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Kevin Flowers

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Post Mon May 11, 2009 5:36 pm

Need to vent

Well hope everyone is having a better day than i am. Ordered some 3164 from Europoint for delivery Friday, they were out of stock. Promised i would have it for Tuesday morning, phone call at 5.15 telling me that i would not be getting it, too late to order from someone else. So i have now lost out on printing Sat, Mon, Tues & possibly best part of Weds depending what time i can get material here for. I cannot believe that a company can run out of an every day vinyl like 3164. I guess its true about putting your eggs in one basket & only ordering from 1 supplier. Eventually some are going to get broken & you end up out of pocket.
Rant Over

Kev
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Chris Wool

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Post Mon May 11, 2009 5:54 pm

off with there heads i say :-?
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Harry Cleary

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Post Mon May 11, 2009 6:24 pm

Had the same thing here with my local hardware store running out of masking tape. :o
Dammed annoying as the next store is 10 miles away. :(
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Nigel Hindley

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Post Mon May 11, 2009 7:40 pm

Well here is my similar story for the day -

We had 100 tshirts to make today and get delivered to an address for 10 am Tuesday morning (tomorrow) a push but possible -

Let down by a next day delivery (should have been Saturday, today doable) - no show - we had to find where our package was get it held there - load our heat press into the car with flock cut ready to go - drive 120 miles to collect parcel, drive another 120 miles where my partner is now as we speak making the t-shirts for delivery this evening. then a drive back home in the morning 220 miles. We always honour our deadlines!

Now you may think that that is bad and this is honestly no exaggeration - at the same time we receive a parcel from a company that promised to deliver direct to customer (we paid extra for this and an express turnaround to ensure the customer got product in time for an event) so here we are with said parcel and not the customer, email just in asking where they are? we then had to - arrange for a friend to take them to customer, now, this involved a 2 hour ferry journey (when phoning to book the ferry was full so we had to wait on standby) a 1 hour drive an overnight stay and then the same tomorrow.

- I'm not finished yet, Parcel arrives with 2 flags 4 weeks late from supplier promising 2 week turnaround, opened parcel and the flags were only one sided they should have 2 sided?

So 10 miles for masking tape we only dream of such convenience!

Having said that the rest day went just dandy!
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Harry Cleary

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Post Mon May 11, 2009 8:18 pm

It happened twice Nigel??? :o :o :D :D
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Nigel Hindley

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Post Mon May 11, 2009 8:27 pm

eh? what you on about Harry?
Last edited by Nigel Hindley on Mon May 11, 2009 10:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Harry Cleary

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Post Mon May 11, 2009 8:29 pm

:D :D
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Post Mon May 11, 2009 8:53 pm

Kev,

Which europoint branch do you use?

I use the glasgow branch and our main vinyl is 3164 and they've always got it in, maybe you could order through them instead?

Andy
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Kevin Flowers

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Post Mon May 11, 2009 9:57 pm

Andy
we order from London which has now all switched down to Bristol but gets delivered out of Deptford & they get their deliveries from Manchester. So i doubt they would want to send it from Scotland. it goes around the houses as it is. Start looking for a new supplier tomorrow joke is we are being asked to buy all our supplies off them & then they can't supply it

Kev
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Shane Drew

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Post Mon May 11, 2009 10:14 pm

I had a similar day yesterday.

When I got back from the UK, I noticed one of my machines had a broken bulk in line... must have happened when I was flushing the system before I went away.

So, I rang the service dept first thing friday morning to arrange a technician to fix it on Monday morning.

Waited all day monday, unable to use my machine, and asked them when the tech was due as I need the machine to finish some work.

The service dept denied me ever ringing :evil: . I was able to give the time and name of the person I spoke to. There was silence, then an apology. They had forgotten to book it in the system. They'll be here some time today :(

I used to use these people all the time but they got too dear. So I changed to someone else. They asked me to come back and they'd 'look after me'.... this is the first job for them since then. Not sure how they interpret 'looking after me' but its a different interpretation than mine :o
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Graeme Harrold

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Post Mon May 11, 2009 10:19 pm

Kevin Flowers wrote:Andy
we order from London which has now all switched down to Bristol but gets delivered out of Deptford & they get their deliveries from Manchester. So i doubt they would want to send it from Scotland. it goes around the houses as it is. Start looking for a new supplier tomorrow joke is we are being asked to buy all our supplies off them & then they can't supply it

Kev


Im not a big buyer of vinyl by any stretch, but was in the process of switching to Europoint untill they made a monumental balls up of a simple order that lost a largeish job for me and the prospect of a lot of ongoing work. so Im sticking with the ones I can trust to deliver even though it is costing a bit more...........
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John Childs

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Post Mon May 11, 2009 11:34 pm

Europoint made a lot of mistakes, so we stopped using them.

