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Standard random work job shop doing all the typical things with our machine, cabs, closets, small amounts of 3D and sign work, large slab flattening on occasion, we do a bit of very short run (single piece or two) reproduction moulding. Occasionally we will get some non-ferrous work in aluminum and brass but its rare.
Understood many are likely churning out cabs non stop and dont have the time, nor the desire, to entertain the odd stuff (which is where we like to be) and its most definitely difficult to come across the customer wanting something that involves a few hours of time and is willing to pay, but always thinking of the other markets in our area we may be missing to call on. Architects, designers, of course commercial contractors. But we have started to network with some branding and marketing companies and wondering if anyone has come across any other unique markets in their area to feed their CNC?
Our market is never going to support a shop grinding out cabs all day and the variety in the work is somewhat nice.
Thanks for any input.
This year i have done for example: Tv production work, restaurant stuff, work for upholsterers, furniture parts, signs, art pieces, molds of many kinds and the list goes on. Just saying if you get some ideas out of these.
Many have found me on google ads, and many are word of mouth.
We would really enjoy doing odd stuff more often (of course if it pays) but it's rare here it seems.
We also do lots of odd work. We do the manufacturing for several companies that run impressive web sites claiming to make their products, but don't. About once a week we flatten a few big slabs on the router. Big aluminum parts for machine shops. Plastic parts once in a while. I leave the kitchens to guys that can deal with Ms. house wife.
Best market for you is overflow from the shops that are too busy. Doing the same kind of work they do. All the shops do that because that is where the money is. Talking to a customer about a 3 hour job, can take 3 hours as they want to watch the robot do it's dance. Custom one off has always been a hard road. Whether you do it with a Unisaw and hand tools, or a CNC.
Cutting for other shops during your downtime can be a good thing but make sure you hit your promised delivery times.
I pick up a lot of clients who have dealt with shops like yours but get bumped when the CNC owner unexpectedly needs the machine time.
I agree that the three hour jaw jacker is not a profitable endeavour, those are not the customers we chase which is why the doors to the shop are locked and there is no social hour in here especially from the locals.
I find the odd stuff doesn't pay very well.
I once did a full size Ferrari buck that was way cool, but pounding out several thousand plywood furniture parts per ways pays better.
What about MDF doors for the refacing business?
We do/have done artwork for hotel chains, precast concrete forms, picture and mirror frames, arched molding, speaker cabinets and other stuff.
Mark B., You also stated " but I'm sure there are a few small shops we are missing." Why not find them and cut for them?