(Topic ID: 103051)

Stern moving!


By mattenno

5 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 163 posts
  • 84 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by LTG
  • Topic is favorited by 8 Pinsiders

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    There are 163 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 4.
    #51 5 years ago
    Quoted from eggbert52:

    Stern should move to either Texas or Florida

    Yes, because pinball designers who have lived most of their lives in chicago are going to just up and move, and purchasing is going to procure completely new local vendors for parts including cabinets that are currently built by churchill cabinets who still reside in the chicago burbs.

    Quoted from Joe_Blasi:

    Are they going to have the new place up and going before the end of the year? or more like it will be next year before they start making games at the new place?

    Based on what I've seen at my own job that does similar assembly, a single line of product is usually reconfigured in about 3 months. However they have tons of prep work to do (cleaning the factory, roof repair, adding tons of power lines, airlines), and that's just production. I'm sure they aren't going to officially move until they have all the offices built up for the rest of the employees. I wouldn't be surprised if they build TWD and 1 or 2 titles after that at the current factory.

    #52 5 years ago
    Quoted from underlord:

    TWD is the last pin built in the old assembly building.

    will mmr be produced at melrose or the new digs? i wonder how long it will take to get the new place up and running? anyone living close to the old facility should be dumpster diving to find all the cool stuff not making the migration to the new facility.

    -1
    #53 5 years ago

    Maybe with all the complaints regarding prices, there moving now to China .

    #54 5 years ago
    Quoted from Squizz:

    Maybe with all the complaints regarding prices, there moving now to China .

    efficiencies will result into greater profits, not lower prices. moving to china would be the same scenario. we dictate prices for pins, we just don't behave that way yet...

    #55 5 years ago

    dumpster diving for computers can lead to lots of info left over on the HDD's.

    #56 5 years ago
    Quoted from vex:

    will mmr be produced at melrose or the new digs?

    Melrose. New digs will take time. Time to get ready. Time to move everything there.

    I doubt they'd want to move all the MMre stuff, again.

    LTG : )™

    #57 5 years ago

    Dumpster diving for all the unused or tested parts, and test playfields. Wish I was closer.

    #58 5 years ago

    How long have they operated out of Melrose facility?

    #59 5 years ago
    Quoted from vex:

    will mmr be produced at melrose or the new digs? i wonder how long it will take to get the new place up and running? anyone living close to the old facility should be dumpster diving to find all the cool stuff not making the migration to the new facility.

    MMR is at the new place. That way MMR can be built and stern can keep working on other projects at the same time.

    Quoted from Fliptastic:

    How long have they operated out of Melrose facility?

    Since the mid nineties I believe.

    #60 5 years ago

    How many microwaves can the new place hold?

    #61 5 years ago
    Quoted from underlord:

    MMR is at the new place. That way MMR can be built and stern can keep working on other projects at the same time.

    Since the mid nineties I believe.

    So the plan for adding space is adding more lines for future remake deals? Makes sense.

    #62 5 years ago
    Quoted from Joe_Blasi:

    also not that far from Suzo-Happ just outside of Elk Grove Village, IL.
    the American Amusement Machine Association is in Elk Grove Village, IL.

    For the arcade aficionados... Taito was once in Elk Grove Village as well.

    #63 5 years ago
    Quoted from Schusler:

    Taito was once in Elk Grove Village as well

    Don't forget the short lived URL (universal research laboratories). They were helping allied leisure make pong games, and then started making them for the home market. My dad worked for them since he was into ham radio, and I remember him bringing home that giant white countertop pong game (probabably a reject he fixed on his own).
    http://www.pong-story.com/url.htm

    #64 5 years ago

    so will next years expo include a tour of the new stern factory??? very glad this being my first expo that i get to tour the current factory

    -2
    #65 5 years ago

    I think they got bought out by Jersey Jack, why else would they move to NJ?

    #66 5 years ago
    Quoted from BobC:

    I think they got bought out by Jersey Jack, why else would they move to NJ?

    -1
    #67 5 years ago
    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    Yes, because pinball designers who have lived most of their lives in chicago are going to just up and move, and purchasing is going to procure completely new local vendors for parts including cabinets that are currently built by churchill cabinets who still reside in the chicago burbs.

