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Author Topic: Kongzi Print Shop pays a dividend  (Read 23951 times)

Kitchentable

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Re: Kongzi Print Shop pays a dividend
« Reply #40 on: September 09, 2014, 04:10:04 am »

Most of the print shops near you are using Sharp machines? That explains how you are able to produce cheaper prints than them. I've worked on many of Sharp models and they are about all the same when it comes cost of maintaining them. Sharp has the idea that they will cut cost on the machine by off loading the maintenance onto the service personnel in the form of rebuilding PM units which can take hours. High priced model machines are built in a way where you throw away PM units and install a new ones in only a few minutes. It's probably costing them so much money that there is no way they can compete with you on price. Just for reference, none of my high volume customers use Sharp and the ones that tried gave up in a year.

As for the Ricohs... I don't have much knowledge on them. I just don't have anyone that actually uses that model so I don't have an opinion on them.

It seems like your competition is lacking and that places you in a good position. With enough knowledge you could completely take over your surrounding market. I kind of like where that is going. I'm so used to the market I'm in that I didn't even think about who you could be up against. That means your largest concern right now is yourself. At some point those machines will need to be fixed. Every time paper passes through that machine it places wear on the clutches, bushing, and motors. The vibration from the motors is what causes a machine to have problems. High end machines will place rubber between the motor and the frame to absorb the vibration but even then the yield rate is into the millions before maintenance becomes too costly for upkeep. That is what kills a print shop. A down machine isn't making any money which also means you miss deadlines. It was why I mentioned in my first post about leasing a machine with a service contract. It can be replaced after three years and they furnish the toner along with fixing it when it's down.

We'll have to agree to disagree on tablets. I have elementary schools that use them fine for education but I guess it's just the area I live in.

As for that pdf. I understood every subject in it and it comes down to big words to explain small yield color machine. There is only so much you can do in such a small box. For better image quality you'll need more lasers which means you need a bigger box.
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printshop

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Re: Kongzi Print Shop pays a dividend
« Reply #41 on: September 09, 2014, 06:08:31 am »

It seems like your competition is lacking and that places you in a good position. With enough knowledge you could completely take over your surrounding market. I kind of like where that is going. I'm so used to the market I'm in that I didn't even think about who you could be up against. That means your largest concern right now is yourself. At some point those machines will need to be fixed. Every time paper passes through that machine it places wear on the clutches, bushing, and motors. The vibration from the motors is what causes a machine to have problems. High end machines will place rubber between the motor and the frame to absorb the vibration but even then the yield rate is into the millions before maintenance becomes too costly for upkeep. That is what kills a print shop. A down machine isn't making any money which also means you miss deadlines. It was why I mentioned in my first post about leasing a machine with a service contract. It can be replaced after three years and they furnish the toner along with fixing it when it's down.

Then you're really going to like this next bit. The lady at the shop said that my printer would ship with placeholder cartriges that would only do 100 pages. But the documents I have from HP state that these machines ship with full original toner cartridges. In short, because of import costs, I have to pay just under $1,000 for one of these printers. But the cost of a full set of high yield toner cartridges is just under $900.

Yes, you heard me, I might as well buy a new printer when the toner runs out, in terms of realized value.

I still don't understand this situation fully myself, I've done about 300 pages black and 50 color so far and the toner indicators still read full.

It sounds a bit crazy but what I think HP does is dump their old model printers in asia. The phillipines and singapore, for example, have models from a few years ago (like the 3015dn). We have the 551, and the USA has the 651. So I am not sure HP really cares about turning a profit here as much as they do dumping their merchandise. This could end up working in my favor extremely well, since no one around here really knows or cares about HP. I had to search pretty hard to get this printer, actually. The first two dealers I called told me they didn't have any in stock. This lady I deal with now can get me a couple more printers if I need (I don't need, but, for the cost of toner, my god...)

We'll have to agree to disagree on tablets. I have elementary schools that use them fine for education but I guess it's just the area I live in.

As for that pdf. I understood every subject in it and it comes down to big words to explain small yield color machine. There is only so much you can do in such a small box. For better image quality you'll need more lasers which means you need a bigger box.

I think you're right about tablets, I just don't think they will work out over here very well. Parents are already complaining that their schools are a bit too expensive and some non-essential classes are already being cut. Schooling here is extremely competitive here because of the demographics, the population is shrinking and we're right in the middle of a cycle. Some schools are being forced to close.

One other thing.

