if someone followed all of Richs points they would not be dissapointed. 90% liklihood they would buy MnR, and thats probably the case now anyway. And they would be happy and they would make money using a machine with support. What I was getting at is they are maybe discounting other options that could be acceptable albeit with a slightly different solution to the package.

Alternatively you could rule work a way of ruling out companies under $50mil capital as a printing machine supplier, ones without networks etc, petition government and try and legislate in a narrow set of rules and that would protect MnR, and that for the printer could be argued wouldnt necessarily be a bad thing either as its a good press at a fair price and they get delivered and serviced. Some may want that.

Sorry for offending you.

Last edited by Printwizard; April 13th, 2012 at 03:15 PM.
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Old April 13th, 2012, 03:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
Printwizard Printwizard is offline
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Default Re: How to Protect Yourself when Purchasing Capital Equipment part 1

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Originally Posted by inkman996 View Post
Wizard all I can say is your statement is eloquent and refreshing but I cannot for the life of me read any where in Rich's statement that he only supports big business and ignores the small, in fact his whole premise is based more or less towrds first time buyers. He does not state only deal with the big manufacturers at all, where do you glean that?

You can take his whole article and apply it to almost any manufacturer there is, it is generic enough. Workhorse, Anatol Vastex and RPM could easily state all Rich did and it would be the truth.

I hate to say it Wiz but it seems you are getting defensive and seeing smoke where there is none.
Sorry Bro, maybe I am just too precious on this one. I just see a global community where some people create barriers to entry that kill fairness in competition. I certainly agree with what Rich posted, but I do think he wrote from his eyes and perspective and so its slanted that way, which is natural. But to be fair I think it has to be written from the eyes of the CREDIBLE manufacturers and suppliers, and some of them are much smaller in the US market, and possibly have different ways to end up with the same outcome.

There are also variables and human nature. Pricing structures, service levels referrals, loyalties etc will be different for one shop to another. Some will get preferential treatment, some will get discounted pricing and politics will play a part. It happens selling capital goods and it happens selling tee shirts. I was going to try drafting a reworded pointlist that I thought could be still looking at safety with a few added points probably in favour of the bigger players, but in other aspects opening the neutrality perhaps, but it seems pointless.

I hate questioning Rich, you know and I know that he knows more than me, I am not trying to score cheap points, but was trying to add to the points, like a live working document. Same objective, trying for the same outcome, but with some different points to get there that dont have collatoral damage other manufacturers unjustly.
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Old April 13th, 2012, 05:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
inkman996 inkman996 is offline
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Default Re: How to Protect Yourself when Purchasing Capital Equipment part 1

I am not sure I always agreed with Roberts plan to train local techs,for the printex or mustang everywhere he does an install, the flaw I see with out there being a saturation of your product no local guy is going to remember enough about a machine two or three years down the road.

For example let's say Robert trained some local yokel near me while he did our install then one year later I have a major break down and all Robert offers is to send in this guy that is local that has zero memory of what the machine even is, that does not breed confidence in the support network.

I feel when first starting out with a new machine only a couple dedicated guys should be the true tech support till the machine has a larger presence in the land and requires more techs, I bet if rich was asked back in his beginning he did not have fifty techs spread out hell I will take it for granted that he and some select few did a lot of traveling in the early years.

So what rich is saying by having a well established and competent tech network is a strong,point, having tech network of locals that never even see the machines but once is well dubious.

I never sweated the tech side knowing Brian is close enough and competent enough but what about someone Oh let's say Iowa who visits him when his machine breaks down?
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Old April 13th, 2012, 06:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to Protect Yourself when Purchasing Capital Equipment part 1

I have never seen any other mfg, representative, tech, installer...NOBODY cry so much as you and Barnes does about what M&R does or doesn't do!

You're both so darn infatuated with the success of M&R that it just drives you crazy doesn't it?

Here's a hint, follow the business model that M&R has established and then maybe you or the company that you represent can actually compete! I mean heck it's sure not rocket science to see what a competitor is doing that has obviously been working for them and apply it to your own company, and improve upon it.

Good luck to you, and I truly mean that.
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Call any or all three people below to see how Robert Barnes took money from them without delivering equipment!
Leon Monfort (760)802-6315
Jeff Saxby 563-593-4654
Andrew @ Printex EU 01148 668 136 652
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