    I have seen companies five times bigger move to other states & other countries. So, tell me why that's a problem again? Wal-mart makes vendor move to their back yard every day just to do business with them. I am sure churchhill cabinets is not the only company with CNC machines. Designers will go to where the money is, if they want to eat. So I am not sure why I would buy into why pinball would stay in Chicago. Other than pinheads that think its was birthed there, so it should stay there. Sometimes you have to relocate to save money to save jobs, and to make prices reasonable to stay in business. I remember when people were wondering would Stern make it? Hopefully times do not get rough again as this move could back fire. Growth is always good but sometimes can back fire and make for real problems. Then again sometimes it banks big profits. So good luck!

    #68 5 years ago
    Quoted from wdpvideo:

    Wal-mart makes vendor move to their back yard every day just to do business with them

    Apples and oranges. Walmart has 4,100 stores, so they can ask vendors to do whatever they want in most cases (including fierce cost reducing and product design changes). Believe me, I used to work for a company that sold product to walmart, the bidding war with other companies every 2 years during review time was harsh. Stern is lucky if they sell 4,100 machines per title. Also Planetary pinball might have some say in the matter since they're now contracting Stern to build their machines.

    Quoted from wdpvideo:

    I am sure churchhill cabinets is not the only company with CNC machines

    It's not just the playfields, in fact it may be another vendor that does those. I'm talking about the cabinets themself. Sure another company could make cabinets, but wouldn't you want to go with the company that already knows what they're doing?

    #69 5 years ago
    Quoted from underlord:

    MMR is at the new place. That way MMR can be built and stern can keep working on other projects at the same.

    Rick confirmed they are still on an October timeframe to produce MMr. Seems like a stretch to get set up in time for that at the new facility.

    #70 5 years ago
    Quoted from Fliptastic:

    How long have they operated out of Melrose facility?

    Quoted from underlord:

    Since the mid nineties I believe.

    They have been at 2020 Janice Ave. since the summer of 2000. Before that they were at 1990 Janice Ave. I know they were there at least back to 1989, and possibly even back to the beginning of Data East.

    #71 5 years ago
    Quoted from MattElder:

    They have been at 2020 Janice Ave. since the summer of 2000. Before that they were at 1990 Janice Ave. I know they were there at least back to 1989, and possibly even back to the beginning of Data East.

    If you look at the manual for Secret Service on IPDB, it lists 1990 Janice as the address so had to be there from nearly the beginning (the address on Laser War is covered but I'm guessing it's the same).

    Interestingly, the flyer for Laser War lists DE' address as 470 Needles Dr, San Jose.

    viperrwk

    #72 5 years ago

    Let us hope AMC is the cause of the large price change that would make it a one time hit. The move being the cause of the price change makes it permeant ouch.

    #73 5 years ago
    Quoted from viperrwk:

    If you look at the manual for Secret Service on IPDB, it lists 1990 Janice as the address so had to be there from nearly the beginning (the address on Laser War is covered but I'm guessing it's the same).

    Interestingly, the flyer for Laser War lists DE' address as 470 Needles Dr, San Jose.

    viperrwk

    Yeah, I'm also thinking it did go all the way back, but I just didn't have anything on hand to confirm stuff before '89. That Needles Ave. address was Data East USA's headquarters, but obviously the games weren't built there, so kind of odd that they bothered to put that on there instead of the pinball plant's Chicago-area address....

    #74 5 years ago
    Quoted from justfury:

    They are now just a few blocks from my office, this is exciting.

    And yet they still won't let you pick up a NIB game directly from the factory ...

    #75 5 years ago
    Quoted from gweempose:

    And yet they still won't let you pick up a NIB game directly from the factory ...

    Sales Tax Reasons for that.. You would have to pay full sales tax if they did.

    #76 5 years ago
    Quoted from gweempose:

    they still won't let you pick up a NIB game directly from the factory

    Isn't this mostly due to space constraints in the current building? The new one looks like it might have a dock. Besides, don't most people even in the chicago area buy from distributors because it's cheaper than Stern's Retail pricetag?

