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Old 9th February 2018, 02:07 AM   #1231
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Of course we should get specs in writing before we proceed. Part of what the letter does is to find someone who cares about the hole centering and will make an effort to get it right. Still need a spec in writing, and I agree that most will just say the specs are XYZ and that's it. Mastering and pressing plants are super busy these days, so it may be hard to get the attention we carve.
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Old 9th February 2018, 04:03 AM   #1232
spaceistheplace is offline spaceistheplace
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paba View Post
Hi team,
I have some procurement and negotiation experience and I don't think any letter will do it. Our requirements belong on the purchase contract (where the price is stated), we ask for a specific spec or tolerance range or whatever is applicable here and we put that in the purchase contract. Also we can try to get a clause that if the spec isn't met for 90 or 95% of the units or appropriate number they have the obligation to pre-print units and no extra cost. If we don't put conditions on our payment and what we expect as solution if they fail then it doesn't mean much. If they accept our terms and don't deliver then we have default to go after. Sorry if this sounds black/white or a bit tough but business is driven by contracts and transaction is a contract.
That said I think the factory will answer saying we quoted based on our normal tolerances which are x, y, z. if that is good for you then fine, we can't promise anything better. But at least we force them to write down what is their minimum spec commitment they are comfortable delivering. Up to us to change factory if we think we can get better spec elsewhere.
I guess what I;m saying is we should not accept a price/quote that doesn't detail this spec/tolerance. Or that price is meaningless. Think of it as price for liter of gasoline without being told if it is Super or Regular. Maybe it is a good price maybe not... there could be 20% difference in price gas between the two.
The unfortunate state of affairs is that no pressing plant we have currently spoken to (to my knowledge) is willing to give us an improved tolerance, or even give us a specific tolerance contractually at all. Like Pano said, we aren't exactly high on their priority list.

If you are familiar with negotiation you may know the term BATNA - Best Alternative to A Negotiated Agreement.

In this case, their best alternative (turning us down, zero income) is more attractive than the headache involved with such specific tolerances for an LP run of 250 copies... basically chump change to them. We aren't exactly rolling in with Capital Records letterhead either. From what we have found plants just don't seem to do this period, let alone for such a minuscule run from an outfit with zero history with the plant.

We have zero bargaining power in the traditional sense.... so, the hard line negotiation is a non-starter- hence the email.

The idea is that this email will eventually lead to a guarantee of some kind in writing- of course this is what we are shooting for, just starting the conversation in a different manner.
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Last edited by spaceistheplace; 9th February 2018 at 04:10 AM. Reason: clarification
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Old 9th February 2018, 05:07 AM   #1233
anatech is online now anatech  Canada
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Very good points raised. We do have to find someone with the passion to do it right. For example, Sheffield Lab might be interested in showing off their capabilities. Smaller outfits may not have the staff or ability to keep their equipment in top condition. That's what we need, so a well funded supplier is required.

Speaking from experience with other things, the best commitment to quality we may be able to get is "we'll do our best". It's not so much an out they are trying to create, but an honest effort to do their best with the possibility of exceeding our stated requirements. The one thing for sure is that we don't want to look like a problem customer. That will shut doors faster than asking for charity!

-Chris
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Old 9th February 2018, 05:18 AM   #1234
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Letter is fine, except that"diyaudio.org" should be "diyaudio.com".
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Old 9th February 2018, 05:22 AM   #1235
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Yes! Kindness is key. I also don’t want to come across demanding, just trying to get the best possible result for us all.
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Old 9th February 2018, 05:36 AM   #1236
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PS- RTI in the US has come across as the most willing and helpful so far to help meet our needs.

The best solution they’ve come up with yet is a manual pressing process known as a bookmold. It may increase the cost per unit but there’s a higher likelihood of center hole precision.
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Old 9th February 2018, 05:39 AM   #1237
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Third Man Pressing is also a new boutique outfit which may be eager to help- I found it while searching for info on book molds.

Third Man Records begins pressing vinyl in new plant
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Old 9th February 2018, 08:24 PM   #1238
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I cut the copy down from ~620 words to ~420 words, fits on less than one page, moved requested specs to a separate page, laid off on any criticism of other test records, tried to make it sound more friendly, fixed some errors brought to my attention etc.

However, no one has provided any technical details besides the center hole tolerance which I pulled from a convo with LD. Surely that's not all of our specification? Can I get a helping hand? I don't want to see this project go dark... we are so close.

I also set up a mail account to hopefully keep all of the pressing plant emails under one roof. It may help us manage the group buy better as well- it's diyaudiotestlp@gmail.com

Again, letter is here.
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Last edited by spaceistheplace; 9th February 2018 at 08:24 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 9th February 2018, 08:45 PM   #1239
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I think the letter is great, concise and convincing.

Thank you for putting it together.
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Old 10th February 2018, 03:59 AM   #1240
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We can't yet specify some of the specs, because we don't fully know what can be cut. That's for mastering. For plating and pressing I'm not sure that anyone here knows much about that, other than center hole dimensions and centering. Can flatness be specified?

Anyone who knows plating and pressing specs, please speak up.
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