I have decided to do perfect binding by hand. The "perfect binding" machines I looked are all of rather poor quality which try to hook you into buying their thermal covers. I would rather get something a bit more upscale, but I don't really need it. Which got me thinking. I have researched and am now able to do perfect binding by hand. I've ordered the materials to construct my own book press and will experiment with the first bindings next week. If all goes well, I will be able to bind books by hand for less than 5 to 10 cents per book. The process appears to be limited by space and machinery, because it's a manual process. If I had a complete set up I would feel confident binding 60 to 100 books per hour. In reality I will be able to do 5 to 10 for a start. however, that is more than enough to warrant doing this.

Second to this I've heard of and researched Japanese traditional binding techniques. I think this would be an interesting alternative for our Japanese textbook. I think customers would appreciate it and it would make our book unique.

Third and finally, I believe I mentioned the ORT series (Oxford Reading Tree). They have small, colorful readers which are perfect for ESL kids. They are staple bound, and I am getting interest in producing books of that ilk as well. So I went ahead and got a long reach stapler. I think I'll need a cutting machine to keep the edges flat, but I can worry about that later.

I have a feeling things are going to be busy this week. The bottleneck now is going to be design. I have a lot of work to do!
« Last Edit: September 09, 2014, 08:05:01 am by printshop »
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printshop

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Re: Kongzi Print Shop pays a dividend
« Reply #42 on: September 10, 2014, 06:50:16 am »

Important news!

We have sourced a laminator pocket supplier which allows us to buy packs of laminator pockets for 46.2% cheaper per pocket than retail with very low minimum order quantities (200 packs of 200). Additionally, a preliminary cost estimate of our new printer (the HP m551dn) tells us that our new printer has a cpp 40% lower than our previous printer.

As a result of these two developments, our cost has dropped from 10.0 cents to 7.8 cents per card. This will allow us to lower our price while also making more money (and therefore paying a higher dividend).



We have also made contact with two different paper mills and our preliminary cost estimate tells us that the savings for a MOQ order will be at least 1 cent per card. However, MOQ on paper is huge. We have located a storage space capable of holding a 20 foot container for just $200 a month. More updates as they become available.

cobaltskky

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Re: Kongzi Print Shop pays a dividend
« Reply #43 on: September 10, 2014, 04:06:26 pm »

You are doing great work, buddy! :D  I can tell that you're deeply committed and passionate about your business. :)  Makes me want to invest more...
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printshop

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Re: Kongzi Print Shop pays a dividend
« Reply #44 on: September 12, 2014, 08:37:39 am »

Edit: I originally outlined a plan to try and combat the exchange rate. Perhaps I'm overthinking this and picking a battle I can't win.

I guess you can tell I don't have a lot of experience doing this. I tried giving whatnxt's publicity plan a try, it seems to work but it is very time intensive. I need to spend some time working on a new book we've been given. Hopefully by next week the NXT price will stabilize.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2014, 02:48:09 pm by printshop »
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printshop

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Re: Kongzi Print Shop pays a dividend
« Reply #45 on: September 12, 2014, 09:32:42 pm »

It turns out the lamination packs are 60 cents cheaper than I was told. I'm not sure what happened between two days ago and today, but we're getting the packs for almost 60% off retail now. They should be here today.

Not everything is good news however. The index card supplier is having problems with their 160gsm cards. I might be able to work with 140gsm cards, but at 140gsm it isn't really card anymore IMO. I'm worried about bleed-through. I've asked them to send me a sample but it looks like it's back to the drawing board on index card suppliers. Will advise.

printshop

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printshop

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Re: Kongzi Print Shop pays a dividend
« Reply #47 on: September 13, 2014, 06:35:32 am »

oops, I accidentally posted the same message twice. please delete this post.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2014, 07:15:31 pm by printshop »
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cobaltskky

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Re: Kongzi Print Shop pays a dividend
« Reply #48 on: September 14, 2014, 12:42:54 pm »

Hi all!  I received my flash cards from Kongzi and wrote up a review for printshop.  He's posted it here:

http://kongzi.ca/wordpress/2014/09/chinese-flashcards-review-by-cobaltskky/

There will also be a link to the original PDF shortly. :)

Summary:

KPS delivers a quality product with heart.  These cards are well-suited for students on the go.  They are durable and utilitarian.  The man behind KPS has a strong motivation to make his business succeed.  I look forward to seeing how KPS grows over the next year, and, more immediately, reading the next motivating forum post made by printshop.
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polylux

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Re: Kongzi Print Shop pays a dividend
« Reply #49 on: September 14, 2014, 06:38:35 pm »

Great, thanks for the review!
Just bought in.
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printshop

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Re: Kongzi Print Shop pays a dividend
« Reply #50 on: September 15, 2014, 02:06:12 am »

I think I need help guys. I'm in a lot of trouble.