Recently they've been trying to convince us to start buying stuff from them again, so we thought we'd give them another chance.

Placed the first order and got a phone call to inform us that because we'd not bought anything from them in the last year, they'd cancelled our credit account.

Joined up thinking, or what? :headbang2:
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Post Mon May 11, 2009 11:50 pm

Its easy to knock a supplier for one mistake,
I have had a few problems with europoint. but at the end of the day, they have done their best to make ammends, even offering to send the goods by cab to us,
I really dont think it fair to dis a company on one incident,
before they have had the chance, at least to apologies. we all make mistakes, don't we?

Peter
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John Childs

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Post Tue May 12, 2009 12:06 am

Peter Normington wrote:Its easy to knock a supplier for one mistake,
I have had a few problems with europoint. but at the end of the day, they have done their best to make ammends, even offering to send the goods by cab to us,
I really dont think it fair to dis a company on one incident,
before they have had the chance, at least to apologies. we all make mistakes, don't we?

Yes, we do all make mistakes Peter, and I wouldn't slag a supplier, who normally gives impeccable service, for an isolated error. In fact I think that us signmakers are generally well served by our suppliers with practically everything being available on a next day basis. Our problems with Europoint were repetitive and, from memory, in a one month span, about half our orders were delivered late. No offer of a taxi ride was offered to me. Quite the reverse.
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Kevin Flowers

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Post Tue May 12, 2009 12:11 am

Peter
they have done the same for me in the past, but of late it seems problem after problem. 5 composite boards scratched, 2 weeks to get a roll of laminate again because of stock issues. Its just a pain that they can't maintain a good service. I believe we have the same Rep (Darren) who always goes out of his way to help

Kev
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Post Tue May 12, 2009 12:54 am

Kevin Flowers wrote:Peter
they have done the same for me in the past, but of late it seems problem after problem. 5 composite boards scratched, 2 weeks to get a roll of laminate again because of stock issues. Its just a pain that they can't maintain a good service. I believe we have the same Rep (Darren) who always goes out of his way to help

Kev


hey Kev, seems we and Peter - have the same problems we all seem to have issues, and they all need sorting out.
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Shane Drew

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Post Tue May 12, 2009 3:50 am

sounds like you all need to put your concerns in writing.

I'm sure the company executives would be happy to hear your concerns. Putting them in writing with dates and references should inspire them to investigate the claims.

It would be easier for them to pin point any problems too, especially if dates are quoted.

No real good will come of being vague on the boards, you need to take this up with the head guy directly.
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John Childs

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Post Tue May 12, 2009 9:23 am

Shane Drew wrote:sounds like you all need to put your concerns in writing.

I'm sure the company executives would be happy to hear your concerns. Putting them in writing with dates and references should inspire them to investigate the claims.

It would be easier for them to pin point any problems too, especially if dates are quoted.

No real good will come of being vague on the boards, you need to take this up with the head guy directly.

Morning Shane.

Although it wasn't done in writing, I did take up my complaints with the company. Whether it was a result of that or something else I don't know, but our account was moved from Manchester to London, and things did improve.

It's all ancient history now, but what brought it all back to mind was that on Friday I received an email from Europoint informing me that our account is being moved back to Manchester. When I made a jocular reference to previous poor service from Manchester I got a reply from our rep saying that if I was uncomfortable with that then I could place the orders with her. Of course, I appreciate the effort, but placing orders isn't the problem, it's receiving them.

I've got to have some sympathy with the lovely Claire and her fellow reps. They try their hardest to win business and then get stabbed in the back by their support staff. Unfortunately it's the reps that have to face the ire of customers, not the people responsible for the problem.

