Page 3 of 21 FirstFirst 12345678910111213 ... LastLast
Results 41 to 60 of 412

Thread: Kirk Frameworks

  1. #41
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Bozeman MT
    Posts
    1,786
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Kirk Frameworks

    Quote Originally Posted by e-RICHIE View Post
    yo dave get a hand towel for this one atmo -

    you came up through the ranks of production in a house, and at a time when said house was revered
    for its links to the sport (sadly, they pissed that away; sorry for the editorial atmo). you worked at all
    the stations, became a go-to guy there for many of the team frames, and toiled for a good long time in
    relative anonymity. according to my opinion, your lineage has provided you with the most complete set
    of chops of any north american framebuilder currently working. the kind of experience you have runs
    circles around the average cat who toils one-at-a-time in the typical internet era frame shop. few, if any,
    will ever have the miters, the slots, the alignment checks, or even the personal contacts you had before
    you set out on your own. it just can't happen like that anymore atmo. any framebuilder who is not jealous
    of your background should be. you go dave atmo.

    I consider myself to be fortunate to have been given the opportunity to go through all the steps. I can't see that happening again any time soon.

    After reading your homage I feel I need a cigarette.

    Here's to you kid.



    dave
    D. Kirk
    Kirk Frameworks Co.
    www.kirkframeworks.com


  2. #42
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States
    Posts
    2,835
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Kirk Frameworks

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Kirk View Post
    I consider myself to be fortunate to have been given the opportunity to go through all the steps. I can't see that happening again any time soon.
    Dave Wages said something similar, he felt like he was one of the last guys that would be able to come up the way he did. I know I'm not the only new guy who's fairly envious of the opportunity. When I was getting the hang of braze ons (which gave me more trouble than anything believe it or not) I would wish I could have worked for a builder. But hey, at least I learned to flux core. Oh wait...
    Eric Doswell, aka Edoz
    Summoner of Crickets
    http://edozbicycles.wordpress.com/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/edozbicycles/
    In Before the Lock

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    352
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Kirk Frameworks

    What percentage of your customers are in true need of "custom geometry" and what percentage use stock measurements but are purchasing "made-to-measure" for other reasons?
     

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Bozeman MT
    Posts
    1,786
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Kirk Frameworks

    Quote Originally Posted by edoz View Post
    Dave Wages said something similar, he felt like he was one of the last guys that would be able to come up the way he did. I know I'm not the only new guy who's fairly envious of the opportunity. When I was getting the hang of braze ons (which gave me more trouble than anything believe it or not) I would wish I could have worked for a builder. But hey, at least I learned to flux core. Oh wait...
    It was a great way to learn but it didn't come at no cost. When I started at Serotta I spend a huge number of hours with my hands in the very stinky sand blaster gloves while amassing a fortune of $6.50/hr. It was very 'wax on, wax off' but without any real plan as it was being made up as I went along. It still took years and luck and a bit of cajoling but in the end it was worth it for me. There were lots of guys that went through (or started to go through) the same thing Wages and I did but never made it anywhere so it was far from a guarantee. One of the problems was that after you got the hang of doing water bottle bosses you still did them all day, everyday, for months before you got to teach the next guy and move on. It wasn't like you moved on at your own pace. Most never moved on at all.

    When my family would ask how I like working there in the early days I said something like - "well it might be dark and dirty but at least it's loud."

    Thanks for the comment.

    dave
    D. Kirk
    Kirk Frameworks Co.
    www.kirkframeworks.com


  5. #45
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Bozeman MT
    Posts
    1,786
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Kirk Frameworks

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnHemlock View Post
    What percentage of your customers are in true need of "custom geometry" and what percentage use stock measurements but are purchasing "made-to-measure" for other reasons?
    Good question - I honestly don't know but I'd say the majority could get by with a stock bike but would still benefit from having one made to measure. if I had to throw a number out there I'd say about 30% of my clients NEED custom geometry. And of course there are a good number that are custom due to the end use of the bike.

    Frankly most everyone could ride a Trek but at the same time most everyone would have more fun on a handbuilt.......... and in my mind fun is the reason we ride.

    Dave
    D. Kirk
    Kirk Frameworks Co.
    www.kirkframeworks.com


  6. #46
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    In the woods of NH
    Posts
    1,480
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Kirk Frameworks

    Dave,

    I understand why you made your choice to be one man show, but given your background, what advice do you have for a small custom production shop like IF?

    Gary

    BTW, huge car guy myself, and I always react to lines, especially rear quarters. I think that the Terraplane has sexy rear quarters.

