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somebody start a poll on turn around times

Discussion in 'Tanning' started by Leslie, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. Leslie

    Leslie New Member

    For two years I have been trying to figure out what are the best turn around times for various tanneries. I have called several and am usually told that the "normal" turn around time is 3 or 4 months, if it's not busy. Some offer a faster 60 day service. Most state they process the work in the order it comes it.
    On the forum, I have seen many posts with people complaining about turn around times. What I notice is that for every person who complains about the turn around time of a particular tannery, there is a supporter praising them. It appears to me that either those of us waiting 6-8 months for our stuff (sometimes longer) are doing something wrong in sending our hides, we are picking the wrong tannery, or the tanneries have learned which customers they have to satisfy to stay in business. I have only used a couple of tanneries. I will keep trying until I find out what works for me.
    I wish someone who is familiar with the different tanneries would start a poll which might gather the information in one place of the actual turn around times for various tanneries. This way we could see that the average real turn around time for So and So tannnery is X days. I would likely leave out some of the major tanneries if I tried to start the poll.
    Since perception matters, ie one person thinks 4-5 months is a great turn around time, and another thinks 3 months is too long, actual number of days is what would be helpful.
  2. blackpup

    blackpup New Member

    Leslie, I have been a taxidermist and commercial tanner( we do not except outside work) for over 50 years. Find a tanner who does the quality you like and work to build a long term relationship with them. You will reap great benifits from this approach. Monte

  3. Leslie,
    Last season I started out telling folks 2 months. That quickly went by the wayside as hides began to pour in. What I have decided to do this season is go for 4 months and try to keep people who can stand that turnaround. If it slides into 5 months, it is not as bad as telling someone 2 months and it end up being 5 or 6 actual months.

    That was my first deer season. I know now that some people can not stand that long of a wait since they are in an area that holds competitors that do not send out to tanneries and can promise 4-6 month turnaround on their WT heads. You and I talked about this.

    Monte has good advice. Try to find someone that will try to work with you and develop that. Going to the quickest turnaround may mean you are using a poor tanner or worse, someone who will be here this year and gone next year. With your hides.
  4. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    Too many variables, and beware, time frames do not dictate quality.
  5. Old Fart

    Old Fart Active Member

    Exactly right, Bill. It's usually 4-6 months after I send any given batch of hides or capes to the tanner before I could ever get to them anyway. That's the general turn around time . When I was less busy I tried "fast" tanners and I was usually burned by an inferior product. If you send everything out, like I do, find a tanner that does the best work for your liking and stick with them. Early in the season the tanners are usually faster than late in the season, if you want things faster, get the hides in a quick as possible. That could be as simple as sending smaller shipments, more frequently.
  6. gab

    gab Active Member

    also, wet tans usually have faster turnaround.David is the 6 months for wet tan too?
  7. The oldest wet tan order I had was Leslie's and another guy that told me he could wait. Both of those went 6 months I believe. Leslie knows the dates on her two orders. But these were received frozen and I was offering $15 to prep the capes. Believe me, there was a long line at the freezer.

    The majority of my wet tans that come to me green frozen are done in 4 or 5 months during gun season. Anyone that sends in salted hides gets them back in about 3 months. They just don't have to wait in the line for the prep service and it saves them anywhere from 30-60 days extra waiting time.

    While it is true that I am making money doing the prep service, sending in salt dried hides gets them back quicker and if I could, I would cut out prep service completely. I have a handful of customers that keep my freezers stocked year round because they don't have anyone to do the prep for them.
  8. Leslie

    Leslie New Member

    Quality and turn around times are two different things. Both have a lot to do with perception. My point was to try to compare apples to apples. If you know what a real turn around time is, and you know what the quality is, you can make a decision. I didn't mention tannery names because I was not trying to bad mouth anyone. I have been very happy with the quality of capes I have received from Lonestar. I didn't mention names because I was making a general observation about tanneries. Not attacking an individual tannery.
  9. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    Leslie, for the record, I didnt feel you were attacking any name. Just clarifying the direction we were heading in, I guess. Id say that theres a very good handful of exceptional tanneries, a few of which are very active here on these forums.
  10. Leslie,
    I didn't see it as an attack either. I think it is difficult to word in an open forum, but you did get your point across. I know what you mean about hearing different versions of turnaround with the same companies. There are orders that get processed quicker and the reciprocation is either monetary (rush fees) or by simply showing up on a Saturday and working 10 hours in the tannery. I am guilty of that, but when starting from scratch, you take any help you can get to finish the job.

