Hellbent Blog

Welcome to the Hellbent Blog or Welcome to Hell :)

Our blog is a lighthearted commentary on running an SME in the field of engineering.

Thanks for dropping by - please do read and comment...

 

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  1. When I started this blog it was supposed to be a regular thing... along with our social media posts.  And back to reality...  Unfortunately, all the nice stuff has had to take a back seat since cnc machining requirements went bonkers which is so long ago now it's hard to remember a time when it wasn't this in demand.  

    Manufacturing output in North Walsham (well 1b Cornish Way) is up massively as I am sure is the case in every machine shop.  In the last twelve months we have seen our lead times exceed 6 months for some machines and we have had to turn away massive quantities of work simply because we don't have the machinery or manpower to produce it fast enough.  2017/2018 exceeded all expectations in terms of financials and 2018/2019 thus far is exceeding 17/18...

    Expand we hear you cry!  That sounds great in theory and we have taken on a new full time member of staff - Paul.  And we have been tentatively looking at another machine... but have NO floor space left so that would entail another premises move which is SO expensive, it is currently cost prohibitive and something we simply don't have time to do at the moment being flat out.  And some.

    And lets not forget we did buy that old farm house with holes in the roof, windows that wouldn't open or if they did wouldn't shut, water damaged hanging down lath and plaster ceilings and so much more I could go on for hours.  Having owned it for a year now and lived in it for nearly 10 months, much of the work is done... so we decided we needed to extend it and the plans should be submitted next week (please Sam our friendly architect).  Hence we are quite busy at home at the moment too!

    I am hopeful that having presented my case for the defence up front, I may be excused for not having written a blog post for, splutter, 16 months.  

    In other news, we are trying to get to grips with GDPR and have sorted the SSL Certificate for our website as with Google Chrome's forthcoming update imminent, I didn't fancy a banner coming up every time someone visited the site telling them the website was unsafe.  We now have a lovely little magic padlock in the corner and an https not an http at the beginning of our url.  Whoop Whoop.

    Enjoy the sunshine - it's been a long time coming.

    Sally-Ann

     

  2. Happy New Year – Better Late than Never…

    I think it may possibly be too late to still be wishing everyone a Happy New Year at the end of the third week of January but I’m hanging in there…

    The last quarter of 2016 whizzed by in rather a 'speed of light' fashion for Logan and I with the sale of our house in Happisburgh, our annual shut down and frantic new home hunting.  The latter of which was a #fail so we decided to opt for renting rather than homelessness!  Moving to a property less than half the size of the one you are moving out of with no workshop, garage or outbuildings to speak of was interesting to say the least… thank goodness for friends and family’s spare rooms, garages, sheds and everywhere else our belongings can currently be located frankly.  You know who you are – we really do appreciate you! 

    2017 has started off with more new machining enquiries than we know what to do with.  And curiously they are coming thick and fast from up and down the UK.  On some investigation, it appears for certain search terms, Google has promoted us to page one of its rankings which is rather a luxury… While we are enjoying it while it lasts, we are under no illusions, as search engine optimisation seems to be a fickle business.  Next week we may have plummeted down to page 423.

    In other news (!) the price of metal seems to be going up by the minute – so much so that we are having to write to our customers to warn them that we may not be able to maintain certain pricing structures.  It’s not something we like to do but with metal prices having been low and static for such a long time, we can’t absorb large increases across the board. 

    And finally and most importantly some may say (me possibly?!) – we have found a house to buy.  Yes!  It’s a lovely old farmhouse nine miles up the road from work.  Only snag is it is a little poorly at present.  All being well we should be in possession by early April but it’s still at the ‘fingers crossed’ stage so we’ll have to wait and see.

    And there we have it.  January has been the month of quoting and property negotiations – consequently we quite like 2017 so far. 

    Hope it’s working for everyone else too.