Sunday, January 24, 2021


A customer asked a contractor friend of mine how much it would cost to do this project.

My friend gave him a proposal: $4500

The customer responded: That’s seems really high.

My friend asked: What do you think is a reasonable price for this job?

The customer answered: $2500 maximum

My friend responded: Ok, then I invite you to do it yourself.

The customer answered: I don't know how to.

My friend responded: Alright, then how about for $2500 I'll teach you how to. So besides saving you $2000, you'll learn valuable skills that will benefit you in the future.

The customer answered: Sounds good! Let’s do it!

My friend responded: Great! To get started, you are going to need some tools. You will need a chop saw, table saw, cordless drill, bit set, router, skill saw, jig saw, tool belt, hammer, etc..

The customer answered: But I don't have any of those tools and I can't justify buying all of these for one job.

My friend responded: Ok. Well then for an additional $300 I can rent my tools to you to use for this project.

The customer answered: Okay. That’s fair.

My friend responded: Great! We will start the project on Monday.

The customer answered: I work Monday through Friday. I’m only available on the weekends.

My friend responded: If you want to learn from me then you will need to work when I work. This project will take 3 days so you will need to take 3 days off work.

The customer answered: That means I’m going to have to sacrifice my pay for 3 days or use my vacation time!

My friend responded: That’s true. Remember, when you do a job yourself you need to account for unproductive factors.

The customer answered: What do you mean by that?

My friend responded: Doing a job completely from start to finish includes time spent to plan the project, pick up materials, travel time, gas, set up time, clean up, and waste disposal amongst other things. That’s all in addition to the actual project itself. And speaking of materials, that’s where we will start on Monday so I need you to meet me at the lumberyard at 6:00am.

The customer answered: At 6am?!! My work day doesn’t usually start until 8am!

My friend responded: Well then you’re in luck! My plan is to start on the deck build by 8am. But to do so we have to start at 6am to get materials picked up, loaded and delivered to your job site.

The customer answered: You know, I’m realizing that a lot more goes in to a job than what a customer sees in the finished project. Your proposal of $4500 is very reasonable. I would like you to handle the project.


When you pay for a job, especially a custom job, (whether it’s a physical project or digital project) you pay not only for the material and the work to be completed. You also pay for:

✔️ Knowledge
✔️ Experience
✔️ Custom Skills
✔️ Tools
✔️ Time to plan
✔️ Time to prepare
✔️ Professionalism
✔️ Work Ethic
✔️ Excellence
✔️ Discipline
✔️ Commitment
✔️ Integrity
✔️ Taxes
✔️ Licenses
✔️ Sacrifices
✔️ Liabilities
✔️ Insurance
✔️ Permits

If you request a proposal for custom work to be done, please don’t disrespect a service provider by trying to get them to lower their prices.

If their proposal exceeds your budget, there’s nothing wrong with getting other proposals.

Just remember.. you get what you pay for.

👉🏼 SERVICE PROVIDERS: Know your worth and be confident in it.

👉🏼 CONSUMERS: Recognize their worth and be respectful of it.

Sharing this to support all my friends, family and clients who are Entrepreneurs, Business Owners and Tradesman. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Detecting if a roll number was scanned or typed in.

We usually use barcode scanners to scan a roll number, a load number or a zone into a system. This saves time and reduces entry errors.

Sometimes, the barcode is not readable and the operator must type in the roll number.

It is better when we can tell if the entry was actually scanned or typed manually. For instance, when we investigate a misloaded roll and we can detect that the roll number was typed in, we can suspect that the wrong number was entered, probably causing the error.

There are two ways for the software to detect if the barcode was scanned or typed.

First, many barcodes, such as Code 39, include an asterisk in the barcode. The barcode scanner can often be programmed to forward this to the application which can detect that the barcode was scanned.

A second method is to measure the time between the first and last character entered. If the data was entered in less than one second, it was probably scanned. But, if it took longer, it was probably typed.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Simplify data reentry from system to system

This tip shows a way to simplify reentering data from one computer system to another system. 

If you have two computer systems that do not communicate with each other and you have to re-enter data from one system to another, this tip saves time and minimizes data entry errors.
Let’s take the example of a roll tracking system that needs to send the shipment data to the accounting package. We propose that the roll tracking system print a barcoded report where all the data that needs to be entered is printed with barcodes in the same entry sequence into accounting package.

You would need to connect a "keyboard wedge" barcode scanner on the computer that has access to the accounting package.  An explanation of what we mean is found at

The clerk would get the accounting system ready to enter the data and then scan each barcode in sequence rather than type the data.

For example, a typical accounting system needs to enter the following information:
Customer Number, Order Number, Ship Date, Item Number, Lb shipped

The roll tracking system would print the following report with the same information in the same order using barcodes that can be scanned into the accounting package:


Customer Number 12345

Order Number 1125

Ship Date 10/15/2012 

Item Number  01 

Lb shipped  20125 


Friday, October 31, 2008

Automatic Bundling at Wrapline

Many mills bundle two or more rolls into a package at the winder.

Most omnidirectional barcode scanners can read multiple barcodes on a roll.

With this scanner feature and some clever software, there is no need to do manually rebundle a package in the system after a roll in a package has been downgraded.

The operator just has to put the rolls together with all the barcoded coretags on the end of the last roll where the barcode scanner will scan the package. The rolls are placed on the conveyor feeding the wrapline and the software will see all the roll numbers on the barcodes an automatically bundle the rolls together.

Reduce Waiting Time for Lab Test at the Winder

In some operations, winder operators have to wait for quality data from labs, robotesters, etc, before cutting a jumbo reel.

In typical operations, a strip is taken from the outside of the reel and brought to the lab for testing. The winder must wait for the results before cutting the jumbo.

We propose that the test strip taken from the jumbo be considered the start of the next reel. This is the same paper that is at the spindle of the next jumbo reel.

The paper on the jumbo reel we are talking about was actually tested from the strip taken from the outside of the previous reel. It should therefore be the same as the paper near the spindle of the new reel.

If a jumbo takes 40 minutes to make, we just added 40 minutes to the lab test window.

Improving Performance and Reducing Maintenance on Printos Marsh Stencillers

Although this tip is intended for Printos Marsh drop-on-demand (DoD) stencillers, it may apply to other stencillers. These suggestions have only been tested on Printos Marsh large-character stencillers using porous inks. Printos Marsh stencillers are commonly used in paper mills.

If you mix some of the manufacturer’s solvent with the ink to make it a little lighter and thinner, it will reduce clogging and make printing a little lighter (depending on how much solvent you add to the ink). Some trial and error will determine the best mixture. This saves money because the solvent is cheaper than the ink.

Some customers complain that the stenciller ink seeps into the paper and makes tiny marks at the edge of the sheet. This dilution of the ink will reduce the penetration into the side of the roll.

You can also put solvent into a spray bottle to spray on the face of the print head when there is dust and before and after every shutdown.