Programming Subcontracting
Close
Login to Your Account
Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Country
    CANADA
    State/Province
    Ontario
    Posts
    10
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4
    Likes (Received)
    1

    Default Programming Subcontracting

    Hi everyone,

    Not sure if this is the right place to post this, mods please move to the right senction if it is indeed the wrong section.

    I worked at a company up until 4 months ago as the Machine Shop supervisor. I ran the machine shop and did all the programming. I gave my two weeks notice and left on good terms. So much so that before I left they asked me to program for them as a subcontractor. We negotiated a fair price for my time and I signed a contract from them as a subcontractor. Everything was going fine up until recently.

    The company does batch production, the average quantity is about 75pcs with some being alot more sometimes(1000+). They have their own ERP system which I continue to have access to from at home. I program parts from a priority list with the ERP system.

    I submit invoices every week. The last invoice I submitted they are refusing to pay on time and as the plant manager wanted to review it, stating "Why are they so many parts design on a fixture? This will waste time in the machine shop."

    I was genuinely confused, firstly because does he not understand that fixturing reduces machining time and the likelihood of scrapped parts. Secondly, because all these parts had quantities over 500pcs and thirdly, because this is $300 less than the highest invoice I have sent them and that invoice was not under review.

    The invoice has since been approved but now it is delayed even further. Thus is also not the first delayed invoice. They have also now asked me to stop using the erp system to program as they will be emailing me which parts to program and telling me if to program it as a one off or on a fixture. They are not a small company. They do around 10million in revenue a year. Most of their parts will be repeat jobs.

    In order to get the invoice approved I had to submit to him part by part the actual machine time breakdown, running 1 part vs fixturing. I have never had to do this before and the wording of his emails to me have genuinely pissed me off.

    I am contemplating terminating the contract as they are not holding up they end of the bargain and are causing me unnecessary stress. I am also thinking about continuing and defining the terms of the contract a little more. As of right now if they email me today with a part to program saying they need it right away I have it complete that same day or the next day. I am thinking of specifying email response times and program completion times.

    What are everyone's thought on this matter? What should I do?

    Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk

    Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    New York
    Posts
    9,992
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    2592

    Default

    usually if company has a permanent programmer the same questions get asked.
    .
    1) how much are fixtures and how soon will they pay for fixture cost ?
    .
    2) buying special tooling for particular parts. if a special tool like a boring bar or facemill is needed for job and its $10,000. for that special tool, obviously they are going to ask do we really need to buy it and how long using it to pay for it. for example if existing tooling can do the job buts its slower what is cost savings or payback period. for example if carbide drill cost $400. instead of $100. for HSS, how long will increased speed take to pay for extra tooling costs. if you break carbide drills 10x more than expected the cost savings can be zero or it actually cost you more to use carbide tooling sometimes.
    .
    big parts it can cost $100,000. to have special fixtures made and to purchase special tooling to do the machining. I dont know any company that wouldnt ask do we really need too ? and what is payback period ?

  3. Likes Oldwrench liked this post
  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,030
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    595
    Likes (Received)
    1002

    Default

    Welcome to the wonder world of self-employment.

    First off, you sound pissed, so I would take a day off to cool down.
    Second, are you just billing time and submitting an invoice weekly? Maybe you need to submit a price per program and they can accept or reject the bid.
    Third, are you legit a subcontractor? ie. you get a 1099 or check payable to your corp. or LLC?
    If so, YOU set your hours, you are not available at their beck and call. Have them give you the parts they need programmed and a due date.

    I keep this sign on the wall above my desk to keep me sane.
    d7a3dcc83bf07a49be9c258285ca190335.jpg

  5. Likes PDW, Bobw liked this post
  6. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Michigan
    Posts
    324
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    61
    Likes (Received)
    92

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Booze Daily View Post
    Welcome to the wonder world of self-employment.