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Southerntier of NY
    Posts
    57
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Kirk Frameworks

    Dave:

    Thanks for taking the time with this site. As far as the customer service lesson from that shop do you think it would've been much different if Paul had shown up toward the end?

    You're right in how Danny treated people. He was a very decent guy.

    Parris
     

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Bozeman MT
    Posts
    1,786
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Kirk Frameworks

    Quote Originally Posted by GSmith View Post
    Dave,

    I understand why you made your choice to be one man show, but given your background, what advice do you have for a small custom production shop like IF?

    Gary

    BTW, huge car guy myself, and I always react to lines, especially rear quarters. I think that the Terraplane has sexy rear quarters.


    Hey GS,

    You have asked the $64,000 question my friend and I have a very long answer that might be best done over a beer, lunch and dinner – but – I’ll give you my Cliff’s notes version for now and if you ever want to talk more just let me know.

    Cash flow and profit are obviously the things we are shooting for here and one without the other is worthless in the long run. The question is how does one get both of those things to happen at the same time.

    I would call your shop a medium sized shop and IMO this is by far the toughest place to be. Not small enough to be small or big enough to be big and caught in no-man’s land. One thing I’ve seen over and over is that medium sized shops think that by getting the production numbers up, and building in batches, it will make you more profitable. It will not – period – full stop. It just won’t. Most shops don’t believe this and struggle perpetually to sell a few more bikes and to then build those bikes in batches that will save money and they all, if lucky, just make ends meet. Most will never break out of the cycle and really turn a solid profit.

    If I may be so presumptuous I’d guess you are building about 10 frames a day and to follow sales some are steel, some are Ti, some are carbon and all are different sizes. If you try to organize them as they pass through the shop with the hope that you will save some money by making two 56 cm steel bikes on the same day you are wasting your time and lots of money. I don’t know where you stand on this and if it hits home at all but if you lean this way it’s best to give up on the idea entirely. It will not save money and in the end will cost you plenty.

    It should go without saying but just in case it doesn’t – all the tooling needs to be silly flexible and have short set up times. If you have a chainstay bridge mitering fixture that takes so long to set up and you have the urge to cut a months worth at a time to ‘save’ money you are burning money in a huge way. Take the time to invest in the tools that will allow for very quick set ups. That said…………..

    The medium sized shop needs to concentrate on throughput time. Actual hands on hours are important but throughput time is more so. Lets say it takes 10 man/hours to make one of your bikes but you have that bike in WIP (WIP = Work in Progress) over a two-week period. In other words it takes 10 days to do the 10 hours of work – this is common BTW. So you are doing on average 1 hour a work a day for ten days. Doesn’t sound too bad until you realize how many man-hours you have ‘on the shelf’ or in stock if you will. On the 9th day you have 9 hours of labor and the entire pile or raw materials that you are in effect floating and financing. The medium sized business cannot make a profit and have good cash flow doing this.

    IMO what needs to be done is to change the way you look at your production. In most shops the sales dept shoves work into production and hopes it comes out the far end ASAP. The shop deals with this by holding onto some orders so that they have a few of the same size to build at a time to ‘save money’ and be more ‘efficient’. This is the classic way to do it and it feels right. But for a medium sized shop it is slow death. Instead the shop needs to concentrate on getting as many bikes into the UPS truck as possible everyday. Nothing else should matter. One needs to look at the end of production because that is where the money is. We don’t get paid for starting things; only for finishing them so concentrate on finishing them. This means you should not start a bike that will stall because the shipping dept is understaffed or at capacity. If the end of the line needs help and can’t keep up there is zero reason to start more bikes at the front of the line so the guy who normally miters the tubes needs to go over into the shipping and crumple newspaper and get the things into boxes and out the door. It might sound crazy to pay a welder $20/hr to stuff boxes but it is cheaper than putting his welding labor and raw material on a hook for ten days while the rest of the shop tries to catch up. Keep careful track of how many bikes go into the truck every day and let the rest serve that.

    If you concentrate on getting bikes out the door and not how many you get into WIP then you will find that batching work makes no sense. The welder should finish welding the bike and then NOT hang it on a hook and wait until the rack is full so he can then be ‘efficient’ and roll that entire rack to the guy doing the braze-ons. He should instead finish his task and walk it across the room and put it in the hands of the next guy and so on and so forth. In a perfect world the bike would never hang on a hook. Never. It should always be being worked on. This is near impossible but it is what needs to be aimed for. If you do this you will find that people stay fresher and make fewer ($) mistakes, your inventory costs will plummet, you will put bikes through the shop faster and get paid for them sooner and you will have a marketing advantage as you can brag about your fast delivery.

