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Thread: MFG.COM & First Index

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    Default MFG.COM & First Index

    I dont know if this is the right spot to ask this question but here it goes. I have heard alot about these RFQ sites MFG.COM And First Index. i was wondering if anyone could fill me in on how they are. How much do they cost, are they worth the money.And do you really get work. We are a small shop that is looking for new work to reach out past the local area. Any help would be great. Thanks

    Mike

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    Registered cadman's Avatar
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    Do a search. There have been quite a few posts on the subject. One thing to note, First Index is a different service than MFG.COM (formerly MFQ). Unless they changed their business model, they provide leads that you have to follow up on as opposed to posting work.



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    First Index is also significantly more expensive to use if cost is a factor.



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    I'd caution you that both of those sites are 'buyer's services' and that you as a seller, rate about zero in importance. You pay, you take quotes, you bid blind against who knows who (if indeed the buyers are not just fishing), and if you dare try to make a cent over material cost, someone else will undercut you.

    Other than that, ya, they are great

    First you get good, then you get fast. Then grouchiness sets in.

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)


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    Question

    hey HU,
    do you have a bad experience with mfg.com? We also are a small shop and have considered this option. The price tag for a years "membership" is $5495.
    It would be nice if there was anyone who could shed some light on the subject



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    Quote Originally Posted by msomerville
    hey HU,
    do you have a bad experience with mfg.com? We also are a small shop and have considered this option. The price tag for a years "membership" is $5495.
    It would be nice if there was anyone who could shed some light on the subject
    WOW!!!!! its that high now, $5500. WOW!!!

    I had a not bad experience, but its a rip off. Hours and hours and hours of quoting, for what? Competing against prostitutes that will give a job away for less than material cost with the hopes of "building" a relationship with a customer. Well guess what? the customer just got a super cheap price and unless they keep getting the 'under material cost' price will go back to the pimp (mfg.com) and find another whore.


    I say this from both sides of the coin, tried getting jobs on there, found out it was the fast tract to going bankrupt and then used Mfgquote to dump some loser jobs, funny thing is, it cost less to get finished product than to buy the material, we actually ignored the super low bids and issued POs to shops that were in the range of material costs for more than they bid.

    Lets say you are a small shop owner and are pocketing 100k a year for a 60 hour work week, ($32 an hour straight). Now your small shop blows $5500 dollars on a useless quoting prostitution ring, you are now taking home 94.5K(about $30 an hour). Now, after your 60hour week busting your nuts in your shop, you come home and spend two hours each day trying to beat out a bunch of prostitutes for jobs that will make you no money(most are not quick and easy, but require calls for materials, and outside processes such as heat treats and coatings). So, now you are at 74 hours a week(I was putting in about 16 hours a week on quoting) for 94.5k, your down to about $24 an hour.

    Now you may get a job or two, but you're going to lose on them, so your $24 an hour goes lower. Now, your dog is mad at you (hey throw me the ball), your kids are mad at you (hey lets play Barbie), and your wife is mad at you(she just wants your attention and will spend any money you make, besides she was probably mad at you anyways, think of the dog and the kids, they may not have the tasty bits, but they are a lot more fun)

    So, that $5500 dollars is theoretically written off in the hopes of getting more jobs, put it to better use. Spend those extra hours quoting losing jobs to finding real customers. Do some research, find out who in your area needs machine work, you would probably be surprised, buy some beers, buy some lunches, a lap dance if you have to. Join a country club, VFW, Elks, American legion, model railroading club, spend a few bucks going out and simply talking to people, leads to customers pop up all over the place, especially in places you wouldn't expect.



  7. #7

    Cool Why not try a different strategy!

    Why not try a different strategy!

    I have noticed a large need for T-slot plates made from MIC-6, & Cast Iron, and if you were to list a few basic sizes on eBay, along with a small blurb about "Custom Machined Plates" on each listing, the questions and quotes would flow daily! The same can be done by selling the scrap metal from your shop, as every one is looking for drops to use in their projects!

