Matte Finish Is One Of Gaffers Tape’s Best Features

Pro Gaffer Gaffers Tape From TheTapeworks.comGaffers tape is woven cloth tape, made from cotton thread, it is not shiny like duct tape (reinforced vinyl), and thus does not reflect light.

Set designers and stagehands rely on this  finish because it means that they can make repairs, secure cables, and hide things the audience shouldn’t see, simply by applying a strip of tape.  It is almost invisible in most performance environments.

A tape that does not draw attention to itself and doesn’t reflect bright lighting has countless uses.

TheTapeworks.com
Voice 866-386-8335
Fax 800-327-6651
Email sales@harrisonbros.com

Harrison Bros. Inc.
47 North Chatham Pkwy.
Chapel Hill, NC 27517

What I Really Learned During 30 Years In The Trenches

ShovelUntil recently, my chosen career was in concert and special event production.  I spent more than 30 years doing sound, lighting, staging and event management.  It was a great run-I got to see the country and make dozens of great friends.  I saw more than my share of great shows along the way.

So, what did I learn that I consider really valuable today?  I can coil cables, level stages, mix sound for live TV and focus lights from the top of a 20 foot ladder.  Those were all hard-won skills that served me well, but they don’t have a lot of value today.

The most valuable skill, by far, was being able to make decisions.   Producing large events and concerts, every day was a string rapid-fire decisions, all focused on the starting time of the show.  There was never a chance to kick around a lot of options or “sleep on it”.  Not enough time

Fortunately, these were not decisions of the life-or-death variety, and if I was able to get two out of every three right, I was usually a hero.  There was never the option of putting off the decision until later.  The show would be today whether I made a decision or not.  Choosing “not to decide” was the same as “choosing to fail“.

The Only Time That Matters Is “Show Time”

I reality, the more decisions I made in a day the more likely I was to get really good results.  Making a couple of decisions before my first cup of coffee always gave me new options that got me closer to an on time show.  That was the goal.

Actually providing good entertainment was the job of the performers and their hands on technicians.  My job was to make enough correct decisions to insure that they got to do their job.

Making lots of decisions can be risky, even painful.  Rarely will it do the sort of damage that is almost guaranteed by making no decision at all.

No Competition In Your Rear View Mirror? That Usually Means Trouble

rear view mirrorAn interview in on of my favorite trade journals talked with someone who had started a very successful manufacturing business.  Most of the interview had good insights about starting and maintaining a business, but I was shocked at the founders answer to this question:

When asked about his competition, his response was that “we take pride in not concerning ourselves with it.  The moment we look back, we are no longer leading.”

If you are not willing to look back to see who might be nipping at your heels, then don’t be surprised when you look forward and see someone who you always thought of  as your trailing competition is now leaving you in the dust.

It’s great to see yourself as the leader, but that isn’t worth much if no one’s following.

TheTapeworks.com
Voice 866-386-8335
Fax 800-327-6651
Email sales@harrisonbros.com

Harrison Bros. Inc.
47 North Chatham Pkwy.
Chapel Hill, NC 27517

I Thought Engineers Drove Trains

Toy TrainIt is always amusing to me me how the live events business has allowed such practices as referring to sound persons as “engineers“. This is a good example of how the special events production industry has evolved outside of the mainstream.  Real engineers have college degrees. They face rigorous testing and must be licensed before they ply their trade.  All a sound “engineer” needs is a Sharpie and some gaffers tape!

I’ve Been There and I’m No Engineer

We were in the outdoor staging business for many years, and I must disclose, upfront, of being guiulty of more than one questionable decision. We are all deeply committed to the concept that “the show must go on“.  I am now amazed that over a period of more than 20 years no one ever asked me who designed this roof, who built this stage, and what are their qualifications?  The ability to buy imported trussing and lifts makes things even worse.

Somewhere along the way, our commitment to hard work and quick thinking manage to allow us to escape the scrutiny (government and otherwise) that similar industries must submit to every day.  Those days will end.

Can “Fly By Night” Be A Good Thing?

We  joke that building stages was like having a construction job without a lunch break.  The joke should  also include “and without a permit“. The building of temporary structures puts performers and audience members at the same sort of risk they would be exposed to when shows are in permanent buildings.  The fly-by-night nature (I don’t mean this in a derogatory manner, since we literally do “fly-by-night)  of what we do allows the work to escape the inspection and permitting process.

The evolution of stage roofs  a tent over a flat bed truck to massive structures like that ones in use today happened in rapid fashion.  The notion that an unlicensed contractor can hang thousands of pounds of equipment over the heads of audience members and performers without being subjected to formal training, licensing and inspection now must come to an end.

TheTapeworks.com
Voice 866-386-8335
Fax 800-327-6651
Email sales@harrisonbros.com

Harrison Bros. Inc.
47 North Chatham Pkwy.
Chapel Hill, NC 27517

 

 

 

 

 

Is It Time To “Fire” Some Customers?

One of the most annoying platitudes in all of business is “the customer is always right”. Who are you kidding?

Here’s where that old trope gets it wrong

Any business that automatically stands on the side of the customer instead of their own employees is going to be a very unhappy place to work. While it is true that without customers, there is no business, it is also true that with only demanding, entitled and arrogant customers, there is no need for the business.

Want a happy workplace?  You can start here

A happy company exists first for its employees and second for its customers. Employees who feel valued, who feel secure and who feel empowered will find a way to see to it that the customers are happy without the loss of face, the surrendering of dignity or the lack of self worth that comes from always putting the customer first, regardless of how unreasonable they are.