As for not putting it on the boards, I'm not so sure. Like I said above, I won't publicise an odd mistake by a supplier, because we are all human, but I think that one of the points of a board is to warn our fellow signmakers of potential problems. In this case the service I received was so far below the norm that I felt that dealing with Europoint was detrimental to my business and that I had no option but to change supplier.

Also, to be fair, on the thread that ran at the time, it was clear that the majority of unhappy customers were dealing with the same branch as myself, and that signmakers in other parts of the country had no problems.

Like I said, it's history now, so maybe things have changed, and I am happy to give them another go. It didn't get off to an auspicious start with the credit account thingy though. :D
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Cameron Steer

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Post Tue May 12, 2009 9:58 am

Hi All,

Where to begin !!!

Stocks , Like many Orafol have been affected by the recession , they have dropped a despatch shift so are struggling to get the deliveries out on time , we have over 100k of orders outstanding at the moment, our MD is speaking with them today to try and resolve , meanwhile we have doubled our min stock level to help guard against increased lead times, from 7/10 days to 3 weeks at the moment.

Service , deliveries to areas outside Manchester / Bristol / Glasgow and Central London have always been prone to more damage as there are multiple offloads /depots to negotiate before getting to the customer , probably why different areas get different problems , In July Europoint will move onto the Robert Horne Platform and will benifit from all our stock being delivered directly from northampton , the hope and expectation is we will be able to offer our ciustomers a level of service . reduction in damaged goods , wider range of products etc that it would take years to achieve with our present logistics operation.

meanwhile if we have any 3161DT or 1600mm wide we can sell at the 3164 price or slit down to size as required.

Come July while i am sure there will be some hiccups while we settle in i am certain the overall standard of service across the UK will improve vastly and everyone can benifit from a far more reliable service offering.

Europoint will carry on trading as Europoint and our customers wont be charged carriage or for cutting or min order value etc nothing changes, we will simply be part of the RHG group.


Would be happy to answer any questions any of you may have. Please feel free to ring me.
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John Childs

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Post Tue May 12, 2009 10:34 am

Hi Cameron.

Thanks for the input. It is appreciated.

My problem was not transport damage, but rather no delivery at all.

What I was told was happening was that our stuff was being sent to the wrong depot for onward shipment. Nottingham instead of Leicester I believe. What I would have expected to happen is that Nottingham, having a parcel that was delivered in error, would have put it back in the system and we would have got it. it would have been a day late, but I can live with that most of the time, and it wouldn't have been an issue.

What actually happened was that Nottingham did nothing. Our stuff just sat in a corner being ignored until, after prompting from me, somebody chased it up. That was the irritating thing, not that a mistake had been made, but that nobody had done anything about it.

I do appreciate that nobody likes to make a bad news phone call, and the inclination is to hope that somebody else has to deal with it, or that the problem will go away. From our point of view though, if we had known what was happening we could have perhaps done something about it instead of being left with no options and irate customers.

I'm pleased that the system is changing. Delivery from Robert Horne Northampton is brilliant news for us. Their deliveries have always been impeccable.
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Kevin Flowers

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Post Tue May 12, 2009 10:43 am

Cameron
thanks for taking the time to post, obviously i can appreciate the effects of the current climate but if you don't have the product you can't sell it. I can not tell my customer i'll do their job in 2 weeks because my supplier as no product. Has your customers we are asked to make a commitment to Europoint & purchase as much of your range of products rather than shopping around. This suits me because as a small company i do not want to be using different companies & increasing my paperwork workload etc and as a rule i get good service. However recently we have had nearly a 2 week wait for laminate & now the vinyl the biggest problem is we are promised it will be by such & such & date & then receive a call late in the evening the night before to be told we won't be getting it. Then comes the fact that a load of my work is repeat work, or a bit of trade work & we are blamed for changing our material etc. As to the issue with the board i stopped using Europoint because so much board was coming in damaged but i was assured by our Rep we would have no more problems first order of 5 x 3mtr x 1.5mtr sheets & 3 were damaged. Not from the transport but in the warehouse because these boards had been trimmed then palletised with a scrap board as protection. This then puts my work flow out & at worst i miss a deadline, recently i had to flood coat boards that came in scratched & you could see the marks through the vinyl only slightly but it was there. Luckily the customer was over the moon with the job and that it was completed on time it was never commented.
Hopefully things will improve only time will tell. I also second Johns comments because our rep goes out of his way to try & resolve within the constraints of what your company allows.

