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  1. #1
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    Default Anyone getting busier right now?

    I keep getting new customers and new jobs every week. I had one of my swiss shops email me and ask me if I want to come on as the Milling dept Manager. I guess he thought maybe he could poach me if I was slow. He told me they are straight out still and looking to fill a few more positions.

    I spoke to a few other swiss shops in New England that I work with and they are straight out as well. Aerospace is still busy too.

    This is nothing like what happened in 2009. I havent even changed my daily routine one bit.

    Everything they tell us to do to prevent the spread of the virus I practice daily anyway (except for wearing a mask). I live in the woods, dont hang out in groups, wash my hands regularly, and eat healthy. My gym is closed so that sucks but I havent been going much in the 2 months prior to the virus so it wasnt that big of a change.

    Anyone else running business as usual?

    I also saw a letter on facebook from the President of Starrett this morning stating the execs are taking a 20% pay cut globally until this is over. They are cutting hours across the board and taking the opportunity to go over the books and come up with other cost savings measures to keep the company on solid fiscal ground for years to come. They employ 600 people in a town of 10,000 residents (2000 globally). Before the internet and rising wages they used to be the go to place to work in town as you could afford to buy a house for $100k if your spouse was also full time with the company. Houses were always cheap and still are comparitively. (My parents bought a 2 bedroom house with 1 acre on main street in 1985 for $22k)

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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanASM View Post
    I keep getting new customers and new jobs every week. I had one of my swiss shops email me and ask me if I want to come on as the Milling dept Manager. I guess he thought maybe he could poach me if I was slow. He told me they are straight out still and looking to fill a few more positions.

    I spoke to a few other swiss shops in New England that I work with and they are straight out as well. Aerospace is still busy too.

    This is nothing like what happened in 2009. I havent even changed my daily routine one bit.

    Everything they tell us to do to prevent the spread of the virus I practice daily anyway (except for wearing a mask). I live in the woods, dont hang out in groups, wash my hands regularly, and eat healthy. My gym is closed so that sucks but I havent been going much in the 2 months prior to the virus so it wasnt that big of a change.

    Anyone else running business as usual?

    I also saw a letter on facebook from the President of Starrett this morning stating the execs are taking a 20% pay cut globally until this is over. They are cutting hours across the board and taking the opportunity to go over the books and come up with other cost savings measures to keep the company on solid fiscal ground for years to come. They employ 600 people in a town of 10,000 residents (2000 globally). Before the internet and rising wages they used to be the go to place to work in town as you could afford to buy a house for $100k if your spouse was also full time with the company. Houses were always cheap and still are comparitively. (My parents bought a 2 bedroom house with 1 acre on main street in 1985 for $22k)
    Most of my business is racing. All racing is canceled so the work has dried up as well.

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    Most of my business is drag racing, customers are working on programs they never would have time for with no off season. Daily work with new, we are a year out. Materials are a struggle though. Just keep rollin’.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moonlight machine View Post
    Most of my business is racing. All racing is canceled so the work has dried up as well.
    Ive got a few racing customers but I dont do much work for them on a good year anyway.

    After 2009 I learned to diversify more so my business isnt so volatile. I have probably 40+/- customers right now.

    5-7 always have a few jobs from.
    10+ a job every 3 months.
    10+ a job every year.
    10-15 a job or 2 every 2 years.

    I feel pretty good about things this time around. I try to add a new customer every month now. Even if it means just getting on their vendor list. I have another right now who I need to make some samples for to get on the approved vendor list. He told me today that the salaried workers are working from home and the engineers and production staff are still going strong.

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    I do automotive and besides a rough week it's been consistent orders.

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    Busy as I've ever been. Hasn't really affected my work-load yet.
    I also stay pretty much to myself. And am almost always in the shop. So, not much change for me at all.
    I did have to run to the hardware store today. Traffic was noticeably light for a Fri. @ 5pm.
    And, I put latex gloves on when I gassed up the jalopy last weekend.
    The wifey is missing the gym. And, shopping is a PITA for her. She is a germophobe anyways. So, she is used to this shit, LOL.
    She is getting cabin fever pretty bad though.

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    I've had two big orders put on hold .