    By the same token, I just found a grey squirrel and a skunk that finishes an order I took in back in November. The guy had all his WT's completed and wet tans, but these were lost in the mix until today. Things like that are not normal, but try telling the guy that was waiting on the skunk he shot last Fall. (Killed with a 300 mag and only half the skunk was even tannable, but he wanted it back)

    I would split my tanning up so you don't have everything in the same basket. That way you have a better chance of not getting hung up at any one particular tannery if they are experiencing a big load of work.
  11. flesher

    flesher New Member

    ive been running a fleshing service for about 14 years,but ive kept it small.i flesh about 5000 deer capes a year.ive kept my turnaround time at about 3 weeks,but i can see how demand for quality work could over take a tannery.ive always just told people i'm full.
  12. I send my capes out every 2 weeks, to Golden State Tannery, they do a wet tan, in 3-4 weeks I have them back.By the time elk season in November gets here, I have all my Antelope, and most of my deer back here in the freezer, ready to mount. If you send capes out every 2-4 weeks , you will soon have capes coming in all the time to work on, and it breaks up the tanning bill this way as well. Woks for me. Ü
  13. gab

    gab Active Member

    Tim,I agree with that theory but I haven't been able to get it to work.For over 6 months,I sent tanning to the tannery every week,so after 3 months,i should get an order back evry week,right?WRONG they still just let them pile up and sent them in big lots,sometimes mixing my orders up,making them hard to check in.In my business,if a customer brought me a head to mount once a month,after 6-7 months,they'll get one back once a month.That's the way it's supposed to work.My tannery drives me nuts,but I haven;t found anyone better and keep going back for the abuse.
  14. Gab,

    you should try some new ones. send a few capes and see if they can do what they promise. it doesnt make sense to do the same thing over and over hoping for a different result one day. become proactive in finding a solution.
  15. Bill Yox

    Bill Yox Well-Known Member

    Hey right here is Sivko, from my state. I know they support my state association, have donated tanning and I havent heard anything negative from it. David Patton owns his own tannery too, guys in here have been using him as well. Theres two good examples...hint hint...
  16. oldshaver

    oldshaver Guest


    Turnaround time. If you do good work, you get a deep backlog, and turn around suffers. If you over staff, to combat this problem, you will end up with employees that come and go. Sure, you can train and hire employees to meet seasonal demands, but most will never gain the experience required to work at a good tannery, and in the mean time, your product suffers. This applies to every aspect of the tannery. Good employees, that know what they are doing, aren't going to stay around, if all the tanning is done within a 6 month period, and they are unemployed, the other 6 months. This is just a question here, but wouldn't a Taxidermist be better served, by extending their turnaround time, and explaining the benefits of a truly TANNED skin, and how it makes for a better QUALITY mount?
    This is a post I made a while back, on this subject. It is titled, "A Good Tannery's Catch 22". This made sense to me now, and still does. I am probably going to get some grief for this, but I will say it anyway. A good Tannery, will never be able to turn around skins, in 3-4 weeks, year round. Its simple math. High demand, slows down the turnaround. For a truly good operation, this problem will never be solved. Your demand will increase every year, and slow turn around times will eventually start. If anyone disagrees, I would like to hear it.
  17. The employees will come and go no matter how big you are but, if the tannery is that good and has that much work they should be able to keep their guys busy all year. I know that I send things to the tannery every month of the year so I'm sure others do also.

    "but wouldn't a Taxidermist be better served, by extending their turnaround time, and explaining the benefits of a truly TANNED skin, and how it makes for a better QUALITY mount? "

    Are you for real or are you joking?
    Yes, I tell them all the benefits of a truly Tanned hide and quality takes time However, with all the shops offering 6 month turnaround time trying to copy Mike Boyce and all the DP crowd turning them out in 2 weeks its hard for customers to except 10 to 12 months.

    I agree a good shop or tannery will always have backlog but, all I want is for them to tell me the truth. I always call the tannery before I ship a box to ask," how long?". I make plans based on what I am told but get screwed everytime. If you say 4 months it better be 4 months not 6. Tell the truth and let me make the decision if I want to wait that long, otherwise I feel they are dishonest and greedy.

    I also find it funny how one tanner I tried said," 3 months" but it took 6 months and when I called him on it he said ," the clock don't start until I check them in." I looked at the acknowledgement letter and it took him 3 month to check them in.
  18. gab

    gab Active Member

    Hey John,it sounds like we're using the same tanneries.I don't understand Why,if a tannery is 2 months behind there advertised time,they continue to advertise and go to shows and even give new customers rush service for free,pushing my stuff back even more
  19. I feel some think they proved on the first or second order how good/fast they are and then you go to the end of the line. Then it is ,"Oh well.... See we have the BEST TAN out there now if you want the best quality it takes time. It shows we are the best because we have a large back log."
  20. oldshaver

    oldshaver Guest

    Yep, just as you probably do, for those guys you are mounting that first wild sheep, mtn goats, and bears for. So from what you are saying, if you turn out crap mounts, and do them fast, you are still going to have a deep backlog? I DONT THINK SO! I went to your site, and I cant imagine you worrying about the DP guys.
    Have you ever worked at a tannery? Have you ever shaved on a shaving machine , for 8-10 hours a day. Have you ever dug around in sawdust drums, in 100degree heat, and went home with the crack of your ass full of sawdust? Have you ever pulled 15 or so bison hides, out of a vat, loaded with gallons of water. You have no idea, of the lengths, that tanners go through, just to keep ya ll happy, and stay in business. Before you try to tell me, that you know about employees coming and going, you need to walk a month in my shoes. Yes we stay busy year round, but it NEVER gets any easier. Our shaving room payroll alone, would blow your mind. You either have, a few good men, and women, or you have, a bunch of people that dont give a crap! Then your in trouble. Until you have done MY job, you cant judge, and ASSUME that you know everything. Ive never been a Taxidermist, but I have learned enough, most of my adult life, to know, that you guys pay my salary.
    My long point here, is that we know you need you skins back quick, but we cant have idiots off the street working on them, and expect to stay in business.