    #77 5 years ago
    Quoted from gweempose:

    And yet they still won't let you pick up a NIB game directly from the factory ...

    In the past people have been allowed to pick up games there, just never purchase them directly from Stern....only through a distributor. Maybe they have now changed the pick up policy as well....

    #79 5 years ago
    Quoted from MattElder:

    In the past people have been allowed to pick up games there, just never purchase them directly from Stern....only through a distributor. Maybe they have now changed the pick up policy as well....

    They did.

    -1
    #80 5 years ago
    Quoted from MattElder:

    In the past people have been allowed to pick up games there, just never purchase them directly from Stern....only through a distributor. Maybe they have now changed the pick up policy as well....

    I wish I could pick up my TWD directly from Stern. I would like to save some money on shipping but I don't think that was an option. I want to deliver my own pin to my house in the quickest time posible.

    #81 5 years ago

    Yes they will have room for even MORE microwaves now!

    Their old building seemed cramped 3 years ago (and they're doing much better now to boot!)

    If they're already making money hand over fist in Illinois, no reason to move. What they'd save in taxes would be offset by putting people out of work / leaving the "home of pinball"

    #82 5 years ago
    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    Isn't this mostly due to space constraints in the current building? The new one looks like it might have a dock. Besides, don't most people even in the chicago area buy from distributors because it's cheaper than Stern's Retail pricetag?

    Quoted from MattElder:

    In the past people have been allowed to pick up games there, just never purchase them directly from Stern....only through a distributor. Maybe they have now changed the pick up policy as well....

    I bought my AC/DC from an out of state distributor, and I was able to pick it up at Stern. I know a lot of people who did this over the years. They changed their policy a while back and no longer allow it. I had to pay over $200 bucks to have my STLE shipped to me, and I live 20 minutes from the factory. Seems like a ridiculous waste of time, money and resources. I believe JJ is correct. The change in policy definitely had something to do with the government cracking down on taxes.

    #83 5 years ago

    I can Usually take off an Extra $85 for local terminal delivery.

    13
    #84 5 years ago

    Here is the current microwave arrangement at Janice Ave ...

    image-815.jpg

    And here is the proposed arrangement at the new place ...

    image-418.jpg

    Things are looking up!

    #85 5 years ago

    What's with all the jokes for Microwaves?
    All those part time workers need places to reheat their dinner leftovers for lunch.
    Hell; even my company has 6-9 micros for the same purpose in my lunch room.

    11
    #86 5 years ago

    Those microwaves have more wiring than a Ford Pinto!

    #87 5 years ago
    Quoted from benheck:

    Those microwaves have more wiring than a Ford Pinto!

    just don't rear end them !

    #88 5 years ago
    Quoted from benheck:

    Those microwaves have more wiring than a Ford Pinto!

    The microwaves are also easy to learn, but hard to master.

    -1
    #89 5 years ago

    Those microwaves doesn't come with final code...

    #90 5 years ago
    Quoted from benheck:

    Those microwaves have more wiring than a Ford Pinto!

    Amazingly they've made every nut, bolt and screw a different size too.

    are.

    #91 5 years ago
    Quoted from rotordave:

    Here is the current microwave arrangement at Janice Ave ...

    And here is the proposed arrangement at the new place ...

    Things are looking up!

    image-418.jpg 52 KB

    image-815.jpg 145 KB

    You always know how to put a good spin on things Dave.

    #92 5 years ago
    Quoted from MustangPaul:

    You always know how to put a good spin on things Dave.

    Man, you know ... You always got to look after the employees.

    1 microwave to 4 people has got to be better than 1 to 10.

    You ought to see the new Shasta fridge that's being installed ... I hear it's MASSSSIVE!!

    rd.

    #93 5 years ago
    Quoted from spfxted:

    I just found the REAL sign!

    286443-i.jpg 53 KB

    That was a killer!!!!!!!!!!