    Still have some backlog but no much. We been hustling for business but as our stuff is mainly capital type purchases, they're the first things to go on hold. There's the classic land, labor, capital, and entrepreneurship as the factors of production, but there's fifth sustaining an economy and that's confidence. Its taking a bit of a beating at the moment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelieking71 View Post
    Busy as I've ever been. Hasn't really affected my work-load yet.
    I also stay pretty much to myself. And am almost always in the shop. So, not much change for me at all.
    I did have to run to the hardware store today. Traffic was noticeably light for a Fri. @ 5pm.
    And, I put latex gloves on when I gassed up the jalopy last weekend.
    The wifey is missing the gym. And, shopping is a PITA for her. She is a germophobe anyways. So, she is used to this shit, LOL.
    She is getting cabin fever pretty bad though.
    I did the latex glove deal too. Gassed up for 1.10/gallon!!!!

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    I made it past the 2008 slowdown and this does not seem as bad this early on ,,, but it is getting harder to just plain get materials and shop supply's ,,, I am lucky here in washington and were a open carry state, There is just something about a stainless .45 hanging on your belt that people seem to leave ya the F*@# alone and not want to stand next to you in the walmart line . I have been out of the house/shop twice last month to go shopping and wear a N95 and from what I have seen 70% of the people out are wearing some type of mask. Well I have been lucky and not lost any of my family or friends to the China virus , I have two friends that lost family to it ,,, It really hit home with me when friends start telling you it killed members of there family ... Up tell that point it just seemed like something playing out on TV

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garwood View Post
    I do automotive and besides a rough week it's been consistent orders.
    It's been interesting to see which businesses (in larger cities) have opted for WFH when possible, which closed, and which stayed open.

    My former employer (a Tier 1 supplier) promptly declared themselves critical. Something pretty vague like doctors needing their cars to work in order to go to hospitals, and they make car parts so they must be critical. Funny thing is that their OEM customers are mainly shut down, so it isn't like the OEMs are going to run out of parts.
    Another guy just day trades to make his boss money, apparently that falls under financial, so same thing. Boss won't even let him work remotely even though he sits in front of a computer all day.
    All my automotive shops in Detroit were told to close, so they're unhappy, but not taking orders obviously.

    As for us, obviously we aren't handling many parts (in house shop is closed, we're WFH), but the things we still need we're all outsourcing to the shops we have relationships with who are still open.

    Half of them seem to be begging for work, the other half are buried in it. Not sure what separates the two.

    Looking forward to WFH ending here, it's a lot harder to fix mechanical stuff when you have to do it over a phone instead of putting your hands on it, so everything is taking 2x as long.

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    A few small orders came in and I still have work for a few weeks, but I expect things to slow down. I also expect $ to take longer to come.

    Many still think this is just an economic flu and that everything will be back to normal and Dow at 30,000 a day after we're told to get back to work.
    Once reality starts to hit, things will change for many. Contrary to also very popular belief from all our socialist governments, nobody borrows/print/tax their way to prosperity.

    If you're still busy and able to put some $ aside for worse times to come, do it, just in case a bailout doesn't come your way.

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    I live in the land of early retirements, Microsoft country. A good many of them are wannabe machinists. The recent conversations on a private chat forum have mostly been related to how to help with the shortage of ventilators and protective garb.

    One shop (non retiree) has offered his facility to the manufacturing of Mylar face shields being done by a volunteer crew. The face shields are distributed free of charge to needy hospitals, etc. A pretty generous thing to do.

    Myself, I purposely downsized the customer base to change direction a bit. If things had worked according to pre-virus plans we would be tearing down my shop building right now to rebuild bigger and better. Given the current Washington State business shutdown we're in a holding pattern, the last thing I want to do is have a torn down building and no contractors available to rebuild.

    Yesterday I was out and about to a couple stores for various items to do a home bathroom faucet upgrade. Kinda surprising how some people are "what virus" and others are masked up like me. Home Depot had a line to get into the store, one out, one in. Costco was restricting entry to two persons per membership card, no more bringing the whole family to eat samples (samples have discontinued anyway).

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    Quote Originally Posted by moonlight machine View Post
    I did the latex glove deal too. Gassed up for 1.10/gallon!!!!
    We just hit about 1.95-2.05/gal here. Lowest its been in a while. Although it has been like 2.40-2.50 for a few years steady.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug View Post
    I live in the land of early retirements, Microsoft country. A good many of them are wannabe machinists. The recent conversations on a private chat forum have mostly been related to how to help with the shortage of ventilators and protective garb.

    One shop (non retiree) has offered his facility to the manufacturing of Mylar face shields being done by a volunteer crew. The face shields are distributed free of charge to needy hospitals, etc. A pretty generous thing to do.