Kev
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Cameron Steer

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Post Tue May 12, 2009 11:03 am

Thanks John / Kev for letting me know, i have just spoken to Orafol who have advised they are moving back to a 4 shift operation , this wont mean catching up overnight but at least they have listened and are responding , it may take a couple of weeks to catch up.

Its good to have the chance to respond and do always feel free to call me directly will always try to help.
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Mark Latchford

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Post Tue May 12, 2009 11:34 am

Need to Vent

I've had very mixed dealings with Europoint in that one moment they surprise you with excellent service and the next 'The we don't give a dam attitude' We order loads of Foamex panels and constantly ask for corner protectors to be used when they are sent to us Even had an Email back from Europoint saying that all our sheet materials including Dibond will have corner protectors on. But still they don't. We now send any sheets back without corner protectors on just to annoy them into supplying the service they have said they will provide. On the other hand they have left something off our orders and then had them couriered to us later in the day. The worst thing about Europoint I think is definetley there packaging skills and protection of supplies.
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Cameron Steer

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Post Tue May 12, 2009 11:47 am

Hi Mark,

Corner protectors should be used for full sheets but its more difficult for cut panels , if there are many cut panels in deifferent sizes the time it would take would make it impractical. i would hope that you would only return anything that was damaged and not just to annoy us , if anyone at EP did something on purpose just to annoy customers they wouldnt last long. i will get some clarity from the warehouse manager re the skillets and copy paste his reply.

All the best
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Mark Latchford

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Post Tue May 12, 2009 12:39 pm

Cameron

No this is on full sheets of Di bond and Foamex and I have had your area manager from bristol up to my Factory to see the state of the deliveries we are getting. He has assured me that he has spoken with Manchester
and they have told him emphatically that we will have corner protectors
on all sheets. They come wrapped in a bit of Cardboard with tape at the ends in 3 positions so that they don't fall out of the wrapping but they are not even strapped down or up against the sides or floor of the delivery vehicles. With other materials banging against them and the general movement of the load in transport the edges get damaged very easily.
Your area manager witnessed a delivery with the branch manager from bristol and was amazed at how the stuff was packed and sent out.
Yes I did send 1 delivery back after watching the driver drop some 10mm Foamex sheeting of the lorry onto the floor on it's corners and sent it straight back. He didn't even come into the factory to ask for any help in
unloading which we do every time we have a delivery,but with no protectors on I thought No I am not taking this, I am not even going to look at the possible edge damage and rang the branch and told them why
I was sending it back. I had only 2 days previously asked for the protectors again saying that I was getting no Protectors on any of the Sheets I was ordering. I do not think it is unreasonable to expect materials to be wrapped and packaged properly when most people in this trade order materials in for next day usage only to find that lackadaisical packaging can mean that we are late with a job. If you took more care of this side of your business perhaps more people would use you and we could feel more secure in placing Orders with you knowing that the material will be usable when it arrives
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Cameron Steer

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Post Tue May 12, 2009 12:48 pm

Hi Mark,

Your words not mine,

We now send any sheets back without corner protectors on just to annoy them

I will look into it for you and revert back, ill speak to Steve to get more details.

Ill phone you when i have the answers.

All the best
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Kevin Flowers

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Post Tue May 12, 2009 1:37 pm

Cameron
can i just say that i am glad you visit the boards, out of everyone i have spoke to no one offered an alternative product. There is now no stock of any 3164 which is what Bristol told me this morning & they can't guarantee the delivery date of when they will get it. I asked them about the 3161DT & they go yeah we got 4 rolls of that, which aint going to last long. Tried to order a roll of 1370mm banner & 760mm banner no 760mm in stock so back to cutting up 1370mm for small banners. So hopefully the only way at the moment is up and i look forward to the new transition.

Kev
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Cameron Steer

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Post Tue May 12, 2009 4:55 pm

Hi Kevin,

We do have a small amount showing of both 1600mm wide and 3161 in the gloss white which will do at the same price , we do have the 1370mm banner and will do the 760mm in the blockout grade at the same price also, stock is due in on Thursday.

The Boards are a great tool and i do point people in its direction , am glad to have an input.

Regards

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