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Large(ish) servicing contract coming up. Ideas needed on ordering pads and parts.

1256 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Stephen Howard
G'day Guys,

Just trying to get some other ideas before I place my orders. School breaks up in 5 weeks time for the Christmas Holidays (8 weeks more or less).

Over that time, I'll have somewhere between 200-250 instruments to service/ repair. The breakdown is pretty much 60/40 woodwind to brass, with the woodwind being heavy on clarinets and the brass being predominantly trumpets and tromboneswith not a lot of anything big and low.

Many of the instruments will have been serviced 12 months previously, so they shouldn't all need total repads etc.

With that in mind I have to order supplies, everything from pads, to pearls, springs to screws, that I'll need to get the instruments serviced without getting caught out by running short of 10mm clarinet pads or 18mm sax pads for example.

I scribbled down a few things on paper and just for the clarinet pads alone I'm already into the hundreds. This isn't so bad in the sense that the boss has given the green light to order up rather than fall short, but at the same time, I don't want to hand him an invoice that looks like the Greek National Debt.

What quantities of pads and parts would you guys order for this sized consignment?

Ideas for things like spring assortments, spare pivot screws etc?

The overwhelming majority of the flutes clarinets and saxes will be student Jupiters and Yamahas with a few Buffet B-12 claris thrown in.

The Trumpets and Trombones also are all either Jupiter or Yamaha.

thanks guys,

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What quantities of pads and parts would you guys order for this sized consignment?

Ideas for things like spring assortments, spare pivot screws etc?
I don't know if this will help much but for FWIW, I gave up on ordering specifically like that pretty early. After a while I realized that I just need to have almost everything I need in stock and any other way doesn't work (for me). It sounds like you repair more instruments than I (never had 250 at once) so maybe even more for you...?

I was lucky and had another experienced repairer tell me their pad orders which were in big amounts, so I could see ratio of amount per size. Though this depends on what instruments you see. I started with a decent order of pretty much all sizes with similar ratios. I then gradually learned what sizes I need more and eventually went with another full order, with amounts adjusted to what I thought I needed (not that different from original). Since then I just went with smaller orders to fill my stock when necessary.

That was relatively in the start of repairing for me, when I also had far less work than I do now, so in that year (or two) expenses to profit ratio was a bit ridiculous... that is common for a lot of businesses I think. That investment was worth it at the end and at least for me the best option. I guess I wrongly assumed you were a self owned business, but if you have a boss and work for them, with them paying for the stock, I'm not sure how it would work.
"Unfortunately" later I realized I want to stock another thickness, another type of pad, etc.......

For springs I agree with hornfixer and would also just get some of each size (or most sizes since you might not need very thick ones for example). Compared with pads, replacing springs is rare so it is likely to be a small drop in comparison with the pad orders. Also in comparison with tools costs IME.

For pivot screws, I find I also need very few in comparison with pads. But I came to the same conclusion and just bought a pretty complete stock from a few suppliers. It's not so cheap but luckily it's a relatively small stock, takes very little space and even a small stock can last many years (unless you get a certain model always with missing screws for some reason).
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Steve, do you still have a small stock for 'on the spot' repairs? Unfortunately the 'just in time' method wouldn't work for me either since suppliers take at least a week (if I'm lucky) and sometimes a few weeks more to get here. Even if it took only a couple of days I couldn't do repairs while someone is waiting which wouldn't work, this is important here. The dead stock is annoying sometimes but I manage to keep it acceptable and as small as possible by a lot of research in advance (not perfect but helps a lot).

It's still possible to make (sometimes unavoidable) mistakes. One example is if you decide to change the type of pad you used or get confusing information about some supplies. I had this happen. One time was when I wanted to change to a different type of sax pads to stock. Another was when I chose what sizes to stock based on sales of the pad maker (he was trying to help but for whatever reason turned out to be differnt for me).
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