    I will leave you with a short story of what happened at Serotta. Ben bought the company back and I came back to work there (things were so bad I took a leave of absence) and we had the goal of completely changing production. At the time it took about 10 hours to build a given bike and we were doing about 12 bikes a day and it took a whopping 15 work days to get a bike through the shop and into the truck. There were racks everywhere full of -completed bikes. We worked on average only about 40 minutes a day on any given bike and there were well over 200 bikes in WIP. Think about the carrying cost of that. Staggering. We then concentrated on not getting bikes started but getting them finished. For a few weeks no new orders hit the floor and we just took the bikes that were closest to be done and worked on those and got them in the truck and then worked out way back. This meant highly paid welders and machinists stuffed boxes. Once we started to get the shop flushed out of all the WIP I went around and removed the storage racks from around the shop. I eventually started cutting pegs off the remaining racks and the rule was that if you set a bike on the floor it was your last day working there. So that meant that each guy finished his task and had to bring it to the next guy as there was no where to put it otherwise and on down the line it went.

    The results were fantastic. We reduced the throughput time from 15 days to 3 while reducing the WIP from 250ish to 45 bikes, we got the bikes out the door so damn fast that we could promise 2 week delivery on anything worldwide, we reduced our inventory and labor-carrying cost by 60% and we had a one time cash infusion of $250,000 from getting all that shit out the door. The fact that all that WIP was gone meant we had a huge amount of free floor space and we had cash so we bought more machines that we could set up for a dedicated purpose to save set up time/cost. It was a revelation. We had cash flow and profit at the same time for the first time ever. People took real pride in their work even if it meant the machinist was sweeping the floor and so much money came in that it made financial sense for the welder to wad up packing material if need be. It saved the company from certain demise.

    There are 1000 steps I’ve skipped in the middle but you get the idea. If I have completely missed the mark and you are not in this situation I apologize for wasting your time. If that’s the case then maybe someone at Waterford will read this and take note and stop the swirl they are no doubt going through.

    FWIW Ben and I did not invent this idea but it’s the work of a guy named Goldratt who wrote a book called “The Goal”. We used it like a bible. We bought a stack of them and each employee was required to read it. If you didn’t read and understand it you were shown the door. I’ve bought many copies of the book and given to many builders and some have made real changes that have helped them in a big way. Some view it like Amway or some shit and are too cool to read it. It’s their money to waste and they are the ones that suffer. I use the principles even in my one-man shop everyday. Buy a dozen copies and give them to the entire staff and then implement the ideas with brutal force and you will have money in your pockets.

    I hope that is the direction you wanted to go with this and that I didn’t bore you. Let me know if you need anything else.

    Dave

    P.S. - thanks for the Terraplane comment. I like the look too.
    D. Kirk
    Kirk Frameworks Co.
    www.kirkframeworks.com


  9. #49
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Bozeman MT
    Posts
    1,786
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Kirk Frameworks

    Quote Originally Posted by parris View Post
    Dave:

    Thanks for taking the time with this site. As far as the customer service lesson from that shop do you think it would've been much different if Paul had shown up toward the end?

    You're right in how Danny treated people. He was a very decent guy.

    Parris
    I think if Pauly was there that guy would have had an eye smoke shut. I hope Schuss is doing well. They are the good guys.

    Dave
    D. Kirk
    Kirk Frameworks Co.
    www.kirkframeworks.com


  10. #50
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Kennesaw Ga 30144
    Posts
    3,456
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Kirk Frameworks

    dave;

    "the goal" was required reading for ashland / valvoline division mgr's and beyond....such a shame, "in charge" washington sba mgr's and subordinates ..don't flip a page or 2 ....
    come to think about it, colin chapman bibled it at lotus factory....
    thank ya,

    ronnie
     

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Boston, Massachusetts, United States
    Posts
    6,861
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Kirk Frameworks

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Kirk View Post
    Hey GS,

    You have asked the $64,000 question my friend and I have a very long answer that might be best done over a beer, lunch and dinner – but – I’ll give you my Cliff’s notes version for now and if you ever want to talk more just let me know.

    ...
    Whoa. That was fantastic.

    Thanks Dave!
    GO!

