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Discontinued Moulding Trouble?

Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by bruce papier, Dec 21, 2016.

  1. bruce papier

    bruce papier CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Are you having problems with moulding being discontinued without being told beforehand? We've had it come up three times in the past week. One company hasn't issued a drop list for nine months. The other didn't have a drop list at all. We ended up checking our samples against their website and found a bunch that had been dropped. On top of that, we don't see reps as often as we used to, so we don't have any way of checking. We also found out the second company has something like 12 new lines of moulding we've never seen.
     
  2. FM Framer

    FM Framer CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    Sounds like Max and Roma
     
  3. bruce papier

    bruce papier CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Good guesses, but no.

    As long as I'm complaining, another thing driving us crazy is that a very large but un-named supplier never transfers items between their own warehouses. We have had more than one instance where we needed, say, 100 feet of moulding brought on our delivery. They don't have it at the warehouse our delivery comes out of, but they have 1000 feet at another warehouse (one not so far away). The only choices we're given is to buy chops, have the moulding cut down for UPS, or pay for motor freight shipping.

    Unannounced total changes in moulding finishes are a whole other subject.
     
    shayla likes this.
  4. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    Go, Bruce, go! :D

    What else?
     
    Aiden likes this.
  5. FM Framer

    FM Framer CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    How about this:
    One of my best customers came in a couple weeks ago and chose a Roma moulding, but it is a no show in Lifesaver so - I call Roma and confirm that......the salesperson says they have 38' in New Jersey and 24' in Atlanta(which I say great - I'll take the 24 feet along with other Roma). Long story short - I had to find a replacement due to Roma's failure to deliver.
     
  6. bruce papier

    bruce papier CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    My overall concern is we are having to expend more time, effort, and money to keep our customers' buying experience up to standard while our suppliers aren't doing the same. The number of orders we take where the moulding and/or the mat aren't the same as the sample, one or more of the components is back ordered or discontinued, or there is no way to get materials in a convenient, economical way is increasing every year. I'm afraid all these problems make custom picture framing less attractive to the public.
     
  7. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I agree, Bruce. These behind-the-scenes supply chain issues are something the public doesn't consider (nor should they have to, really), but if we don't have alternatives at the ready it makes us look less competent and reliable. When I experience similar things in other businesses, I try to guess at what is going on in the background causing them.
     
  8. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I print reports from my POS with newly discontinued and new items. At least I will have the numbers and can look up on website what they actually are. It helps

    Quality, matching, out of stocks, finicky finishes, yup, all a problem and becoming the norm.
     
  9. Terry Scidmore CPF

    Terry Scidmore CPF MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I certainly have to agree with this post - and I do have POS, run it every week, and remove the discontinued samples from the wall religiously. I still occasionally find mouldings and matboards are discontinued with the manufacturer or supplier, but still in my POS. The POS helps, but it only helps as long as the manufacturers and suppliers keep the discontinueds current. Some of the suppliers publish a monthly discontinued list, and it pays to go through those lists as the POS may still show a discontinued as current.

    And as Ylva said, quality, matching, finicky finishes are the norm. I've had customers ask why a "custom" frame or matboard can be so different from the sample. One customer told me it was stupid to call it "custom" framing - it was really just a **** shoot - you get what you get.

    The manufacturers/suppliers will usually replace samples that vary if you request. Of course, it is after you've ordered the product that you find out the moulding or matboard is so different, and you pretty much have to start all over.

    I understand the suppliers/manufacturers side of how expensive it is to resample everybody. But still, who are we trying to please in our stores - the customer, is it not? If they aren't happy. they aren't going to frame more pictures.
     

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  10. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    I've had the same problem with those Garrett's, Terry. They're still on the wall, but I'm getting leery.
     
  11. bruce papier

    bruce papier CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    The thing we found scary about this last round of trouble was, in the first case, we had a newer drop list than the customer service rep at the company had and ours was from March. In the second case, the sales rep had been to the shop and didn't remove the twelve or so discontinued samples. We assume he hadn't been informed they had been dropped.
     
  12. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Our problems have been with overall quality of the mouldings. Dents, dings, splits, chips and other finish aberrations. Lately LJ has been the biggest offender. It makes you wonder if they even look at the products they are sending out.
     
  13. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Another thing to consider is that moulding samples do fade or "mellow" and change color. Hardwoods tend to darken with age. Other finishes can exhibit a surprising amount of fading. I recently went through and ordered replacement samples for a number of my LJ pieces. Most were the Confetti line, but there were others as well. Also, Anodic Black metals turn purple, and some of the other anodized finishes fade but are more subtle about it.. Even the lovely inlaid group from Bella can show a lot of changes as the dyes used to color them fade, and the underlying wood age-darkens.
    :cool: Rick
     
  14. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    And once again the exception proves the rule; walnut lightens with age, turning a warm golden color.

    But I can't tell you how many times a customer has called and said "I ordered cherry but I think you sent me maple". A picture (worth 1000 words) reveals that it is indeed, cherry.
     
    shayla likes this.
  15. Terry Scidmore CPF

    Terry Scidmore CPF MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Rick and David, this is so very true, and something to keep in mind with moulding samples in particular.

    Over the years, I've gotten in the habit of checking the samples on the wall in the summer to see how much they have faded or changed color.

    When they are really wacky, I will ask if I can have them replaced, and have offered to pay for the replacements.

    With natural maples, they turn yellow very quickly, and I find I am often turning the sample over to the backside, explaining to the customer their frame will be "this lighter color when it first is produced, and will yellow with age". Many customers with natural maple kitchens or furniture know immediately what I am referring to.

    You can often see the "real" color of the sample by looking along the sides where the color hasn't faded or changed so much. I've found certain lines change color very quickly on the wall, and ended up dumping them because if they had changed in 4 months on my wall, they weren't going to hold up well in the customers home, either.
     
    Rick Granick likes this.
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