chop service

Picture Framing related issues. Everybody welcome.

chop service

Postby yankee » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:57 pm

ive had suppliers on the phone asking me to try chop services and i cant understand why anyone would want to use the chop service in the first place.i believe that doing picture framing unless its a massive moulding that cannot be cut on the morso why would i want someone to cut for me and charge me around 50%more for it.id like to here peoples opinion on the chop service i think its a bit over priced and shows how lazy some people are for wanting someone to cut it for them after all we are framers and this is part of our job is it not.
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Re: chop service

Postby Roboframer » Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:22 am

I've never, ever, ever had one supplier on the phone trying to plug chop service over length, let alone 'suppliers'

How about anyone else?
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Re: chop service

Postby prospero » Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:23 am

There are pros and cons. Depends on the individual business.

Pros.

You need hold no stock.
You don't need cutting equipment.


Cons.

You have no control over the cut quality or picking and choosing parts of a moulding. Stuff like oak/ash varies in grain pattern and it's nice to match rails up. Same with knotty pine.

The time saved cutting is just about cancelled by the time taken ordering.

If you have a ubiquitous 'magic' moulding that you use all the time, it makes more sense to cut your own. However, now and then you might need a very pricey moulding that you may never use again. Chop is a bit more attractive in this case. If you bought the moulding and cut it yourself, you might need to buy 20ft and have 8ft left over. On paper, the 8ft may be worth £50. In practice it is scrap. You'll stick it in the corner and move it about for the next 20 years. In this case chop may work out cheaper.
You can't spend moulding at Tescos. :lol:

I only use chop for aluminium mouldings. :wink:
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Re: chop service

Postby yankee » Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:02 am

if its a one off job i would measure how much it would take ie if 1 length is enough 1 length is what i would buy if it did go into 2 lengths and i some left i would then put a small print in the moulding .perhaps im lucky that my picking and choosing of moulding means i dont have loads of junk lying around and im pretty good at getting customers to choose good frames i know i can use again.
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Re: chop service

Postby Jonny2morsos » Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:17 am

It can depend on whether you have an outlet for all the part lengths. If you have a busy shop/gallery then it can be a cheap way of framing prints, photos etc. or making into ready made frames.

I don't sell a lot of this sort of stuff and now have piles of part lengths littering the workshop. One day I am going to have to get a skip and dump the lot.

I have used chop occasionally in the past but one thing that puts me off is the carriage on a single frame. To make chop really work for you I think you need to use a supplier that does everything on chop and make full use of the service so you don't have carriage charges.

I have never had companies ringing me up to promote it.
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Re: chop service

Postby Mary Case GCF » Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:24 am

We were against chop at first, in fact for the first 18 years in business. Then we saw the light! At its height, my stock holding in mouldings was up to £9k. That is money that could have been spent better elsewhere in the business. And that was only 350 different mouldings, 60% of which languished in my workshop gathering dust and getting damaged waiting for the day when someone might chose it. Now we only stock 10 mouldings and offer 1500 chop. It is a win-win situation for us.

We charge our customers length price but still include a wastage factor which covers the extra cost to us of the chop mouldings. We can offer expensive mouldings which previously we wouldn't have. It's up to the customer to decide if something is too expensive anyway. Our profits are up and our customers come back because they know we offer a choice that no-one else in our area does.
We discussed exactly this point with Paul and Eric from Lifesaver last night at they agreed with us. The majority of framers in the US use chop and many of the moulding suppliers in the UK offer their whole range as chop. They must all think it is a good idea. It helps the suppliers too, as they have the same issues with mouldings in their catalogues that sit in the warehouse for years on end. With chop, they can rotate stock and offer a wider selection
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Re: chop service

Postby nickhood » Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:19 am

I have used chop service from both Lion and Arquadia for large mouldings or hard wood, both have supplied superb lengths that fit together perfectly. I have also used them for non stock items where 3.2metres is required and i dont want any waste or off cuts that will hang around the workshop for years. Yes it costs more but so does special glass which we are actively encouraged to up sell.
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Re: chop service

Postby prospero » Thu Sep 06, 2012 12:20 pm

Jonny2morsos wrote:
One day I am going to have to get a skip and dump the lot.



:P I have a big green motorised skip you could chuck them in. :wink:
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Re: chop service

Postby GeoSpectrum » Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:20 pm

I tend to use chop for only the more expensive mouldings. I have an order in for one frame which will need 3.5m at £55 a meter (cost price to me). That would have meant probably holding a minimum of 2 lengths, 6m, and tying up the cash in stock. Although the per meter chop price is a good deal more than the price by the length I wouldnt dream of holding that moulding but using a chop service means I can still offer it for the once in a blue moon order.
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Re: chop service

Postby Grahame Case » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:20 pm

To back up what Mary says. I think that chop is often misunderstood by people. If you have the correct business model it can work for you. Since going to chop we have sold more expensive frames easier as we are less reluctant to leave the expensive samples on the wall. We can up also have updated range of profiles that the customer can pick what they like the best.

We have no idea how much the moulding costs as that is all worked out by a computerised pricing system, have the customer likes the price they pay the money if they don't look for a different profile that ismore affordable for them.