If you can have confidence that by empowering employees to meet reasonable expectations from your customers, then they will soon believe that exceeding those expectations will keep the customer coming back.

If this describes a customer, it’s time to let them go

If the customer is unreasonable, has unrealistic expectations or thinks that they own you because you want their money, they you need to fire them. There is somebody else ready to take their place.

TheTapeworks.com
Voice 866-386-8335
Fax 800-327-6651
Email sales@harrisonbros.com

Harrison Bros. Inc.
47 North Chatham Pkwy.
Chapel Hill, NC 27517

Doing A Trade Show? Make Sure Your Display Passes “The Duct Tape Test”

roll of silver duct tape

I edit another blog (product specific) called Tradeshowtape.com.  It is focused on products used to produce trade shows.

Recently I came across a trade show concept called “The Duct Tape Test“.  Obviously, any trade show idea that is focused on tape is going to catch my attention.  Turns out, “The Duct Tape Test” has nothing to do with  tape.

Tape As An “Idea”, Not As A Product

The idea of this test is for evaluating trade show displays, but it is relevant to almost any type of presentation, even those that are not primarily graphic content.

It works like this

In order for a trade show (or any) display to pass the duct tape test, it must be able to get your idea across even if you had your mouth covered with duct tape.   If your display can’t  get your ideas across without your explaining or elaborating, it has failed the test.

Next time you want to present an idea through a graphical presentation, make sure it can pass the “Duct Tape Test”.

TheTapeworks.com
Voice 866-386-8335
Fax 800-327-6651
Email sales@harrisonbros.com

Harrison Bros. Inc.
47 North Chatham Pkwy.
Chapel Hill, NC 27517

Gaffers Tape-It’s All About The Specs

I spend a lot of my time on the phone with new customers.

Having a great crew to take care of shipping orders, purchasing from vendors, managing web sites and taking care of administrative duties means that I get to talk with people who use our products.  Above all, it is the best part of my job.

Today we have posted a number of spec sheets about gaffers tape. Prospective customers want to know about the differences in the gaffers tapes we sell. These spec sheets hopefully will provide some of the information they are seeking.

Until you have used a number of different products, it is hard to understand how something as seemingly insignificant as one mil (1/1000 of an inch) in tape thickness can make a difference.

You’d be amazed at how much easier it is to handle a 12 mil tape than a 10 mil tape. Often prospective customers want to know why the gaffers tape we sell is more expensive than some others that they have heard of.

The specs tell the tale.

When comparing tapes, here are the three most important specs to check out:

  1. Thickness-Gaffers tape is offered in thickness as thin as 10 mils. Choose a tape of at least 11.5 mils (12 mils is better). It won’t c-u-r-l back and stick to itself, and, above all, it is stronger and tears more cleanly.
  2.  Adhesion-“Adhesion to steel” is the quantifiable spec for determining how sticky a tape is. For instance, look for an adhesion number of at least 60 oz. per inch to insure that the tape will hold properly.
  3.  Adhesive composition-The best gaffers tape uses a synthetic rubber adhesive. Less expensive products use an acrylic adhesive which is not as strong and which will not stand up to tough environments. Our comparison page includes both products we sell and others that are offered by our competitors.  In conclusion, we hope you find it useful.

Harrison Bros. Inc.
TheTapeworks.com
Voice 866-386-8335
Fax 800-327-6651
Email sales@harrisonbros.com

Harrison Bros. Inc.
47 North Chatham Pkwy.
Chapel Hill, NC 27517

 

Education In The Mailbox

I spend several hours a day reading, and the bulk of my time is spent with technical journals. It amazes me how willing publishers of magazines  oriented towards the entertainment production and audio visual industries are to underwrite the publication of dozens of really valuable journals. How can they do this? First of all,  advertisers like Duracell and Pro Tapes pay for these advertisements, not you!

Maybe other industries use this method, but this is the only one I am familiar with. As a result, these magazines are filled with dozens of really useful articles, and, many times, the advertising is filled with good info as well.

I use these journals regularly to find new products for our catalog.  Similarly, its also really great to come across articles about our customers. I even saw one of our products in a photo accompanying a story about the NFL Playoffs.

Here’s How To Get Your Hands On This Great Info

Any student or hobbyist in sound, lighting or theater tech can easily begin receiving these journals by simply making up a business name.

As a result, the magazines base their ad rates on the number of subscribers, so they are happy to add you to their subscriber list. They rarely do much to insure that you are a legitimate business with a large purchasing budget.  Similarly, they recognize that even students and part timers can drive purchasing decisions.

Journals like Pro Sound News, Sound & Video Contractor , Live Sound International, Church Production, and FOH Magazine are yours for the asking. Above all, they have great columns, handy “how to” articles, and honest equipment reviews. The photo quality is first good and the editorial content, while advertiser driven, is still useful. Above all, most of the writing is first rate.

Interested? Sign up for regular subscriptions at any of the publication web sites in this article. For instance, take a look at Pro Sound News and FOH Magazine.  In conclusion, this is definitely worth your time.

Harrison Bros. Inc.
TheTapeworks.com
Voice 866-386-8335
Fax 800-327-6651
Email sales@harrisonbros.com

Harrison Bros. Inc.
47 North Chatham Pkwy.
Chapel Hill, NC 27517