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Speed vs. Quality


#1

Hi everybody

Which comes first a good job on Jewelry OR speed to finish the
sloppy job?

I have a disagreement with someone. I always do my neat and good job
on the jewelry but the person said I was too slow and should speed up
my work. It is impossible to do the fast work while the bench is
dirty and disorganized. What do you suggest me to do a right thing to
do?

Thank you!

Clarence…P.S. That’s why I am tempted to start my own business and
be my own boss. I am very neat, very organized and do a best work as
much as I can. I strongly believe that I should please the
customers.


#2

Clarence.

Tongue in cheek - silly question. You should always do a good job.

Don’t be so quick to leave your day job! You have to do both. It
could be your boss is unrealistic but more than likely you are very
slow.

You are there to make a profit. if you make (example) $20 per hour,
then you cost the company ACTUALLY $25 per hour, with matching
taxes. That means every 15 minutes your cost is $6.25.

For every $6.25 you cost the company needs to charge or receive from
customers About $25. That’s $100 per hour an dyou cost $25 per hour.

So if you’re not producing that in LABOR, I can see why they sy
you’re slow.

but of course if they don’t charge enough to begin with, then this
money factor is a problem you can’t fix.

But if you can’t produce per hour whatever they need, good work or
sloppy, your job could be in jeopardy.

Ask them to tell you what they expct of you per hour as I did and
you’ll have a goal. And if you’re really slow, have them sit with
you and give you additional training to speed you up.

if you’re too slow working for the, you’ll starve working for
yourself Don’t take it as a personal afront. There is no
disadvantage to producing the same good work a little faster.

David Geller


#3

I can’t answer as a jeweler per se but I can answer as a
faceter/stone cutter… I far to often see/hear people complaining
about having to devalue their stones (and time) because they are in
competition with the foreign markets. They feel that the overseas
stones have damaged teh ability to sell their items for the true
value.

My response is always the same, that it’s stupid to be in
competition with cheap overseas jewelry. It’s not top of the line,
it’s got no resale value, it’ll never be a collectors item, and
anyone who wants one can have one so their is no uniqueness to it.
If all someone cares about is price they are going to by the cheap
stuff no matter how much work you put into a gem. These people need
to be educated that they have a jewelry box full of junk that they
could only sell at a yard sale. Some might not care, some might be
surpised.

Retailers who push this stuff as if it’s top of the line, great
jewelery are the ones to blame for the problems in our field.

I’ve never seen a stone from overseas look as good as something cut
by a member of the US Faceters Guild, or even a fringe member who
might not be a full member. Those people cut stones for competition
that have such strict standards it’s impossible to compare them to
anything (some of you might be familiar with this).

Anyway, that’s my.02… I refuse to try to compete… if someone says
my stones are too expensive or over priced I always say go find one
like it… you can’t… either it’s a custom cut, or a standard cut
that is well executed so it’s brilliance is higher than a chop-shop.

Craig
www.creativecutgems.com
The online emporium for excellence in gems!
(well soon to be anyway)


#4

Unfortunately you’ll find out the speed and quality are both very
important. To make this short and to the point. IF you don’t get the
job done quickly you won’t make any money, if you do a sloppy job
you’ll be out of business very quickly. So you have to find the fine
line between time and quality that, 1. will satisfy you, 2 will
satisfy the client 3. will but money in your pocket. Let’s be honest,
unless you rich and making or repairing jewerly for fun you have to
make a profit. This holds true whether you work for yourself or you
work for someone. By the way neatness help in speed because you
always know where your tools are. Beside it makes you feel better, I
know I’m also neat.

Jon DiNola


#5
Which comes first a good job on Jewelry OR speed to finish the
sloppy job? 

Actually, what you want to do is a speedy, good job. That’s the
ultimate goal and there are many of us who are capable of doing that.
Perhaps the suggestion is not that you do a sloppy job, but that you
do the job you’re doing faster.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140
@Daniel_R_Spirer
www.spirerjewelers.com


#6

My husband tells of a sign he saw at a printing shop that says it
all: “Speed, quality, price. Pick any two.”

Janet Kofoed


#7

I have a disagreement with someone. I always do my neat and good job
on the jewelry but the person said I was too slow and should speed
up my work. My question would be is the person who says you are too
slow comparing you to someone who has done the work for them and
done it faster. If that is the case, you might have to find a way to
work faster or charge less. I have been on both sides, and it is not
fair to an employer to inadverdantly charge them more because of a
lack of experience or skill if that is what hampers your speed. If
they want it done fast and poorly done you are in the wrong place if
that is not something you can abide by.

Richard Hart


#8

I always use this equation or phrase. “Speed, Quality and Cost…
pick two!” but David Gellers and the preceding folks posting are still
correct. We are all mavens in our work and also perfectionists. We
should be gaining a touch of speed through repetition, this will make
our job quicker".

I even now, still use on mass production items a few settings to
experiment with, the choice of selection of necessary tools and
leave the other tools away from my bench set-up. But by the third
setting job, I DO GAIN SPEED, this makes everyone happy!!!