Word is out that I have this printer and cheap paper is on the way and I made the mistake of showing a couple of schools the new books I have done which are just simple 8-10 page staple bound books.. The demand for a little book like that with a cheap cover seems to have exploded.. There is almost an unlimited demand for books like this. I don't mean in quantity though. I mean in breadth. I have so much design work to do it's not funny. But the design will snowball and the more little books I make the more money we will make long term. Schools want little readers. I have standardized around an 8-sheet (32 page) design to help standardize costs, but may go as high as 10 or 11 sheets depending on a number of factors.

I still need to finish the Japanese flashcard series. This is going to kill me. If I do 10 cards a day it will take me 3 more months just to finish that. Maybe I should bite down and do 30, 40, or more cards a day, it will be nervegrinding but maybe I can do it.

I am looking into a black hole of work for the next 12 months. And I can't even start most of it until I finish my story mulcher. I've decided to write it in java and screw the web interface. I just don't have the time to fiddle with dreamweaver and php. No, no, I need to calm down. I can do it on the web. It would be better that way. I've been thinking about this for a while. If I design in Java I might have issues with copy protection. If I design on the web I can have a use-based model and it will be easier to sell later on. That thought was three years ago. Now I know I can centralize the data on a server and have people type a login and password to access data remotely.

I guess I'm writing this partly to organize my thoughts. I need the mulcher to grade stories so I know where the fit, i.e. grade level.

If only I could hire someone to do robotic cut and paste work for me! I bet with minor training, someone could learn to insert data into flashcards, and I could go back and edit the cards later and add sentence patterns! I wonder if there's anyone out there that wants to earn some real money (in NXT) and doesn't mind working at their own pace? You wouldn't need to know Japanese, but you would need to follow the instructions exactly!

« Last Edit: September 15, 2014, 02:09:33 am by printshop »
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cobaltskky

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Re: Kongzi Print Shop pays a dividend
« Reply #51 on: September 15, 2014, 02:14:50 am »

lol  I'd categorize your problem under the heading of "good kind." lol  It sounds like you need an intern. lol  I'll post your delimma around to some of my friends who are looking to get into Nxt - this might be a good way for them to earn some. :)
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frmelin

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Re: Kongzi Print Shop pays a dividend
« Reply #52 on: September 15, 2014, 10:48:14 am »

Did you try platforms like fiverr (www.fiverr.com)?
Perhaps you could find what you're looking for over there (only in $ though).
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JamesList

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Re: Kongzi Print Shop pays a dividend
« Reply #53 on: September 15, 2014, 09:31:49 pm »

Wow, a lot of work. Could you tell us how you calculate the dividend? thank you very much. Keep up the good work.
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printshop

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Re: Kongzi Print Shop pays a dividend
« Reply #54 on: September 15, 2014, 11:23:58 pm »

Wow, a lot of work. Could you tell us how you calculate the dividend? thank you very much. Keep up the good work.

It all begins with APFill.

We use this software to calculate an exact CMYK ink coverage on a per-page basis. We then add the numbers to our spreadsheet-o-matic, which has formuas for comparing our job's average percentages with ISO standard page coverage (5%) with the cost of our printer ink, which is for example $100 for 5,500 pages (1.8 cents/page black), $x/yield Cyan, etc. It also has a range of paper types and binding methods. This gives us an excellent idea of what our material and labor costs will be to produce said materials. We don't include lead time since we are set up as an on-demand shop (which means even one copy gets the best price we can offer).

Every copy we make (including test copies and mistake copies) is put into a second spreadsheet along with the cost on a per-copy basis. This tells us when a customer ordered something, and on what date the item was printed, and how many. This lets us know how much to charge and it is also a convenient way to calculate costs, since cost and markup figures are all available here. So if we put the monthly figures into a third table, we can calculate an average rate over several months. 1/4th of this would be the weekly rate, then we pay 90% of that rate. I calculated it a couple of weeks ago so basically I just divide $90 by the bitstamp rate, and there you go. $90 / $475 is 0.189 BTC, which we just paid, for example.

Then again, sometimes I just take last week's figure and add a few bitcents if I think business is going good and the exchange rate isn't so hot. I'd only be able to do that once in a while though, obviously, but it's working so far. We will all see if bitcoin jumps from $500 to $1500 so there isn't really any danger that I will accidentally overpay.

Back to the accounting aspect, the business has it's own accounts for local currency, Bitcoin and NXT, so the funds don't get mixed up with my own personal cash. The local currency account has a debit Visa number, so I can make purchases directly from the account without having to worry about taking out money and accounting for purchases separately.

This all conforms to the philosophy "Everything is directly itemized on a bill somewhere."

