Lost shaft repair job - was I too expensive?
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  1. #1
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    Default Lost shaft repair job - was I too expensive?

    Ok guys,
    I had to ask, am I too expensive on this shaft repair job? Well obviously I was because I just lost the job to a shop doing it for 60% less then I charged! ouch!
    Part is a 50mm dia. shaft about 18" long with a step down on one end for a bearing journal 20mm dia. by .600 long. I get the shafts with the bearing journal worn down and I turn the journal to 16mm and press fit a sleeve onto the 16mm stub. Then I turn the sleeve down to 20mm for a slip fit into a 20mm bearing. I was charging $110 to do the job. No large quantity on this job, I only did 4 to 6 repairs every other month. The company I was doing the work for pulled the job from me last week and I found out today they are getting them done for $45.00 What would you guys charge for something like this?

    Btw, company that was bringing these to me buys them from a German manufacturer and pays almost $600.00 ea! Shaft lasts for maybe 2 months before needing repair!

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    Quote Originally Posted by InventIt View Post
    Ok guys,
    I had to ask, am I too expensive on this shaft repair job? Well obviously I was because I just lost the job to a shop doing it for 60% less then I charged! ouch!
    Part is a 50mm dia. shaft about 18" long with a step down on one end for a bearing journal 20mm dia. by .600 long. I get the shafts with the bearing journal worn down and I turn the journal to 16mm and press fit a sleeve onto the 16mm stub. Then I turn the sleeve down to 20mm for a slip fit into a 20mm bearing. I was charging $110 to do the job. No large quantity on this job, I only did 4 to 6 repairs every other month. The company I was doing the work for pulled the job from me last week and I found out today they are getting them done for $45.00 What would you guys charge for something like this?

    Btw, company that was bringing these to me buys them from a German manufacturer and pays almost $600.00 ea! Shaft lasts for maybe 2 months before needing repair!
    That is the classic example of a race to the bottom. Walk away and count yourself lucky for dodging a bullet.

    Now... If you really wanna do something about it, engineer a better solution to the shafts they're buying and replace them with ones that either don't wear out, or last 10 times longer. Sell them for $400 each to the company. You'll get the business back and show the other shop who's boss while also making yourself more visible. Win win win.

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    How much time did it take to do?

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    A better solution would be to grind shaft bearing od, hard chrome it and then regrind it. Sound like maybe the bearings fits are too loose in the first place.

    They would end up with a longer lasting shaft by a long shot. Depending on what it is exactly I would charge about $150 plus the cost of getting the chrome done for this. That is if the shaft had centers that were in good shape.

    There is not much I would touch for as much as the new person is doing for. Are they welding to build up and turning to size? I can't see anyone doing your process for 45 bucks

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    Assuming your quality and delivery was good, sounds reasonable to me.

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    I would not be surprised if the other shop soon pulls the old trick of raising the price.. OR, the quality of their work is below par, and the customer will come back to you later.. If they do, raise the price, and do the work on your term, your schedule, etc.
    Amazing how many times I have seen jobs leave and then come back.. Grass is seldom greener elsewhere...

  7. Likes Mike C., Edster, Bobw, Limy Sami, toolsteel and 8 others liked this post
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    If I had to guess, I'd say the new guy is making up a bunch of bushings in advance, leaving the OD to the small side of a slip fit to the bearings, which I would assume are pretty uniform in size. When he gets a shaft, he'll turn the end .001-.002 bigger than the ID of the bushing and press it on. This process, although not as precise as the way you were doing it would work, and aside from initially making up a bunch of bushings, can be done very quickly. When making the bushings, the ID need not be controlled closely, You just turn the shaft to suite. Even so his price does seem low.

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    For the monthly income from this customer, you can afford to sit and watch as the situation matures. It seems that the only problem they had with you was price. Wait and see what problems arise with the new supplier. Regards, Clark

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    Yup, you just got lowballed. What's your shop rate? My home shop rate (with absolutely no overhead or employees except myself) is $50/hr and I wouldn't do these at home for less than $100 if it is a company (buddy work, it'd be a case of beer, of course). If your shop rate is $75 and hr and you can't do the repair in 1/2hr (and by the time you figure setup, cleanup, electricity, material, etc... there is no way), then it's a losing business.

