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O/T: Lockheed, Martin Marietta, Linkbelt. Did some work for them. Anyone else?

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  • O/T: Lockheed, Martin Marietta, Linkbelt. Did some work for them. Anyone else?

    Yeah, Contractors always stiffed me. 3 months out!/ Thing is, I always knew the check was coming.

    Push and shove. Gov was always 60 days out for my check on the work...Oh well. It always gets there, slow as chit.

    Sorry, venting the old days. JR

  • #2
    Hey, I started my welding and machine business in 1981 and I do very much remember the push and shove for payments both civilian and government. Lockheed, NASA, Navy, on and on...

    Hadn't thought about it in years.... good old times... Hahaha
    1973 SB 10K .
    BenchMaster mill.

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    • #3
      General Dynamics locally here. Along with a "giant" pharmaceutical company long gone.

      Better deliver exactly on time, to the right door with ALL the paperwork in the correct order in the correct packets on the correct desks. If you don't, it'll cost ya.

      Jump through the hoop then wait 120-180 days for parts purchased on net 30 terms. The people who were in charge of paying the little people were always on vacation or otherwise occupied or couldn't be reached.

      Heck with that nonsense. Aside from the bragging rights there was no real benefit to doing work for them and plenty of BS. There are a lot of other customers out there that pay just as well and pay on time or (gosh!) early.

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      • #4
        Do the work. At the end of the month submit invoice on the correct form, and expect payment in 90 days. At about the 89th day, they'd look at the invoice, manage to find a mistake, and reject it for resubmission. Resubmit and you go to the end of the queue, for another 90 days. If you were lucky you'd get paid 180 days after the end of the month you'd done the work in.

        My friend had a machine on hire to an outfit like this, triple manned, so 24 hours/day seven days a week, so great money if he could ever get paid. After 6 months of no income his bank manager called him in and advised him to go back to day working for farmers for cash money.
        Problem was the machine was working in the bottom of a huge cofferdam, with no way to drive it out. In the end he had to bribe the night shift crane operator to lift it out about 2am when there was no management about to object.
        Luckily for him, during this period, his wife owned a small corner grocery, so they'd lived by eating all the canned and packet food from the shop..

        Had to take the company to court before he got anything from them.
        'It may not always be the best policy to do what is best technically, but those responsible for policy can never form a right judgement without knowledge of what is right technically' - 'Dutch' Kindelberger

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        • #5
          Got burned once and learned from it. Now the customers that pay every 30 or less like clockwork get priority, everyone else waits their turn. I have a couple customers that insist on 90 day periods, I got no problem with it, they just pay more for the same work.
          I just need one more tool,just one!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by wierdscience View Post
            Got burned once and learned from it. Now the customers that pay every 30 or less like clockwork get priority, everyone else waits their turn. I have a couple customers that insist on 90 day periods, I got no problem with it, they just pay more for the same work.
            HaHa, great idea. Just charge the interest up front for the slow pays. And the best part is they never realize they're getting dinged. The quote is the quote, buy or go somewhere else.
            .
            "People will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time they will pick themselves up and carry on" : Winston Churchill

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            • #7
              GM. The Cheque is coming. Maybe...... The way they strong arm small tool shops into being banks is sickening. They're not the only ones, but they're the worst ones I've seen. Over a year to get paid sometimes (they don't pay until part is through PPAP) , and even then you need to play hostage with tooling sometimes..... The best hope of making any money on new tooling programs is to hope the part needs a few major revisions along the way. They always pay for those, sometimes very quickly because they need to tooling back pronto. To get the job in the first place they beat you down so much on initial price it's enough to leave bruises. "We really want to have the tooling built here, but I need you to sharpen your pencil and get close to this quote from China".....It's almost like a game.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by TGTool View Post

                HaHa, great idea. Just charge the interest up front for the slow pays. And the best part is they never realize they're getting dinged. The quote is the quote, buy or go somewhere else.
                Reduced to the simple truth. And I have told them such in face to face meetings. If they are asking me to be a bank, then I will behave as a bank, which means agreeing to my terms and paying me interest

                The neat thing is, certain companies, even large ones, have started paying with E-cards. I usually see money in the bank from those guys in 2-3 working days after delivery of product. I have told the slow pays on several occasions that I would get to their work, after I get to XX's work first, because they pay so much faster. The look on their faces is priceless
                I just need one more tool,just one!

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                • #9
                  Doing work for contracting companies..... "you get paid when we get paid". Or actually 60 days after that.
                  4357 2773 5150 9120 9135 8645 1007 1190 2133 9120 5942

                  Keep eye on ball.
                  Hashim Khan

                  Everything not impossible is compulsory

                  "There's no pleasing these serpents"......Lewis Carroll

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                  • #10
                    The annoying thing about that is that under the terms of most main construction contracts here in the UK (and has been so for many years) payment has to be made by the client within 28 days of the Engineer certifying the payment due. Doesn't stop the main contractors hanging the suppliers and sub contractors out to dry by delaying their payments for months and months.
                    'It may not always be the best policy to do what is best technically, but those responsible for policy can never form a right judgement without knowledge of what is right technically' - 'Dutch' Kindelberger

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                    • #11
                      The worst part is if they start going under..... and keep trying to get you to do more.
                      One place I knew the machine room foreman and my brother worked there. At the time they owed me around 4 K .. not a lot for some shops , but about 3 months overhead for me.
                      So very near tontyevend I got in there late one afternoon..I get in the owners office and say, I would settle for that surface grinder you have, it's worth less than you owe me. And he says.. We are not dead in the water yet, we are working on a plan to keep going.. so .....no surface grinder for me..
                      WIthin 24 hrsvtge gates had a new chain and lock...done... tits up....
                      After a few months there was an auction there..l went there.... and the Auctioneer said, There may be a few things missing youmwould expect to see here, but when the men dont all get paid, things happen.
                      Luckily though someone I knew had grabbed a few things, they had no use for.. must have felt sorry me ., and gave me a sine bar, and a Harig type punch former.. Electrode grinder..

