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Looking for advise on a big job

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by waximoff, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. waximoff

    waximoff Member

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    I once again turn to the knowledgeable folks at signs101 for some advise.
    I am a small print shop that rents space at a larger sized embroidery and screenprint shop. They are a great bunch of guys and we all work well together.
    I was asked to bid on a huge (by my standards) job today that was brought to them from a regular customer of theirs. Normally when they get jobs that I can produce, i will just give them a nice wholesale price and everyone is happy. But this job is one I'm not sure how to handle. The job is for fleet graphics on 72 larger sized cube vans. I'm guessing around 300 sq/ft of full color print and some door lettering on each one. All installed as well. Which leaves me to the second issue, the trucks are on the road and the customer is interested in having the installation on the road (opposed to having the fleet come home).
    So my two concerns are that I have no idea how to price these trucks at wholesale, and at a decent fleet discount so the customer is happy. And does anyone know where to find installers in the locations of these trucks?

    I've been lurking through some threads for that last few hours but couldn't come up with to much.. Any help is appreciated :)
     
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  2. waximoff

    waximoff Member

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    I just noticed how awesome the spellcheck on my android is.. I apologize for the words spelled wrong... stupid auto correct. haha
     
  3. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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  4. Locals Find!

    Locals Find! Very Active Member

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    Price it out retail for them and factor in 20% for them giving you the job but, make sure you get to handle communication with the client directly so your not having to be in the middle trying to get the communicate through a third party. Which will lead to confusion and F-ups.
     
  5. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    You're probably going to need to farm this out.

    Since you have zilch posted in your profile about who you are or what you have..... and you have nothing in your post about such needed input..... there's no way to help you.

    No idea of your capabilities means how can anyone suggest something ??

    • What is your hourly rate of output??
    • Do you have a laminator ??
    • What vinyl are you intending to use ??
    • What laminate will your pair off with it ??
    • How many hours will you have invested getting a network of installers to get the job finished ??
    • While you're busy turning this stuff out, what will your normal customer be doing for signs ??
    • Do you have the manpower to handle this ??
    • Do you have anyone you could contract to just go from city to city and get this whole thing done in a big loop ??
    Again, you don't seem equipped mentally or physically for such an undertaking. This will take hours to figure out completely if you're not used to it. One slip up on something this size.... and you could lose the ranch.


    I'm not being mean, just realistic. Do you even have the real estate to push these things out continually ??


    Let's say you can print 3 trucks worth of graphics a day including lamination.... that's four weeks straight of nothing but this work. What if something breaks down or your printer goes wonko ?? Are you prepared to face a $200,000 order face on and do what's ever necessary to get the job done ??

    You're talking a big job and you've got to make sure you can handle every phase of it before you just go around blurting out numbers.
     
  6. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Wholesale is not 20%. Read what the OP has requested and stated so far, before you just blow more smoke up someone's butt with your broker mentality.
     
  7. waximoff

    waximoff Member

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    I agree. I met with the client today along with a guy from the company who is wholesaling the job to me. I'm not sure what to price out as retail because of the volume of vehicles.
     
  8. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

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    for that many vehicles, you may be better off renting a box truck to follow all these vehicles around with your graphics/tools. If they're keen on you installing in the field, around their schedule, and on your travel time... better include trip charges, as well, for your install price.
    i'd love to do it myself! Still a little bit of awesome weather left in the season and that'd be a great way to cap off the summer.... a month or two, on the road? heck yeah. its hot in the shop!
     
  9. waximoff

    waximoff Member

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    Gino,
    Thanks for the input. I didn't take it as mean. I also wasn't looking for a number either. I knew that the limited amount of details supplied on the job in question would lead to vague answers. I more than likely will farm this out, you're right. I was just on here looking for ideas, such as yours, that will help me make the right decisions that will work for all parties.

