Marine Fabricator July/August 2020 - 36

ShopTalk Interior

"Every crisis our shop
has encountered has
created new markets
and opportunities."

Carl Pellegrini of SeaCanvas spent
several weeks making and donating
face shields to local police and fire
departments.
Chris Ritsema of Canvas
Innovations models one of the 50,000
masks his company made in partnership
with volunteers organized by the nonprofit
Anchor Rock Foundation.
36 Marine Fabricator | July/Aug 2020

Contact vendors and salespeople:
Building good relationships with
vendors and salespeople helps you
ask for flexibility and renegotiate
credit terms, if necessary. This
is especially helpful for timely
turnarounds and special offers.
Source the best shipping rates and
delivery options: We use various shipping
services-by boat, overnight air and 3-5
day mailing services-as well as USPS.
Check out IFAI member discounts that
may work for your location.
Consider other revenue sources
Hospitality: Historic low occupancy
rates could present opportunities for
fabricators. Investigate hotels' needs
for interior and exterior furnishings.
Build a good relationship with
purchase managers and consider
walking around hotel premises to
evaluate their needs so you can offer
solutions and build confidence.
Restaurants and shopping malls:
These commercial venues have an
ongoing need for interior and exterior
enclosures, seating repairs and
upgrades. What would it take for you to
provide these services? Consider how
you could provide for bulk pickup and
delivery, as time frames are often tight,
at night or prior to opening hours.
Residential work: Every boat owner
has an office or home. Someone
is providing services when their
furnishings require upgrades. Tap
into this market by upselling your
talents and offering ideas for walls and
interior and exterior furniture. Build
relationships with interior designers.
They invariably subcontract all their
custom work, why not to you?
Aviation and antique car
services: These customers take
great pride in their interiors and
frequently use leather for complex

seating, headliners and flooring
similar to marine upholstery.
Online business: Do you
make anything that could be
sold profitably online?
Government contracts: You
need to be an approved vendor for
bidding on government contracts
on invoices more than $3,000. If
you haven't applied before, there
are online guidelines for you to
follow. IFAI also offers sources
and tools for bidding government
contracts (www.ifai.com/covid-19).
Expand your skills and network
Consider joining forces with other
fabricators: Signature CanvasMakers
in Hampton, Va., teamed up with
Beach Upholstery, Virginia Beach, Va.,
and local furloughed sewing talent
to produce 1,600 protective masks
with a one-week turnaround for the
crew of the USS Wasp, an amphibious
assault ship based in Norfolk, Va.
The ramp-up effort assisted not only
the Navy, but also the fabricators
and local sewers unexpectedly
furloughed from their jobs.
Investigate new resources: There
are many sources for foam and
vinyl you may not have considered
using, and many of them are IFAI
members. For example, Reliatex Inc.
is a diversified family business with
three locations in Florida. It provides
more than 135 boat manufacturers
with OEM vinyl and foam and keeps
OEM patterns for five years. Existing
customers can source replacement
materials and/or submit patterns for
CNC foam cutting. The company has a
large selection of all types of products,
including marine flooring and 137
types of foam (www.reliatex.com).
Increase your know-how: If you
have some downtime, schedule


http://www.ifai.com/covid-19 http://www.reliatex.com

Marine Fabricator July/August 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Marine Fabricator July/August 2020

Marine Fabricator July/August 2020 - Cover1
Marine Fabricator July/August 2020 - Cover2
Marine Fabricator July/August 2020 - 1
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Marine Fabricator July/August 2020 - Cover3
Marine Fabricator July/August 2020 - Cover4
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