    The eBay listing fees and commissions are insignificant compared to the exposure you get to the public eye! So selling drops for next to nothing will actually make you even more in the long run! And fund that annual company picnic on the 4th of July!

    I have made $$$ selling these plates, but I don't have a CNC mill to make the task time efficient! By offering your own product, you no longer have to deal with the third party!

    The other thing I have noticed is a market for pre-squared up MIC-6 plates and strips, which can be used in DIY CNC Router projects to make them accurately! Remember, not every DIY hobbiest has access to a full machine shop! So selling squared stock and offering Customization, will open you to even more business!

    Eric



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    Monkeywrench Technician DareBee's Avatar
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    Another quick point.
    I too was intrigued with enrolling to one of these services many years ago.
    After I found the cost I was leary on spending that much money and started doing research (the same way as this thread got started).
    Needless to say I never bought in.
    To find out the price I had to contact the company (as you did).
    It was OVER 2 YEARS of weekly harassing phone calls I had to endure before they stopped pestering me.

    www.integratedmechanical.ca


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    Yes, I've been through the First Index thing. Same thing as Little Bubba recounted.

    When you are starting out and trying to get established with a few customers, you are better to meet them personally, and give them a good (cheap rate) to get them to try you. Don't feel bad that you don't make the ideal shop rate at the start. Just remember, because you are not spending $5500 with one of these sites, you've got that for a budget That is 3 months of work at a $10/hr discount.

    I know, the new guy in business usually takes it in the neck, high expenses, and a slightly lower shop rate to get noticed.

    Or,
    Don't quote low prices (as a rule), but put the extra effort into finishing the jobs you do with extra care and attention. It would be folly to make parts to 95% complete, and then skimp on the polish, the deburr, size inspection, etc, in order to 'make shop rate'.

    Customers appreciate most of all a shop that does the job to completion, so they do not have to deburr, sort through and custom fit parts themselves. Tweak your programs to get near perfection if you can, because you can bet that your successful competitors are doing just that. They won't be cheap to hire, either.

    First you get good, then you get fast. Then grouchiness sets in.

    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)


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    Take to heart HuFlungDung's advise - I just got through sending a job over to a new shop who was much more expensive than my regular shop ($800 each vs. $500).
    Why, because they did a small job where they took the time to call me back about small details and gave me a very high quality product. They didn't make a whole lot on the small job but they gained a customer

    When quoting this job, they found several drawing issues that the other shop has not found in six years. The old shop didn't bother calling simply because "they knew what we wanted"

    Quality every time on time gets the repeat order.

    Aaron



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    MFG even offers a payment plan, $725 down $500 for every month after, or something close to that can't remember exactly. I knew this site was going to cost some dough, as soon as I signed up over the weekend there was a representative calling me at work on monday wondering if there was anything he could do to make my "test drive" of MFG any easier. I have to admit I kind of choked when he told me the price. One of the only reasons we were considering this was because we are one of those shops that pay attention to details. Receiving one or two jobs through a website like that we would hopefully gain a customer or two, and skip mfg for future jobs. Like little bubba put it how much time would i spend quoting these jobs? After reading what you guys had to say I will definitely look for other ways to get our name out there.



  12. #12

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    As a designer, I have to echo what HFD and pastera said. I have been bit enough times that I'd rather go with people I know, even if I'm paying more.

    Frankly, I go with the lower price to start with, but if I know what the ballpark price is going to be, I just send the RFQ to my favorite supplier for that process.

    I've also sent back thousands of dollars worth of work due to stupid mistakes such as wrong thickness sheet metal, parts damaged due to no packaging, and burrs the size of small animals.

    I have one supplier where I send him drawings, he sends me parts in 3 days. When both shop and customer know what to expect, everything goes better for both of you.

    You also might want to provide free samples, if that's feasable. Depending upon what you offer, I'd think about cranking out business cards in metal.

    -Jeff



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