    -3
    #94 5 years ago

    Congrats to Stern! But from a broader, longer term view, I am confounded by the fact that relatively mobile, nationally based companies that rely on shipping of limited production products would ever consider maintaining their manufacturing operations in such tax-heavy states like Illinois or New Jersey. Only the big companies can secure preferential tax treatment in Illinois. It really isn't that difficult to move your key personnel to either Texas or Florida. Profit margins can be totally consumed by high real estate and corporate taxes. I do not claim to truly understand the elasticity of the NIB pinball market, but I suspect if Stern or JJP sold their products for significantly less! they would sell a lot more product and probably benefit their bottom line. Ultimately, the most efficient model would be to build one platform with easily interchangeable play fields and software and build them in a third world company. I love to buy American, but it seems foolish to build something as technologically basic as a pinball machine in some of the highest cost manufacturing locales in the world. If you did it right, Ironman Vault Edition could be done for $1999, WOZ and TH for $2999, and private collectors could each own a stable of pinball machines. Besides pinball machines, what other electronics product goes up in price over time? Have you checked out the price of a lap top lately? It is time for the Stern's of the world to rethink their strategy.

    #95 5 years ago
    Quoted from Lotr-Hobbit:

    Congrats to Stern! But from a broader, longer term view, I am confounded by the fact that relatively mobile, nationally based companies that rely on shipping of limited production products would ever consider maintaining their manufacturing operations in such tax-heavy states like Illinois or New Jersey. Only the big companies can secure preferential tax treatment in Illinois. It really isn't that difficult to move your key personnel to either Texas or Florida. Profit margins can be totally consumed by high real estate and corporate taxes. I do not claim to truly understand the elasticity of the NIB pinball market, but I suspect if Stern or JJP sold their products for significantly less! they would sell a lot more product and probably benefit their bottom line. Ultimately, the most efficient model would be to build one platform with easily interchangeable play fields and software and build them in a third world company. I love to buy American, but it seems foolish to build something as technologically basic as a pinball machine in some of the highest cost manufacturing locales in the world. If you did it right, Ironman Vault Edition could be done for $1999, WOZ and TH for $2999, and private collectors could each own a stable of pinball machines. Besides pinball machines, what other electronics product goes up in price over time? Have you checked out the price of a lap top lately? It is time for the Stern's of the world to rethink their strategy.

    Here we go again!! Another business expert. LOL.

    #96 5 years ago

    Stern will and should always be based in Chicago! It's the home of pinball and centrally located. I think the location makes tons of sense, even if the tax rate is higher. Apparently they are doing great business-wise.

    #97 5 years ago
    Quoted from Lotr-Hobbit:

    I love to buy American, but it seems foolish to build something as technologically basic as a pinball machine in some of the highest cost manufacturing locales in the world. If you did it right, Ironman Vault Edition could be done for $1999, WOZ and TH for $2999, and private collectors could each own a stable of pinball machines. Besides pinball machines, what other electronics product goes up in price over time? Have you checked out the price of a lap top lately? It is time for the Stern's of the world to rethink their strategy.

    Time to look at the calendar champ ... It's 2014, not 1964.

    Pins were $3000+ retail in the early 1990s.

    I'd like em to be $1999 too, but that ain't gonna happen.

    Jezzzzzz someone even paid over $4000 for some old crapped out AFM in another thread!!

    rd

    #98 5 years ago

    What many seem to forget is just how important the local suppliers are to Stern. Gary Stern has talked about this in more than one seminar. They're moving to as close as they can get to a just in time manufacturing setup. This allows more flexibility, but relies heavily on regular deliveries of parts. One single part shortage can hold up the whole line. If you read the article linked earlier, it says that they looked at many cities around the Chicago area. Moving out of the area was never a consideration.

    Some businesses are more location dependent than others. Pinball is definitely location dependent. Those local suppliers are critical to Stern. Software can wait, but you can't ship a game that's missing parts.

    #99 5 years ago

    The other thing to consider is the staff. We met a lady when we were there, she has been on the testing line for 20 years.

    You can't find this lady in Texas ... It would take a year to train someone to be as good as her. Meanwhile, you've dispatched 500 machines that don't work properly. $$$!!

    Never discount staff as part of the equation.

    rd.

    #100 5 years ago
    Quoted from phishrace:

    you can't ship a game that's missing parts.

    Ain't that true (WOZ)

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