    Company owner where I am loves to do this kind of stuff, full cylinder rebuild for $50 or $75. The packing is $35. Now, there is no way we can be making money on that when there's at least an hour of cleanup, fixing minor issues like just filing dinged or galled threads from a locknut, then put it back together, test it and send it out. Four hours of work total. Talk about a demotivator and morale killer... watch some guy walk out smiling with $300 worth of your labor for $50 while the boss is riding your ass to get more work out so we can make some money. New manager doesn't play that. A couple of customers have complained a little, but they knew they were getting away with murder in the past, so they still end up getting the work done.

    The other one that gripes my ass is "rush jobs". Hey, this is a rush job, and so is this, and so is this, and so is this... seems like every other part that comes through the door is a rush job. A $500 surcharge on the word "rush" would quickly sort out who is really in a hurry and who just wants their stuff back early.

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    Agree with another poster regarding making one.

    Make one with chrome or whatever us needed to extend the life.

    If bearing seat is wearing then bearing fit not correct.

    If shaft can be made and you supply a pressed on bearing then wear could be reduced.

    Suggest getting customer to supply a bearing and shaft then you make one for free...

    It needs to be returned in x months time or billed at some agreed price.

    Quote cost for replacements that you can supply as exchange for sample already given.

    They are marked with your company as your property too.

    You offer this so they just exchange the kit.

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    I'd review my costing on the current process - you may be bidding too low. If the customer comes back, you have a choice for doing at the price you have been doing it, or requoting at the higher price.

    I try to bid to a point of indifference. That is, if I get the job, I'm happy to have it at a price that compensates me adequately, and if I don't, I don't lose sleep over it. Of course, if its a long-term contract and the well is near dry, my point of indifference gets lower!

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    Quote Originally Posted by InventIt View Post
    Btw, company that was bringing these to me buys them from a German manufacturer and pays almost $600.00 ea! Shaft lasts for maybe 2 months before needing repair!
    Maybe you should start making these parts instead, and sell them for $500 each.

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    Just remember if you win every bid you are working too cheep.

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    You cant give your time away, let someone else lose their ass.

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    I'm curious what kind of duty that shaft was seeing to be able to under cut the shaft diameter 4 mm at the bearing journal? Seems it would unnecessarily weaken the shaft.

    Usually we bore and stub shaft it either weld or knurl/ pin the stub in place depending on the duty. I also agree with tightening up the slip fit so the bearing doesn't spin on the journal.

    I can't imaging the billing side of the job being under $50, much less making chips.

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    IMHO thats a sub 1/2 hour job, bit of what ever you have steel in chuck, drill 16mm hole and ream. Part off. Turn end of shaft down, press on then turn od of bush true, $45 - £30 sounds like good money for it. $110 is what? £75 for a half hour job? using what a 50p piece of material - scrap bar end? Not like your removeing or even delivering the part based on the post? I do a fair bit of that kinda thing, though admitadly i also normally remove and refit the sharft. But its would be a circa £25 job from me for just the machine work, with at least £24 of that being profit, but then its the kinda thing i do all the time - am geared up for.

    As to not being able to raise a invoice for less than $50 i think you need to stop worrying about saveing time on the cnc's and go look at what your accounts team is doing, a invoice for a single line item should be what 3 minutes including emailing it? Maybe anouther 2 minutes to confirm it as paid in a months time??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike C. View Post
    .......The other one that gripes my ass is "rush jobs". Hey, this is a rush job, and so is this, and so is this, and so is this... seems like every other part that comes through the door is a rush job.......
    Glad its not just us...lol. We used to use a little red sticker that said "HOT" on our rush jobs. Then the person in charge of scheduling started putting 2 red stickers on "real hot" jobs.....we got a hell of a laugh out of it on the floor. One of the guys said..."eventually there will be so damn many stickers on a job sheet you wont be able to read it"........another one said...."we should just put a cold sticker on everything we dont care about, it would be fewer stickers"......

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    $45 is cutting a fat hog

    $110 is ass rape.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pmtool View Post
    There is not much I would touch for as much as the new person is doing for. Are they welding to build up and turning to size? I can't see anyone doing your process for 45 bucks
    Most likely someone with a shop in his garage or basement who does it as a sideline.

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    It might be that the other shop is doing it at a loss just to get their foot in the door. If they do quality work in a timely manner the company will likely expand on the work they give them. It's done all the time. In the retail business it's referred to as a "loss leader". You sell (or in this case repair) something at a loss hoping it will bring more and better paying jobs and customers through the door.


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