More Ilford Gloom!

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Chris Lee, Sep 16, 2004.

  1. Chris Lee

    Chris Lee Member

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    I don't want to get involved in scare mongering, but....

    I work in a large college here in the UK, and have just placed our start of term order with Firstcall (large uk mail order firm). Included with that order was about £2000 (yes thousand!) worth of Ilford chemicals (multigrade dev, Hypam etc.) I ordered Ilford (as I always do) to show some support, and do my little bit to keep the company on it's feet.

    I have just got of the phone from Firstcall, and they can't supply any Ilford materials because Ilford are putting everything on back order, with no firm date as to when they will supply!

    Now I can't wait for Ilford, we have over 200 photography students wanting to get in the darkrooms, and I have no chemicals!! So I have had to take Paterson chemicals as a replacement! And I am sure we are not the only college in the same position!

    This is all very good for Paterson, but I can't see how Ilford
    are going to continue if they are loosing orders like this!
     
  2. sparx

    sparx Member

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    I've been waiting for three weeks for some ID11 i ordered at my local store and they've been told the same. Back order with no firm delivery date. I'm suprised they are doing this, you would have thought they would be grateful for every little order at the moment.
     
  3. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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    Mmmm funny, indeed. Must be some new management theory being put into practice.
    The anthracite suits rule, but not OK!
     
  4. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Maybe suits should carry a government health warning when you buy one?

    "WARNING WEARING OF A SUIT MAY IMPAIR YOUR ABILITY TO THINK OUTSIDE OF THE IMMEDIATE ISSUE AND CONSIDER THE LONG TERM".

    Some days I'm so happy that when I finished the last job where I had to wear a suit I added it to the bonfire as soon as I got home :wink:
     
  5. Neil Souch

    Neil Souch Subscriber

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    Paterson chemicals as a replacement! And I am sure we are not the only college in the same position!

    This is all very good for Paterson, but I can't see how Ilford
    are going to continue if they are loosing orders like this![/QUOTE]


    Very interesting. I run a business and I would flip at the thought of losing this kind of order. This also explains why the 7dayshop are out of HP5+. Tried to order some for an October holiday on Sunday but have received an email back saying "no stocks at present," so are taking Tri-X and Neopan 400 instead. I can't understand what Ilford are up to!

    Neil.
     
  6. mark

    mark Member

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    Sounds an awful lot like commiting suicide
     
  7. Tom Stanworth

    Tom Stanworth Member

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    Yes, if they do not wake up they will have had it. Why? Simply because people will have to use other products even if in the short term and are unlikely to go back once settled into a new product which is possibly more likely to remain in good supply. It will be one way traffic!

    Tom
     
  8. 127

    127 Member

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    I once worked in a company that went through a similar wobble. In that case they did find new financing, but by the time they sorted out their problems most of the staff were already interviewing for other jobs.

    They're still going, but by not being strong thought their difficult times they lost a lot of resources that they never got back.

    Ian
     
  9. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    What is the sales price of the company as advertised by Ilford? What in the way of plant and equipment would be up for sale? What is the position of the English government insofar as foreign ownership of an English company, does anyone know the answer to these questions?

    It seems that this may be an opportunity to guarantee an availability of materials for our photographic community. Ilford has had decent materials over the years so it would appear that this would not require "reinventing the wheel" insofar as technology.
     
  10. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    I have also been wondering this Donald. OTOH I also ask myself why these guys never moved their operation, or at least production line to a foreign country. Kodak has been taking advantage of China and Mexico for years, decades in the case of Mexico. Let me give you a small taste of salaries here. Minimum wage for workers....$150 USD per month, recent college graduate..$700 USD per month. People with 10 or 15 years of experience, will work for $2000 USD per month. China, from what I understand, is even worse.

    SO the question is, did their sales really fell 23% or was it incompetent management? I know one thing, in Mexico you could not find Ilford film anywhere but in Mexico city. They did have a "team" going from state to state promoting their ink jet papers and inks, Unfortunatelly the quality of the prints they were showing was dismal. The ink jet prints from their competitors were far, far better.

    Ah, heck....I guess there is no sense on crying over spilt milk.
     
  11. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Jorge,

    I'll put up the first 250,000...can I count on your generosity for the rest? Let's buy this and move it to Mexico.
     
  12. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Keep an eye on Ebay. Maybe Ilford imaging UK Ltd.will turn up there. :tongue:
     
  13. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    LOL.....I would love to do this, sadly my generosity cannot make up the difference....probably in the millions of pounds...:sad:
     
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  15. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    The British government don't care who owns any company, at the minute they are more concerned with giving control of the country to Brussels. Within the Ilford plant at Mobberley there are both film and paper coating machines including one digital paper machine as well as the chemistry making facilities.
     
  16. rogueish

    rogueish Member

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    Thanks for the update Les.
    Sounds like the place I'm currently working :sad: . One guy doing the job of 3 who are no longer there. I know it's a PITA and the timing couldn't be worse, but lets give the Ilford folks a chance, and see what happens...
     
  17. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Sorry to point it out but Christmas will soon be with us.

    For the UK that means the traditional time to ditch part or the whole of the workforce! If I'm calculating correctly that just gives the suits at Ilford enough time to issue the 90 day notice :sad:

    I remember when I was in IT the auditors got rid of all but 23% of us and yep it was the time of goodwill, I hate Christmas!!
     