Granted some of our jewelry work is difficult, but after a few items,
we should be able to pick up a bit of speed. But if you are still too
darn slow, “you might be closing the door behind yourself”…Gerry
Lewy.


#9

I’m gratified to read the quality replies to this thread. I would go
so far as to say that there is no such question, "Speed vs. quality?"
A person can craft a masterpiece in months or years even - maybe they
are zippy and can do the work in weeks. Another person can toss off
cheap jewelry in minutes, and make a good living at it, but one is
speed and one is quality. They are unrelated to each other, really.
What it boils down to mostly is time-and-motion studies. If you have
a diamond necklace with 50 stones, and links, and some design
element, then it’s simple arithmetic. There are 50 settings to be
made @ 1 hour per. There are 60 links to be made at 3/4 hour per
(links, not jump rings), and there are 50 design elements to be made
at 1/2 hour per. That works out to about a month’s work, not counting
setting and finishing. Now, with production methods and the speed that
comes with skillful craftsmanship, that could likely be cut in half.
The point, though, is that there is no getting around the fact that
there are 1000 tasks to be attended to - bend wire, solder wire,
attach bead - what have you. One can buy 50 settings, solder jump
rings on them, and string it up in a couple of days, but it will be
tinker-toys, not a work of art.


#10

Hello Craig,

I've never seen a stone from overseas look as good as something
cut by a member of the US Faceters Guild, 

Your not having seen one does not imply that such stones don’t
exist.

Regards,
Larry


#11

Hi,

Very true. However, I know the techniques used in many of the
offshored cutting houses and they can’t even compare. There are some
that are doing alot better, and the price of the stones they sell
reflect that.

Thanks,


#12

Dear All,

I have a long-term employee who always did good work slowly. It
didn’t take too long to discover that she would mentally do her own
reverse scheduling; that being she knew she was her for eight hours
that day, and would stretch out the jobs to make sure they lasted the
entire day. I had other work to give her when the job box was empty,
but it always seemed to last until the end of the shift.

Several years ago I shifted her to 100% commission, and it was truly
amazing how much speedier she became almost overnight. She now often
gets the eight hour production done in three to four hours, and has
more time to spend at home with her family. Can someone say
"win-win"?

Jon Michael Fuja


#13
I'm gratified to read the quality replies to this thread. I would
go so far as to say that there is no such question, "Speed vs.
quality?" 

I’m sorry, but there truly is a question of how fast some people are
able to work. I had an employee for many years who’s work was usually
meticulous (only usually because he had a habit of overpolishing
stuff a lot of times–because he was so meticulous-- and then we
would have to redo it) but who was slow as molasses. I could produce
the same work, with as good (or better) quality in anywhere from
50-90% LESS time than he took. No matter what I did to try to change
his work habits and speed things up he was never able to change. I
ended up having to limit what he worked on a lot (I gave him all of
my platinum work because it was far more profitable to sell and I
could afford to pay more for the labor involved) because otherwise
it simply wasn’t profitable for me to employ him. When my partnership
broke up, I could not bring him along with me, in part because of
this actual problem. I helped him get a job at the premier high end
jeweler in Boston (I know the shop manager there) and she had to fire
him after a few months for the same problem. There was rarely a
problem with the quality he produced for them as well, but he simply
couldn’t work fast enough. What was taking their regular jewelers an
hour or two to do, he was spending two to three days on. And I can
assure that the level of their work is as good as it can get.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140
617-234-4392
@Daniel_R_Spirer
www.spirerjewelers.com


#14

Craig,

I've never seen a stone from overseas look as good as something
cut by a member of the US Faceters Guild, or even a fringe member
who might not be a full member. Those people cut stones for
competition that have such strict standards it's impossible to
compare them to anything (some of you might be familiar with this). 

I was surprised by your statement but then I don’t know what
"overseas" you refer to, Europe, Israel, Australia. Or is it only
competition cuts you’re comparing? Cheap stones are cheap in all
aspects everywhere. A quality cut stone from any part of the world
has a pricetag reflecting this, even if they come from India.

michaela


#15

Michael, when I went to commission I found the same thing. I did
have to be on top with quality but I’d rather be a quality inspector
than a complainer about money.

Before commission:

Weeks to make a ring	8
Weeks to size a ring	4
Jobs in the store	350

After Commission

Weeks to make a ring	6
Weeks to size a ring	2
Jobs in the store	450

David Geller


#16

Actually, before I offend everyone I should qualify my statement by
saying I meant overseas cutting houses where the workers are required
to produce at least 10 stones a day each. Which is the majority of
them in many cases.

My point is however that people think that they are getting a great
deal if a piece of jewelry costs $50, when in fact they are getting a
piece of jewelry that is probably worth much less than $50. The
consumer needs to understand that they aren’t getting a great deal,
they are in most cases buying something cheap that has no resale or
other value other than the materials used to create it, and even then
it may just come down to the metal.

I didn’t mean the post as an offense, more an observation.

Craig
www.creativecutgems.com
The emporium for excellence in faceted gems!
(soon to be anyway)


#17

Hello All,

Are there time guides to go by for how long it should take a bench
jeweler to do various tasks? If so, what are they?

Thanks, Marta