I like to keep some in cash, some in BTC and NXT, because I find that if I try to put everything in one account, expenses creep up in another. We (can) pay for our web hosting and our index cards in BTC, our hardware, lamninate and rent in local currency. We currently have no NXT expenses. Keeping it spread out allows me to deal with numbers and make declarations by fiat, such as simply going to one account and paying dividends without actually transferring any money between accounts (thereby saving on exchange fees). I can then go back and make one lump sum transfer at the end of the week (or month) to balance the accounts which are getting drained. This also lets the 10% we don't pay float around in the system greasing the wheels. When we need to make a purchase, we calculate if we can afford it by counting out if we can make the next 5-10 dividend payments with what's left. If the answer is yes we most likely won't run into any trouble making a purchase.

Right now there is a small outflow of money into local currency as we've bought a printer and laminate, and are preparing to order index cards. Our quote now is $4,000 for 1 million cards (which is 87% off what we pay for standard index cards now). Once we get those our cost per card is expected to drop dramatically.

You know, there is probably a way for us to buy toner and ink in NXT. When the time comes, I'll ask, and someone here can try to find some good printer toner in a best buy or something and mail it to us. We'd pay in NXT and you'd pay in local currency. It'd be a great way to build the NXT economy. I have a lot of toner now, it may be a month or more before I need new toner, this printer is a beast, but we will see.

satoshi

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Re: Kongzi Print Shop pays a dividend
« Reply #55 on: September 16, 2014, 04:43:05 am »

You could hire virtual assistant on ...

odesk.com (as low as 1 USD per hour but quality not sure)

or

onlinejobs.ph  for as low as USD 200 per month you can hire a full time employee) if you go through a detailed hiring process you can find some real good workers there.
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printshop

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Re: Kongzi Print Shop pays a dividend
« Reply #56 on: September 17, 2014, 12:54:48 pm »

Thanks for the advice on hiring people over the internet. It's a tempting prospect but I think not. I think I should probably just do it myself.

To the point I just had a series of realizations about my workflow creating the JLPT N5 series. I was doing things in a very difficult to accomplish way. I've been able to streamline my workflow into a sort of robotic dance, I can't seem to put my finger on it but it feels about five to ten times faster than before. Oddly enough it's even less boring than the old way because I can see more words and think about them, while I am entering the data.

Updates about our paper suppliers. Well I've contacted eight different paper mills (and some paper mills in China) and it turns out that we just can't get index cards unless we hire someone to cut the paper ourselves. It's also prohibitively difficult to get anything other than 140 gsm OR 200gsm. Nothing in between seems to exist. So I'm going to try 200gsm, it's a tad more expensive but if it solves the see-through problem that will be great. The good news is that even though it's a hardier stock it looks like it will be cheaper than what we buy now. Not the order of magnitude I was hoping for, but cheaper. We will get our quote on the paper tomorrow.

cobaltskky

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Re: Kongzi Print Shop pays a dividend
« Reply #57 on: September 17, 2014, 05:01:51 pm »

Good thinking! I'm glad to hear you're taking my feedback into account and working on the transparency problem. :)
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printshop

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Re: Kongzi Print Shop pays a dividend
« Reply #58 on: September 20, 2014, 11:37:17 am »

Dear investors;

Our IPO is now closed. We did not raise enough to pay for bulk paper or office space. Fortunately, due to a lower BTC and steadily increasing profits, we will not need to lower the dividend. I do not forsee a need to lower the dividend at any time into the future.

To raise money in the future, we will move to the mini-IPO model.

In the mini-IPO model we issue a small number of shares for a specific purchase. Our first mini-IPO will be for bulk paper at around 4,000 shares and 0.0012 BTC/share. This will lower our cost per pack from $0.93 to at least $0.77 quoted. This is important as paper is currently our largest cost component of flashcard production.

We are also launching a new staple-bound book series ("Nissan Phonics", not related to Nissan Corporation) so we would like to make a side order with the same company for A4 and legal size paper. We can currently produce each (color) book for about $1.70, and we will be able to sell them for around $3 to $3.50. A lower cost for B5, A4 and legal size paper will help us make more money on the books we sell too, but our first priority will be to secure card paper for index cards.


Dividend Announcement
=======================
The total payment will be 0.192 on Monday, September 22nd. This will represent a payment of 2.2%.

On Monday, we will release the first round of mini-IPO financing; 4,000 shares at 0.0012 BTC/share.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2014, 11:46:46 am by printshop »
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Sebastien256

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Re: Kongzi Print Shop pays a dividend
« Reply #59 on: September 20, 2014, 11:51:28 am »

how many shares in circulation at the moment? ty
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