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Bozeman MT
    Posts
    1,786
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Kirk Frameworks

    Quote Originally Posted by ron l edmiston View Post
    dave;

    "the goal" was required reading for ashland / valvoline division mgr's and beyond....such a shame, "in charge" washington sba mgr's and subordinates ..don't flip a page or 2 ....
    come to think about it, colin chapman bibled it at lotus factory....
    thank ya,

    ronnie
    It's always surprising just how many people think that something so basic could not help their biz and that their biz is somehow unique and won't be helped with such silly and basic principles. Those people would be wrong. Their biz is not unique and it will help - you just need to be brave enough to make changes and let it.

    Very cool Ronnie.

    Dave
    D. Kirk
    Kirk Frameworks Co.
    www.kirkframeworks.com


  13. #53
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Bozeman MT
    Posts
    1,786
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Kirk Frameworks

    Quote Originally Posted by davids View Post
    Whoa. That was fantastic.

    Thanks Dave!
    It must be raining in Dooster today. Thanks for taking the time to read.

    dave
    D. Kirk
    Kirk Frameworks Co.
    www.kirkframeworks.com


  14. #54
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    6,971
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Kirk Frameworks

    Dave,
    your response to Gary was one of the most interesting responses in this smoked out section and underscores how experienced you really are because of your background. To throw you a curve, what do your think you'd be doing now if Ben S would not have called you back for a job?
     

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Down under
    Posts
    1,501
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Kirk Frameworks

    Snipped fpr clarity
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Kirk View Post
    Hey GS,
    Cash flow and profit are obviously the things we are shooting for here and one without the other is worthless in the long run. The question is how does one get both of those things to happen at the same time.
    Dave
    P.S. - thanks for the Terraplane comment. I like the look too.
    there is no substitute for experience
    Bloody Bonza post reply Dave
    One smart fella
    with a lot of good stuff
    Cheers Dazza
    The rock star is dying. And it's a small tragedy. Rock stars have blogs now. I have no use for that kind of rock star.
    Nick Cave

    www.llewellynbikes.com
    The usual Facebook page
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/llewellyncustombicycles/
    Darrell Llewellyn McCulloch

  16. #56
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Bozeman MT
    Posts
    1,786
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Kirk Frameworks

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
    Dave,
    your response to Gary was one of the most interesting responses in this smoked out section and underscores how experienced you really are because of your background. To throw you a curve, what do your think you'd be doing now if Ben S would not have called you back for a job?
    That is indeed a curve.

    I had to think about this while mowing my dandelions and while doing so recalled that at that time I had two other things going on. One was that I was studying martial arts and working toward my black belt and was at the dojo 4-5 days a week. I remember thinking that I wanted to get good at the art and then teach it. Teaching in a dojo would be a very rewarding experience.

    During my leave of absence I was also studying jewelry making and silversmithing at Skidmore College where Karin was teaching. I really enjoyed it but doubt I could have made a living with jewelry as I just couldn't get behind the fru-fru part of the whole deal. I made lots of ironic pieces and table sculptures that made fun of the people who might want to buy them........... not the best business plan IMO.

    Either way I doubt I'd have been away from bike stuff for too long. It's in me and has got to come out.


    Dave
    D. Kirk
    Kirk Frameworks Co.
    www.kirkframeworks.com


  17. #57
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Bozeman MT
    Posts
    1,786
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Kirk Frameworks

    Quote Originally Posted by Dazza View Post
    Snipped fpr clarity


    there is no substitute for experience
    Bloody Bonza post reply Dave
    One smart fella
    with a lot of good stuff
    I'm not sure what 'bonza' means down under but I'm going to assume it's a good thing.

    Thanks,

    dave
    D. Kirk
    Kirk Frameworks Co.
    www.kirkframeworks.com


  18. #58
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Boston, Massachusetts, United States
    Posts
    6,861
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Kirk Frameworks

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Kirk View Post
    It must be raining in Dooster today. Thanks for taking the time to read.

    dave
    See, now I bet you just looked at a weather map.
    GO!

  19. #59
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    3,697
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Kirk Frameworks

    Thank you for the reply to Gary, Dave. And also thanks for the book recommendation--I just ordered it.

    Can you describe a routine or ritual that you find valuable, either from a measurable efficiency standpoint or a less measurable, mental standpoint? I'm not talking about anything directly involved with joining pipes--I'm talking about organizing your shop space, or cleaning and organizing your tools, or the like.
    Dan Fuller, local bicycle enthusiast

  20. #60
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    no shore, mass
    Posts
    12,699
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Kirk Frameworks

    great post.
    merlin always got entranced by the process... at the expence of everything else.

    killed then in the end...
    great take on the middle sized frame shops.
     

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •