Operating your business from remote places. Pros? Cons? - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave powelson View Post
    Just for fun, Bob--try M'Carr's site--it's wholly easy to use, gives your order history going back years, gives in stock status, and is a time saver over the phone order stuff. Plus one can get invoicing and do payment quickly on the
    site.
    Have been on the site many times.
    Certainly I can access my order history in-house for the last 40 years at will and not connect to the net.
    Agree that they have both ends covered very well.
    I can talk faster than I can type or navigate though a few pages.
    Yet I can be on the floor, call on the cell while still walking the floor, get what I need, while walking onto my next problem.
    Yes they have a good web presence. I tend to like actually talking to a person.

    I know that is wrong, we live with a self-checkout world but I like people more than computers.
    Give me a lane choice with a person and a self serve and I go human even if a bit more time.

    Sorry part is that I am a very old hacker/computer builder and have unemployed many though that function.
    Mc does still employ a huge staff of people supporting the old way and I applaud and support that.

    Speed and efficiency being first, no going to the computer, no puking around on the net with your cell.
    One touch dial, I need this .... and they produce.

    To each his own, but it works for me and your's works for you.
    I like people, even if I know they are just clerks and I may have to help them though the selection process.
    Bob

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  3. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarbideBob View Post
    I like people,
    Bob
    That makes you pretty unique in this profession.

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  5. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbent View Post
    That makes you pretty unique in this profession.
    Might be a Michigan thing?
    Gw

  6. #24
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    I moved 20 odd years ago from Southern California, where practically every industrial product known to man could be delivered to me by tomorrow morning, to a rural part of Washington State. But before moving, I did check to see about delivery of my top material and supply needs, and made my choices based on that.
    For instance, I considered some islands served by ferry- but found that NO flammable gasses were allowed on ferries, except for rare (sometimes only once a week) flammable only ferries. Which meant that welding gases doubled in price.
    I refused to consider locations without 3 phase on the pole in front.

    If you are remote, you need to have your inventory of materials and supplies organized enough to have it all shipped in advance- you cant just hop in the car, if the nearest decent supplier of a given thing is a 4 hour round trip.
    You need to be able to ship what you make- in most of america, UPS or FedEx will pick up every day if you need, but for me, for example, it can take a week to nail down a 40' flatbed if I need to ship across the country.
    Planning ahead, and accepting higher costs, are essential, and you need to be making products that can support that extra expense.

    Employees are another thing to consider- I am lucky enough to have three good community colleges and a university within 45 minutes, so I can hire welders, manufacturing tech, industrial design, and computer students or recent graduates, and have been able to find great employees consistently- but some places, that is not the case.

    I order a lot online. And, like Bob, I also make a fair amount of phone calls.
    I have found that for consumer goods, or things that are made in gigantic quantities and sold by the million, Amazon and other online places like McMaster or MSC are great.
    But for more obscure industrial products, which I use from time to time, websites are sometimes non-existent, or a single page, online ordering is impossible, and the phone is the only way to go.
    This year I had to do partial rebuilds of 3 different machines- and only one had parts I could order online- the other two were machines that there are perhaps only a couple of thousand models in the whole usa, and you simply have to call, and talk to the single US company, often to the single guy in the entire country who knows what you are talking about.
    I have similar experiences with certain oddball materials- older, especially east coast and rust belt companies, often dont have websites at all, if they primarily sell to industry. Stamping plants in Rhode Island, perforators in Buffalo, Glass molding companies in rural PA- just a few of the places I source things from that you simply have to call.

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  8. #25
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    As someone who is doing what you propose, here is my 2 cents. Buy a building, most small towns out west have an abandoned building or 2, or 3, or more. Get something bigger than you need, make part of it the shop, the rest home, if there is space left over rent it out. Small orders of supplies are easy enough to order, I'm in pretty much the most remote area of the lower 48 states, 2-3 days is typical, overnight is impossible. Large orders, either you pay premium for delivery, or you make a trip to the big city and go on a shopping spree, get some good food, maybe a little nightlife, to make it all worthwhile. Good help is a problem, the locals worth anything have a job, what is left are the dreggs, never in my life did I imagine teaching a 20 something year old how to dig a hole and use a pipe wrench. What you are used to paying contractors in H-town is irrelevant, expect to pay twice or more in the sticks, and it will take twice as long to finish the job because they went huntin' or fishin', truck broke, grandma died, kid got arrested, yada yada yada...........

    The upside is peace and quiet, no traffic, and actually knowing your neighbors.

  9. #26
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    Not everyone in the wilderness is happy to see any form of industry,and these persons may be on the county/town council........before anything make sure you have the go ahead for your plans .....in writing from a person in authority.......I say this because I have last year had a very expensive fail over planning......The land is 3+ acres,zoned industrial,facilities etc......but the planners have gone hog wild.(apt considering the fat woman who is the boss)and want giant projects...100ac+....no more small ones........I owned the land for years ,so Im not into borrowing ,but too bad if I was.


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