    Myself, I purposely downsized the customer base to change direction a bit. If things had worked according to pre-virus plans we would be tearing down my shop building right now to rebuild bigger and better. Given the current Washington State business shutdown we're in a holding pattern, the last thing I want to do is have a torn down building and no contractors available to rebuild.

    Yesterday I was out and about to a couple stores for various items to do a home bathroom faucet upgrade. Kinda surprising how some people are "what virus" and others are masked up like me. Home Depot had a line to get into the store, one out, one in. Costco was restricting entry to two persons per membership card, no more bringing the whole family to eat samples (samples have discontinued anyway).
    I did go to walmart a few times and people wear masks and gloves but will still stand to close to people and bump into you like any other day at walmart.

    I got baby wipes with a little bleach added to it for the gas pumps. I am not really a mask wearing person. I would rather just isolate myself than wear one. I cant say other than a trip to the store occasionally that I do not generally get within 6 feet of someone on a regular day anyway.

    I guess flat rate USPS took a while to get a package of mine down to Hartford (2 hours away). UPS delivered my computer from Illinois to New England in 4-5 days ground. MSC is usually next day but I havent needed to use them yet.

    All my suppliers are still delivering materials on their own trucks. I can still get what I need to work.

    I do tell customers if I need to order something from UPS or USPS I cannot guarantee delivery dates. Some of my customers told me UPS has been good so far and they use them daily.

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    Surprising yes, in the past 2-3 weeks our work load has increased. I found it interesting cause some of trade have been forecasting drop. Now granted a lot of our castings (750 - 2500 pound) come from outside the country. Could be that some of the other foundries are closed or quarantined. But all that said who gives a shit on a big ship. What ever the reason tis a good thing, what will the future hold? As far as I am concerned I will ride the wave as long as it continues with a keen eye to the future. I just wish I could give some small jobs to folks that are expensing bad times. We will get through this it would be a nice thing "share the work out their so when this blows over everyone will come out okay, maybe finically trade journals use different data common to their niche. All that to it would abenefit for us all to work together so when / if blows over we will in good spot.

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    We do high percentage DOD work that is busier than ever. Received letter from one of the military branches basically saying they didn't care if we all had to quarantine at the shop they still expect their parts.

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    I'll probably be ~50% light for April. Possibly some of my medical-related customers will pop, but only if they are lined up for COVID-19 related needs.

    Regards.

    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finegrain View Post
    I'll probably be ~50% light for April. Possibly some of my medical-related customers will pop, but only if they are lined up for COVID-19 related needs.
    I'm heavily weighted to medical. I saw a slowdown of new orders in January and February, much of what I do is not COVID related.

    I've seen similar slowdowns. The 4th quarter of 2013 was bad, Providers were gearing up for the Obamacare IT mandates and weren't spending on durable goods. 2014 was a good year for Health IT.

    The same thing happened this first quarter, orders slowed way down as providers were trying to assess what they would need to deal with CV.

    In the past week, I have had a flurry of new orders, some of which are a large qty increase (tripled) from the typical run.

    I'm on a 6 day schedule now, order book pretty full through June.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finegrain View Post
    I'll probably be ~50% light for April. Possibly some of my medical-related customers will pop, but only if they are lined up for COVID-19 related needs.

    Regards.

    Mike
    I just got another medical customer that I used to do work for years ago back on board. I got in with them before the virus but just got some jobs from them yesterday. They said they are working as normal most likely because they are medical.

    I also have a few other medical customers that I hear from every so often. I am sure I will be hearing from them a lot more as well.

    I just spoke to my dad about this being different from 2008-09. We are way more diversified than we used to be. Technology has made that happen. I make sure to contact about 10 companies a month to discuss working together. I usually get on 1 vendor list out of 10. After a year and a half doing that I noticed that you just have to wait until they are in a jam and need your help. They will contact you and hope you can get them out of the jam they are in. This leads to newer customers and relationships get built up slowly over time.

    I make it company policy to not take on jobs with little to no profit just to please a customer. A lot of people do this thinking it will bring in more work from the customer. My experience is that customers usually have 3-4 guys doing the same thing thinking they will get the other guys work if they do this. It leads to nobody making money, vendors go under and the main company now has to find replacement vendors and raise prices. It doesnt work out in the long run for anyone to do things that way.

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    Medical OEM here. We're WFO. Company basically said "Work as much OT as you want, the machines are here, we need people to run 'em."

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