  18. DKT

    DKT Member

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    Same here--at work we put in an order about two weeks before Ilford made the first announcements, and we still haven't gotten it. The vendors have been real squirrelly about it. It was for about 3 cases of Warmtone RC, and a case of Ortho Plus 4x5. Yesterday we put in an order for $1200 worth of chemistry from them as well. That would cover a year's worth for our processor--we figured we'd better stockpile it.

    OTOH--I also ordered 3 cases of kodak paper and got it delivered within a week. As well as almost $1000 worth of E6. We ordered 2 cases of polaroid 55 p/n and got those the fastest--within days of the order going through. Ilford has always been slow for us, so this is nothing new.

    I figure I can skip the Ilford paper if it becomes a problem, but I need the film. Last year, I ordered the same amount and it took THREE months to get--so I'm not optimistic about the current order. It could be that we just go back to all Kodak, because they ship on time and the materials are cheaper for us than the Ilford contract. The warmtone paper was outrageously expensive--almost 40 dollars more per box than Kodak. I just don't get it really.

    We've still been able to get our Ilford processor serviced because they outsourced all the tech support staff to another company a few years ago. That's the one saving grace in this whole thing--the fact that all those ex-Ilford techs are working for someone else and the parts are made outside of Ilford as well.

    KT
     
  19. bwfans

    bwfans Member

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    Of course you did not scare me:smile:. I just bought tons of Ilford film a few days ago. If you need pan-f I can ship back to UK from US here. It probably faster than Ilford can supply you.

    Now I can just wait for B&H's call. Guess they will be out of Ilford film soon.

    Haha, what a wise, prompt action! (sorry I have to praise myself:smile:).

    Seen my old thread here:

    http://www.apug.org/forums/showthread.php?t=8754
     
  20. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    I wonder how all this is going to effect Ilfords long term sales if they do survive? I was going to try Efke after the news, but then I found I had 2 rolls of old KB14 in a batch I was given. Earlier this week I shot a roll and today I developed it after getting advice from Ian Grant .... mmmm it's a close call between Pan F or Efke at 25 ISO now.
     
  21. Chris Lee

    Chris Lee Member

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    There is an even worse side to this!

    At our college (16-18 yrs) we teach analogue photography as the main basis of our course. We have been aware for some time that we will have to move more to digital, after all we have to teach the kids relevant skills!

    I have passionatley thought with my head of department to keep the darkrooms, as the students love it (and it gives me two large darkrooms for my own work :wink: ). But unfortunetly this is only go to hasten the move to digital, which is cheaper and less reliant on materials.

    I never thought I would say this but .... I am glad I have digital skills! or I would be out of a job within a couple of years.
     
  22. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    You all are suprised by long BO times when the company just layed off 50% of their workforce? Do ya think they layed off the bosses? Nope, I am sure they layed off the guy who processes the order, packs it, and ships it.

    As far as having analog skills, there is a reason I never entered photography as a professional. I didn't want to be at the mercy of that industry in 1986, and I don't want to be there now. Of course, they are still trying to outsource my Software Engineering position to India now. Good luck.

    Analog photography should remain a hobby for years to come, but I sure don't want to have to make a living off it.


    tim in san jose
     
  23. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    Tim you are not alone in the outsourcing to India. Williams Sonoma announced to their employees last summer that they were going to save millions (short term) by outsourcing half the IT department. Thankfully hubby is above the line of those losing their jobs. Then the company was surprised that the people losing their jobs started looking for new ones. Many left as quickly as they could. Now they can't hire anyone for the jobs since the word is out that it would be a temp job for only a few months. When the graffiti showed up in the lobby by some of the disgruntled workers, they had to do damage control quickly. Supposedly they have been guaranteed a job at IBM who has the new contract to go to work for IBM. Yeah right. The job would probably be for IBM in India. Long term it is a stupid move. The company is too use to making changes when ever they want. With this new contract, the changes cost double, and are on the IBM time scale not the companies. It will in the long term to save millions cost them 10's of millions to maintain what they have now. So much for the long term.

    When all is said and done, weren't companies working just fine before it became profits at any expense type mentality? When some analyst on wall street decided that a company had to make x amount of increase in profits or their stock was down graded and the word put out that they were failing. didn't matter the company grew and made a profit, it was just not the profit the wall street suits wanted to see. Ok rant over. My heart goes out to those at Ilford and this time of year. It is extremely hard no matter wat time of year, but this one is more so.
     
  24. Peter Hogan

    Peter Hogan Member

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    Yep, people are buying Ilford products...and they are now difficult to find. I 'phoned Ilford the day I heard about the receiver, and they told me that they 'are taking orders, but not sending out any deliveries'....read into that what you will.
     
  25. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    That would sound like they are filling the order books to make the company more attractive to a potential buyer. In which case they don't want to suppy too soon or they will empty the order books again?
     
  26. rjr

    rjr Member

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    I know a few tidbits regarding Ilford Imaging GmbH Germany - they had to file for insolvency because they ran out of money, too.

    http://sw-magazin.de/swmag_frame_aktuell.htm

    Due to unknown reasons Ilford decided to reorganize the European supply system - a new logistics center is to be installed in the Netherlands with 40 hubs in Germany. Ilford asks his customers (the shops) not to order directly from them but from those hub retailers, larger shops doing the distribution on lower scale.

    Instead of a 24h delivery service down to the single customer they now try to keep a solid stock of goods at those hubs....

    Sounds like a bit of chaos... let´s talk about it in 4 weeks from now - I´ll keep my eyes open at Photokina (next week)...