Yankee could you please tell us who the supplier was that advised you that they do chop? just in case we don't deal with them
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Re: chop service

Postby IFGL » Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:29 pm

today I managed to sell that bit of expensive moulding., it is a nice ornate silver LJ molding I have had in since my son was born 18 months ago, got just over £200 for something I did my own pics in and had a bit left over, beautiful frame though.
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Re: chop service

Postby Roboframer » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:09 am

I like being able to offer quick turn-around from a large selection and don't have a problem with large amounts of stock. It's an investment, in a way.

For me chop's for stuff I can't chop myself or don't want to - so I can still show and sell anything. Anything that is from suppliers that offer chop - some don't and one of those sent me a lovely set of 12" samples the other day - not cheap.... not cheap at all. My Morso, with fresh blades, hacked the frell out of the back side - I could have done a better job with a blunt machette - so I tossed the samples in the bin.

They'll only sell those mouldings to framers with saws - not tenon saws and mitre boxes - big things with dust extraction units.
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Re: chop service

Postby mikeysaling » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:45 am

Think I agree with Mary - Stock is not really money - its sort of dead money unless you can turn it fairly quickly. We are a very small and very specialised framers (medals and militaria only) and years ago i realised that most folk go for the website examples or what you can show them (in our case same as the website) . We have actually reduced our offering to virtually no choice - BUT - If the customer is prepared to pay the additional cost we have samples of many options - for these we would use a chop service - but in 20 years have never had to but it would not be a problem providing the customer can wait a bit longer and pay the extra money (this we would require a deposit for).

Most standard stock has not increased vastly in cost so i don't see the point in storing vast amounts of stock or having funds tied up in it - with competition these days lots of things actually get cheaper!! Would you stock up on computers etc.

Only exception from our viewpoint are the medals which we avidly purchase e.g

1914/15 star value 2008 was £7 -£10 now £25-£55 Given that (only) 2,350,000 were awarded i think the price will only increase - so we will continue to purchase whenever possible.

TIP - WW2 medals will dramatically increase in price - better value than money in the Bank and less storage space required than metres of moulding.

In summary CHOP IS GOOD
when all is said and done - there is more said than done.
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Re: chop service

Postby IFGL » Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:13 am

depends on your customer base
, we could not operate on a chop only service.

I have and do use chop, but only on stuff I can't chop myself , it is rare that I use chop just because a molding is too expensive, the second I think buying a saw will make me more money than using chop for these few frames I will buy one, that said I think a saw is coming soon.

I carry large amounts of stock and turn the vast majority of it over very quickly, I have a section of mouldings that are expensive and take longer to turn round but we always do and I believe this shows on our monthly profit.
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Re: chop service

Postby yankee » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:28 pm

some interesting reading i have to say gives me something to think about what people think of chops.im not going to mention suppliers names these guys are only trying to do they're best on selling products which is tough.so hats off to them i prefer my way of buying at the moment so think i'll stick to that just now it might be the right way could be the wrong way i guess only time will tell thanks for all your input guys.
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Re: chop service

Postby Ryan Montgomery » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:19 pm

We stock bare wood moldings only for hand finished stuff and order everything else chop. I would rather spend someone elses money.
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Re: chop service

Postby ChrisG » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:25 pm

Arqadia's minimum chop order for free carriage is just £50 and that's next day delivery. I use them all the time partially because I have very limited stock space but also it decreases my turn round time (and fewer Morso blade changes).
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Re: chop service

Postby Not your average framer » Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:32 pm

I would only use a chop service where there is a clear economic justification for doing so. I think that using a chop service probably makes more sense on more expensive mouldings, than on cheaper mouldings. Also the advantages and the arguements for, or against must depend opon the type and size of business in each case.

If you used mainly one supplier and ordered everything on chop as one main order every week you might save a lot of time and effort, while also being able to maintain a very good turn around time for your customers. Not only that, but in most cases one person with a CMC and getting mouldings on a chop service should be extremely productive in terms of output of finished work.

I don't mind buying lengths of moulding as the customer still pays for my waste, so any left overs are effectively free of charge and sometimes I can get some extra profit from the left overs.
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Re: chop service

Postby Ryan Montgomery » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:19 pm

For us it was mainly a way to dip our toes into the business with very little investment, and it made it an excellent bolt on to our regular work.
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Re: chop service

Postby misterdiy » Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:51 pm

I am reluctant to use chop mainly because i like to be able to offer a fast turnaround (if necessary) to Customers. It happens frequently, so I need a reasonable amount of stock into do that. The other point of course is that you have no opportunity to set up the underpinner and do a trial pin. You are immediatley "going live". One slip and its back to the supplier, but this time at the framers cost.

I only use on very expensive mouldings and it is stressful setting them up to pin. Another point would be the availability. If you offer all of your samples from chop and then you find out that the supplier does not have it in stock, you are kind of stuck. As far as I know there is only Arqadia that has the live stock levels which overcomes that problem.

Although I have loads of stock, I am like Robo in that I see it as an investment, but unfortunately my Accountant does not see it that way, but money in the bank at the moment is worth nothing.
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