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Hello gang,

About 2 months ago we decided it was time to get our first automatic press. After months upon months of research, we chose the New M&R Diamondback S. M&R decided the Diamondback was their only press without servo and it didn't make sense, so they added it. Pretty sweet!

The press arrives tomorrow and I wanted to share my experience thus far. It takes a while to manufacture your press so plan early.

First off, the financing. Like anything financing related, it can be a headache. There are some helpful folks out there and some that seek to take advantage. A word of caution, if you are able to obtain financing from one lender there are others who will also finance you. It's here I recommend that you settle on two lenders you feel good about and fire quotes back and forth until one of them says no mas. Do not pay a documentation fee (it's like burning money) While they might attempt to make you feel bad for them and tell you your negotiation tactics are unethical, it's good business and you'd be a fool not to.

Also consider the type of buyout at the end of your lease that makes the most sense. Research $1 buyout, 10% buyout, etc. In our economic times and depending on your credit worthiness and length in business, it's not uncommon to be required to pay 20% of the purchase price down.

On the press you choose. Once you have done your diligence, pick a press, you should negotiate every facet of the purchase. Try to get a trade show special. Even if you didn't attend, the trade shows are always happening somewhere, so if they want your business you are entitled to a deal.

Points to negotiate: the press price, flash price, air compressor price, tech price, crating, freight. I feel I didn't do enough in this department and it will go differently next time, that I can promise.

Things to consider when switching from manual to auto printing. Everything changes. Sale people try to feed you crap about how little the transition will cost, but trust me, at the end it will feel like your bleeding money.

New screens 23x31's cost a pretty penny, even if your only doing static frames.

New washout/ diptank = more chemicals = more $$$

Possibly new exposure unit.

Possibly larger dryer.

New screen racks.

More Ink.

Hefty electrician bill $1500-$3000 easy unless you know someone.

Heavy duty air compressor $2500 & chiller $1000

Technician expenses: airfare, rental car, per diem. $1,500

Crating for your new equipment $800

Fun surprises like a freight company letting you know your press is C.O.D. and you owe them $1,390 the by tomorrow.

While nothing ships for free, I suspect this would be a good point of negotiation. My vendor failed to mention this when we discussed expenses to anticipate and I found out today, I owe the trucking company almost $1400.:mad:

All in all, while I'm excited to move forward with our business, the process is daunting and I recommend that you think hard about all the facets of the transition and time it appropriately.

Now on to the fun stuff!!
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