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                      • #12
                        I did business with most of the big oil companies. We had to train them to pay on time. When they would order a machine they had to pay 50% within 10 days of ordering. Then at completion and before delivery of the machine they had to pay in full. Only two times did I ever have to hammer two different companies. They paid the 50%. We built the machine. When the machine was completed they sent their inspector to sign off on the machine. After that they had 10 days to have the money in my account. With these two companies when the money wasn't in my account then I sold the machines to their competitors. All this was in the contract clear as day. They had no legal recourse. I had told them up front that is what I would do if they didn't pay on time. Word got out pretty fast that I didn't play games with the money. I feel sorry for the guys that get behind the eight ball and really don't have a chance to get their money on time.
                        Location: The Black Forest in Germany

                        How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JRouche View Post
                          Yeah, Contractors always stiffed me. 3 months out!/ Thing is, I always knew the check was coming.

                          Push and shove. Gov was always 60 days out for my check on the work...Oh well. It always gets there, slow as chit.

                          Sorry, venting the old days. JR
                          I was on the US contractor bidlist for a long time. Mostly all I ever got from that was people calling me up and wanting to charge me to tell me how to be a government contractor. One of the other thing I would get is weird calls for stock orders of things I never heard of. Once in a while I'd get calls from another government contractor asking me to write the spec for a job they didn't know how to write with the impression that if I kissed their ass, asked if they wanted more, and did it all for free I might actually get to bid that portion with them. It was all bull**** of course. Every government job I ever got was because somebody who knew me called me up and told me they wanted me to bid a job. A couple times I was told to update my contractor listing so I could bid a job.

                          When I first started doing GSA stuff every job was invoiced from a purchase order and took about 60 days to pay (if it was direct for the government), then they updated around 2000-05ish and started paying PO invoices faster, and then a few years later went to credit card for everything. I would get paid in a few days from getting a signoff of completion. Sometimes the same day somebody would call me with a credit card number. The last couple jobs I did for the Army they told me I could do progressive billing, but I was done so much faster than they expected that it didn't matter.

                          Worst pay time I ever had was as a sub for a sub on a network cabling job for McDonald Douglas. Just about broke me in 1995. They just refused to even respond to billing, demand, and late notices for months and months (I did all the work and provided all the materials). Finally we sent a letter to the Commandant of the Marine Corps informing him of our intent to file a lien on his marine base. 3 days later the primary sub received a FedEx envelope with payment in full. He was in my office the same day with a check. I did a lot of work for that guy over the years, but neither of us ever did another job for the Marine Corps or for McDonald Douglas. LOL. Army, Airforce, Justice, misc GSA, yes. McDonald Douglas. NOPE! I even provided some materials for Lockheed and later Loral on an aerostat site (because somebody I knew called me.)



                          Last edited by Bob La Londe; 12-19-2020, 01:18 PM.
                          *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 754 View Post
                            The worst part is if they start going under..... and keep trying to get you to do more.
                            One place I knew the machine room foreman and my brother worked there. At the time they owed me around 4 K .. not a lot for some shops , but about 3 months overhead for me.
                            So very near tontyevend I got in there late one afternoon..I get in the owners office and say, I would settle for that surface grinder you have, it's worth less than you owe me. And he says.. We are not dead in the water yet, we are working on a plan to keep going.. so .....no surface grinder for me..
                            WIthin 24 hrsvtge gates had a new chain and lock...done... tits up....
                            After a few months there was an auction there..l went there.... and the Auctioneer said, There may be a few things missing youmwould expect to see here, but when the men dont all get paid, things happen.
                            Luckily though someone I knew had grabbed a few things, they had no use for.. must have felt sorry me ., and gave me a sine bar, and a Harig type punch former.. Electrode grinder..
                            Its bad as well if your equipment is on their site when they go under overnight leaving your stuff under lock and key with the Receiver in possession. Can take months and months to get it back, and often you are making monthly payments on the stuff. Big stuff you can usually get back eventually because its fairly easy to prove its yours, but smaller stuff you might have had for years, there probably isn't a paper trail of ownership any more.

                            Late one day we got word that a customer was going under the following morning, with our plant on site. We went down but the gates were locked, so we came back with an ex army 6x6 recovery truck, rammed the gates, and drove our stuff out. Had to leave the D8 and 2 crawler cranes on the grass verge, because we couldn't get the transport for them for a couple of days.

                            'It may not always be the best policy to do what is best technically, but those responsible for policy can never form a right judgement without knowledge of what is right technically' - 'Dutch' Kindelberger

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Couple decades ago I was working for a global hydraulics OEM... in one of the team review meetings one of the executives said how "..lwe're competing with Thailand" and more generally worldwide. I raised my hand and asked "Who is "we"?"

                              I'm not going to compete for pennies with some other guy on the other side of the world, while the executives are banking their 7-figure salaries. I walked. I refuse to do "global" business -- everything I do is either local, or used. Preferably made in USA.
                              25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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