    The vehicles aren't full wraps. Like I said maybe 300 sq/ft per. I have 2 printers, a 48", and a 64". one laminater, and plenty of space to house the finished product as well as the working area. The vehicles aren't to be all done at once either. The customer was just inquiring if there was a way to get the graphics installed where they sit so they didn't have to trek all the way back home. If they have to, then they have to!
    I definitely have the manpower.... here, but not a network of installers, which is what i was asking about. I thought that if I could help out some of the many forum friends that have helped me out over the years, then great!
     
  10. Merritt Big Color

    Merritt Big Color Merchant Member

    We will handle this whole job for you. All aspects print production, installs and logistics.

    72 vans on the road is no small task. Especially if you have never attempted to do so. If you do not have the experience in handling this you have 2 choices run away or pay someone to partner with you to make this happen....

    Not to mention the all resources and infrastructure needed to even take this on.

    We can either extend very competitive pricing for this project or you let us be the bank manage the entire project and bill your client direct and we pay you a commission...

    We will make it very easy for you to Profit...



    Best Regards,

    Michael Failla
    Operations Manager
    Merritt Graphics
    Big Color Division
    http://www.merrittgraphics.com
    p: +1 860.296.2500 ext. 1117
    c: +1 860.883.7642
    f: +1 860.296.1322
    mfailla@merrittgraphics.com
     
  11. waximoff

    waximoff Member

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    I hear ya! They are all over the U.S. from NY, to FL, to TX, to WA. ha.. hell of a trip!
     
  12. klemgraphics

    klemgraphics Active Member

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    To me this sounds like there might not be promise of a completion date on all of them, maybe just one here and there as they have the budget. I could be wrong but I would be careful about giving discounts upfront.
     
  13. HulkSmash

    HulkSmash Major Contributor

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    Id contact Mike at Merrit. It pretty much be pure profit for you, and no headachs.
     
  14. waximoff

    waximoff Member

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    Good thought.. I will definitely think about the price breakdowns based on how many they agree to, with a deposit! ha
     
  15. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

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    Sounds like a healthy opportunity.
    Good luck with it.

    wayne k
    guam usa
     
  16. waximoff

    waximoff Member

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    Thanks GAC05, It looks like I'm leaning towards doing the printing in house, then sending one of our vans with a crew to do the ones within a few hundred miles. I'm going to be looking for some people to some installs on the west coast. If it gets too pricey I'll just wait till the trucks come back here to MI to do them.
     
  17. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    I've never dealt with Merritt, but I know that this size of job is about as common to them as sticking letters on coroplast is to the rest of us! i would highly advise getting pricing from them before you put the time into figuring out your costs, discounts etc.

    they buy vinyl by the container load, so They can probably print & laminate for less than you can buy the raw materials for. i've gotten a few quotes from Mike in the past, and while none of them ever came about (flaky customers with pie in the sky dreams), i was blown away by the pricing!
     
  18. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

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    Never give too big of a discount. It ain't like screenprinting where doing a bunch is easy. You are still doing 72 different trucks.
     
  19. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

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    Wax
    if the graphics end up being all the same size I think you will find that it will work out cheaper to have one of the big print houses like Merritt do the production work.
    I've found that at large enough quantities they can do the job cheaper than doing it in house.
    Even if the price lands close to what you can do on your own, by the time you figure in the wear-n-tear on the gear, production time that could be used doing other jobs and the inevitable mistakes/waste it will tip the scale over to the larger print house.
    With a small set up of one or two printers try to make your money on the quick turn over, low volume projects where in house gives you the flexibility to make changes on the fly to meet the customer's needs.
    On one project I did 190 double sided 3x7 boulevard from print to finish (on a single printer) and will never do that again if I can help it. The deadline was too close to outsource but in the end it would have been better to have turned away the job.

    wayne k
    guam usa
     
  20. waximoff

    waximoff Member

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    valid points, thanks. I had Merritt price out about a dozen double sided banners for me earlier this year and they were about double the price of Gaprintco, who I ended up using. I'm not flaming Merritt at all, don't get me wrong, I'd be happy to save my machines and farm it out, but their banner prices deterred me from even looking.
     
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