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2019/11/26

 
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modadmin
Site Admin


Joined: 15 Jan 2004
Posts: 289
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:56 am    Post subject: 2019/11/26 Reply with quote

Dear MODRATEC Shop Newsletter Subscriber,

MODRATEC NEEDS YOUR BRIGHT IDEAS!

The bottom line is that I have made the decision that MODRATEC cannot continue as it is.

I am finding that the stress of trying to keep on top of the manufacturing side of the business is threatening my health. You may not realise that I personally make almost every component of every lever frame and every WIT part that MODRATEC sells. Very little is outsourced. This is a "cottage industry" based in our garage.

I have reached a stage in my life when most people have fully retired.

I could do that by simply "pulling the pin" on MODRATEC. But I know that our many clients believe in the MODRATEC lever frame and interlocking system, and I don't want to let you down.

That is why I need your bright ideas.

How can I reduce my work load without disappointing our customers?

One obvious answer is to sell the business, but this is very much a business of niche products for a very limited market. A buyer would need to be as obsessed as I am with railway signalling principles and their application to model railways. They would also need to recognise that this business is not so much about profit as it is about service.

Another possibility that often percolates in my brain is that our products may better suit a cooperative approach - a MODRATEC club whose members use their varied skills, tools, and talents to develop, market, and manufacture. Such a club would ideally be international. Anyone familiar with MERG (merg.org.uk) will see how a club approach to model railway technologies can work very successfully.

And you may have many more fresh ideas.

I am an engineer and designer. I am not a marketer or an entrepreneur. I don't have pots of money with which to buy expertise. That is why I need your help in the form of ideas about how to allow MODRATEC's technologies to persist.

It shocked me to discover that I had not sent out a newsletter for almost exactly three years! That, in itself, is symptomatic of why it is crunch time for me and for the business. Much has changed in three years. My wife and I have packed up a house and a workshop and relocated. We have set up (ongoing!) a new home. We have set up (ongoing!) a new workshop. We have built sheds and a large pergola. We have paved. We have dug garden beds. We have planted and tended. And I've aged three years - at least!

I feel exhausted all over again just reminding myself of all that activity. I'm sure that you will understand that, as a result of the last three years, it has not been possible to offer the high level of service to our customers that had previously been our hallmark. We have several orders that are significantly delayed, and I feel really bad about that. There have been health impacts - nothing too severe - but these can all be traced back to the stress that the business is generating for me, and suggest very strongly that it's time for change.

I'm not asking anyone to feel sorry for me. I am simply telling it how it is and seeking any thoughts that you may have about how to keep MODRATEC alive.

Our customers are a very varied group. There are currently nearly 3,500 of you registered with us. You come from all over the world, predominantly from UK, continental Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand. That is why I expect great ideas to come forth.

I really look forward to your responses. Please feel free to spread the word.

Keep sending the right signals!

Regards,
Harold
(Proprietor)
MODRATEC
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mrchuck



Joined: 15 Apr 2019
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:58 pm    Post subject: What is the current status of MODRATEC? Reply with quote

Hi Harry,
I've bought some of your frames in the past and love them. It's nearly two years since your post about about the future of the enterprise. I'd love to help but don't know how I can. My background is IT and not small scale engineering, and I'm in regional Victoria.

If you can think of some way in which I could help I'm all ears. This is a really cool product and while I'm not a large-scale customer, I'd still like to see MODRATEC continue and prosper.

In the meaintime, I'd like to place an order for some more frames and WIT supplies. Are you still taking orders?

Best regards,
Charles Meo
charles@apulia-grove.com.au
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modadmin
Site Admin


Joined: 15 Jan 2004
Posts: 289
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Charles,

Thank you for your support and interest.

The most probable future for MODRATEC at this stage seems to be the development of a "club" like format with members supplying parts to each other as their particular abilities permit.

The temporary closure of manufacturing was initially as a catchup mechanism, but since then, my life partner has become unwell and required my constant support.

I would love to hear from anyone who could see themselves adopting a role in the development of a club.
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mrchuck



Joined: 15 Apr 2019
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 3:34 pm    Post subject: MODRATEC club Reply with quote

Thanks Harry, got it.
Please sign me up for the club and if the idea gets traction I will assist in whatever way I can.

Best regards,
Charles
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