    First off, you sound pissed, so I would take a day off to cool down.
    Second, are you just billing time and submitting an invoice weekly? Maybe you need to submit a price per program and they can accept or reject the bid.
    Third, are you legit a subcontractor? ie. you get a 1099 or check payable to your corp. or LLC?
    If so, YOU set your hours, you are not available at their beck and call. Have them give you the parts they need programmed and a due date.

    I keep this sign on the wall above my desk to keep me sane.
    d7a3dcc83bf07a49be9c258285ca190335.jpg
    I don't have anything beneficial to add to the conversation, just want to note how hard I'm laughing at the combination of the sign you keep above your desk and that fact that your handle is "Booze Daily".

  7. Likes Booze Daily, Oldwrench liked this post
  8. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Country
    CANADA
    State/Province
    Ontario
    Posts
    10
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4
    Likes (Received)
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DMF_TomB View Post
    usually if company has a permanent programmer the same questions get asked.
    .
    1) how much are fixtures and how soon will they pay for fixture cost ?
    .
    2) buying special tooling for particular parts. if a special tool like a boring bar or facemill is needed for job and its $10,000. for that special tool, obviously they are going to ask do we really need to buy it and how long using it to pay for it. for example if existing tooling can do the job buts its slower what is cost savings or payback period. for example if carbide drill cost $400. instead of $100. for HSS, how long will increased speed take to pay for extra tooling costs. if you break carbide drills 10x more than expected the cost savings can be zero or it actually cost you more to use carbide tooling sometimes.
    .
    big parts it can cost $100,000. to have special fixtures made and to purchase special tooling to do the machining. I dont know any company that wouldnt ask do we really need too ? and what is payback period ?
    Thanks for the feedback, the parts are really simple, 2d profile and some holes are 90% of the parts they get . The fixture is an aluminum plate with tapped and reamed holes and some slots in it to locate clamp steps so the operators dont put a clamp where a hole is. No special tooling needed.



    Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk

  9. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Country
    CANADA
    State/Province
    Ontario
    Posts
    10
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4
    Likes (Received)
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Booze Daily View Post
    Welcome to the wonder world of self-employment.

    First off, you sound pissed, so I would take a day off to cool down.
    Second, are you just billing time and submitting an invoice weekly? Maybe you need to submit a price per program and they can accept or reject the bid.
    Third, are you legit a subcontractor? ie. you get a 1099 or check payable to your corp. or LLC?
    If so, YOU set your hours, you are not available at their beck and call. Have them give you the parts they need programmed and a due date.

    I keep this sign on the wall above my desk to keep me sane.
    d7a3dcc83bf07a49be9c258285ca190335.jpg
    I think may need to change to price per program. I am still fulltime employed somewhere else.

    I left that job for another job as just a programmer/machinist at an automation company where there is only 1 CNC machine, too much stress there at the old job, they kept hiring people that didn't know what an endmill is.

    When I started I was not a legit business but I am in the process of sorting all that stuff out.

    Thanks for the response and the pic, consider it stolen lol.

    Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk

  10. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Michigan
    Posts
    196
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    88
    Likes (Received)
    106

    Default

    How up-to-date are you with the way the company is running now? Maybe they recently hired some whiz kid who says he can program any of those parts without any fixtures or something. In that case, regardless of whether he's right or wrong, management is going to take a look and wonder how much they are paying (i.e. how much they can save) on fixtures. What was once a "cost of operating" may now be under significant scrutiny.

  11. Likes MotoX liked this post
  12. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Country
    CANADA
    State/Province
    Ontario
    Posts
    10
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4
    Likes (Received)
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BoxcarPete View Post
    How up-to-date are you with the way the company is running now? Maybe they recently hired some whiz kid who says he can program any of those parts without any fixtures or something. In that case, regardless of whether he's right or wrong, management is going to take a look and wonder how much they are paying (i.e. how much they can save) on fixtures. What was once a "cost of operating" may now be under significant scrutiny.
    They have not hired a new programmer as yet.

    Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk

  13. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    New York
    Posts
    9,992
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    2592

    Default

    many a boss will question any cost. i had a rotary broach and tool bit for it was like $50. and boss says take old $5. drill bit and grind it by hand and dont care if it takes a hour or 2 to do he didnt want to spend the $50.
    .
    when boss says go climb in the scrap metal lugger to get metal to make parts you know you working for a cheap boss. or go to old non working machine and unbolt a part to get metal to make a new part. its like going to junk yard to get metal to make parts

  14. Likes Flipz87, Oldwrench liked this post
  15. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    greensboro,northcarolina
    Posts
    2,327
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    136
    Likes (Received)
    535

    Default

    I would be up front with them and say something like, "I don't mind subcontracting to you under the original conditions, but I'm not interested in having to justify all my decisions, I don't need the stress and aggravation." Plain, simple, honest, and to the point.. And I would be willing to walk away if its not worth the aggravation.

  16. Likes Mike1974, empwoer liked this post
  17. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Wyoming
    Posts
    3,173
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7581
    Likes (Received)
    5110

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DMF_TomB View Post
    ...when boss says go climb in the scrap metal lugger to get metal to make parts you know you working for a cheap boss.
    Man, does that bring back memories best forgotten. Our boss hated to see anyone milling edges—he'd tell you how much faster it would be to saw it and sand it. I'd respond by telling him that while a strong man can develop about 1/5 horsepower as a sustained effort, this mill has a 2HP motor and I'm using every bit of it. He was a professor and mathematician and it really bothered him not to be able to refute those numbers...

  18. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Florida
    Posts
    3,161
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1420
    Likes (Received)
    1487

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Booze Daily View Post
    Welcome to the wonder world of self-employment.

    First off, you sound pissed, so I would take a day off to cool down.
    Second, are you just billing time and submitting an invoice weekly? Maybe you need to submit a price per program and they can accept or reject the bid.
    Third, are you legit a subcontractor? ie. you get a 1099 or check payable to your corp. or LLC?
    If so, YOU set your hours, you are not available at their beck and call. Have them give you the parts they need programmed and a due date.

    I keep this sign on the wall above my desk to keep me sane.
    Not sure what bearing this has? I did work for a small company at a fixed rate, cash, no taxes or anything. They gave me a 1099 at the end of the year (two tax years I did it) and I filed it with my taxes. No problems or anything with the IRS.

    Do you get a tax break or something by setting up an LLC?

  19. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Florida
    Posts
    3,161
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1420
    Likes (Received)
    1487

    Default

    It sounds like they still want to treat you like an employee (need this tomorrow, this program is too expensive, etc) and IMO you need to stop that now if you want to continue. I stayed on one job part time and it only lasted a few weeks. Pretty soon it was question this, question that... I said hell with that, not worth the hassle.

  20. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Florida
    Posts
    3,161
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1420
    Likes (Received)
    1487

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldwrench View Post
    Man, does that bring back memories best forgotten. Our boss hated to see anyone milling edges—he'd tell you how much faster it would be to saw it and sand it. I'd respond by telling him that while a strong man can develop about 1/5 horsepower as a sustained effort, this mill has a 2HP motor and I'm using every bit of it. He was a professor and mathematician and it really bothered him not to be able to refute those numbers...

    I worked for a shop that was like that too. "Why are you machining that? Why is there a finish pass with another tool? Why Why Why..."

    I'm pretty sure I could program and run a tool to finish mill an edge than sawing it to size and trying to belt sand it all nice and pretty....

  21. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Hamilton, Ontario
    Posts
    1,099
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    793
    Likes (Received)
    422

    Default

    While I can understand your frustration Welcome to self employment. A couple of weeks of delay is not uncommon, months or even a year happens.

