Professional Bench/Five Steps to Profit
Profits from Electronic Productivity
A look at tack and pulse arc welding
Stephen Hermanson, a JA Certified Master Bench Jeweler known to friends as Steece, is part of a family jewelry-making tradition. His father and grandfather were watchmakers and jewelers; Steece focuses solely on being a bench jeweler.
Hermansons first industry job was as a polisher for Phares Chatham at a trade shop in Columbia, SC. He then studied design and manufacturing in a full-time eight-week jewelry-making program. He attained other skills by attending traveling bench classes presented by the Gemological institute of America. Hermansons best source of knowledge comes from the challenge and subsequent self-study required to provide the intricate high-end designs co-owner Daniel Chandler sells on a routine basis.
Hermanson lives in Sumter, SC. He and his wife have six children, and he is an avid reader and active with his church. Hermanson is a natural-born teacher, say those who work with him. He has given demonstrations at national industry events such as JA Masters in Motion in New York City and Tucson, AZ. He also provided valuable contributions to the Jewelers of America/Platinum Guild Platinum International Platinum Fabrication video. Here is how he uses pricing, process, promotion, productivity and professionalism to make a difference.
The entire staff at Galloway & Moseley takes in jewelry for repair, consulting the bench staff for guidance and accurate estimates on complicated jobs. Rather than use price charts, they estimate all incoming work based on the calculated cost of labor, material and mark-up unique to the individual piece. Custom orders account for 50% of the shops volume.
Because of the volume of work, Galloway & Moseley has a full-time shop facilitator who logs in and out all repair work, assigns jobs to the three bench jewelers and ensures all jobs are completed by the due dates and that they meet the stores quality standards. The facilitator calls customers once the work is completed.
The sales professionals at Galloway & Moseley regularly refer to the bench staff and their credentials. Pride in the shops personnel is apparent during sales consultations, say the owners, and it pays big dividends. Galloway & Moseley also devote a large portion of their advertising budget to cable TV promotions, most of which feature the shop and its bench jewelers.
Each bench worker focuses on repairing one piece of jewelry at a time with the exception of the final step polishing, where multiple pieces can be handled at the same time thanks to a process developed by Phares Chatham, Hermansons first employer and now a jewelry repair legend at Galloway & Moseley. See photo and caption below for an explanation.
Hipkins works on light custom orders and assembly pieces; Hermanson works on other custom orders, design and manufacturing for customers and occasionally special pieces for inventory. Galloway & Moseleys greatest contribution to production comes from tacking and fixturing, a term applied to the use of tack and pulse-arc welders for temporary placement of material before soldering and for final placement. Chatham has an ABI Tack I at his bench, Hipkins a Tack II and Hermanson a Tack II and a Tack III pulse-arc welder. Here are a few examples of how they are used:
Bench jewelers at Galloway & Moseley wear professional attire because theyre often called to the sales floor. Each one is certified or is becoming certified. Others in the store have professional certification in their area also. This collective knowledge, team effort and professionalism propels the business forward, say the owners.
By Mark B. Mann, Director of Trade Programs, Jewelers of America; Featuring Stephen Hermanson, JA® Certified Master Bench Jeweler, Galloway & Moseley, Sumter, SC
For information about JA Bench Jeweler Certification, contact JA at (800) 223-0673 or www.jewelers.org. For questions on Steece Hermanson, Galloway & Moseley or ABI tack welders, call Hermanson at (803) 775-1209.