    I am assuming you are working on time and materials. If they are adding work to the programming by having you price out with and without fixturing, going forward that is billable time. I might send them a polite note. "I have been a machinist x years and have been programming your parts y years. Using this experience and knowledge of this plant I have made decisions as to whether fixturing is the most cost effective and safest way to machine a particular part. Going forward I can I can start breaking down run times part by part with and without fixturing so the plant manager can make these decisions. This will cost you approximately z hours and will unfortunately delay programming until fixturing is approved. Please let me know how you want to proceed."

    This might piss someone off and you lose the work but sounds like you are ready to quit anyways especially if things don't improve.

  22. Likes NRDock, Fancuku, Booze Daily, lastrada liked this post
  23. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Australia (Hobart)
    Posts
    3,462
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    543
    Likes (Received)
    2609

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pattnmaker View Post
    While I can understand your frustration Welcome to self employment. A couple of weeks of delay is not uncommon, months or even a year happens.

    I am assuming you are working on time and materials. If they are adding work to the programming by having you price out with and without fixturing, going forward that is billable time. I might send them a polite note. "I have been a machinist x years and have been programming your parts y years. Using this experience and knowledge of this plant I have made decisions as to whether fixturing is the most cost effective and safest way to machine a particular part. Going forward I can I can start breaking down run times part by part with and without fixturing so the plant manager can make these decisions. This will cost you approximately z hours and will unfortunately delay programming until fixturing is approved. Please let me know how you want to proceed."

    This might piss someone off and you lose the work but sounds like you are ready to quit anyways especially if things don't improve.
    Yes, agree. I hate people second-guessing me, if they know how to do it better than I do, why am I doing this work at all?

    I work on the principle that you can tell me *what* you want done and I'll use my best efforts to do it as efficiently as possible. But if you want to tell me *how* to do it, better be paying me by the hour or find someone else. Probably find someone else, I have a low boredom threshold.

    I'm working on a client site ATM - they basically buy 2 months of my time per year on retainer. The rest of the time they have to take their chances, I might be off on my sailboat.

    And yeah, payment - 90 days late is common. Just have to factor in your rates to cover the payment delay & risk of never getting paid. Part of contracting I'm afraid. I keep 2 years income in my cash account so it's not a problem WRT cash flow.

    PDW

  24. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    2,388
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1155
    Likes (Received)
    1087

    Default

    I had a 40 year career as a commercial / industrial photographer. 2 years big company, Northrop, 2 years small studio, the rest self employed. My experience with companies that start questioning and being slow to pay is there may be internal problems or about go go broke. Best not extend too much credit.

    See: Independent Contractor Self Employed or Employee | Internal Revenue Service

    If they are paying you by the hour and dictating what you are doing, and when you are doing, you are an employee, and they should be doing the withholding and paying your tax and Social Security. If they are not doing that they can get their ass in a crack.

    If you are self employed, you have to pay both sides of the Social Security and do your estimated tax and pay quarterly if there is enough money involved. Not doing that will get penalties at the end of the year, and IRS looking more closely at your return. See your accountant.

    Best if your invoices say: Program for Xxxx $XXX.XX


    Check with your accountant about needing a company. I had sole proprietor, partnership, and corporation. The sole proprietor was Paul Xxxxx, Photographer on all the bills and official paperwork. Money came, money went, taxes paid, no problems with gummint.

    Paul

  25. Likes awake liked this post
  26. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    13,994
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Have a sit down conference with the problem manager on each job,
    before starting any work.

    Yes, charge for the consult time, as well as mileage,
    and yes, itemize it all.

  27. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Maine
    Posts
    4
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Default

    know for sharing your subcontracting.there are certain things that only can do. build your network get a subcontracting budget in order.subcontractors maybe an individual or a business.

  28. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Connecticut
    Posts
    712
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    22
    Likes (Received)
    215

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lie View Post
    know for sharing your subcontracting.there are certain things that only can do. build your network get a subcontracting budget in order.subcontractors maybe an individual or a business.
    Exactly


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro


Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •