Thursday, 19 December 2013
Breaking Barriers Community Arts specialise in producing Digital Storytelling across all spectrum's of society and is a not for profit social enterprise based in Llanilleth, Blaina Gwent. With grants and other funding becoming more difficult to obtain, they decided to create their saleable original children’s Personalised digital stories on DVD.
Chairman of Dischromatics Ltd, Stewart Spencer sits on the board of BBCA as a business adviser through an arrangement with Arts and Business Cymru, Stewart explains “The board of Breaking Barriers have a duty of care towards the social enterprise and decided to approve the production of the personalised DVD project in order to make up for any shortfall in funding and to allow the staff to continue producing high quality digital storytelling to the benefit of the local community and beyond”.
With all things Breaking Barriers produce, the essential characteristic of the final product was that of quality in every aspect, from the original story and graphics to the unique packaging. The project has been professionally managed and controlled by Natasha James who has had to work to extremely tight time-scales in parallel with many other projects in production at the company. Nevertheless there has been no compromising the quality of the final product and anyone purchasing these DVD’s will be extremely satisfied with the result.
Customers will be able to add the name and upload photographs of their child, choosing from different animal outfits within the story. The story itself is based on the well-known nursery rhyme “Hickory Dickory Dock and is about the clocks losing their “Dock”.
This week has seen the release of the promotional video produced by Dischro Creative of the new Xmas Album by the highly acclaimed classical crossover singer; Samantha Link called ‘Every Breath’. The video received almost two thousand views on YouTube within twenty four hours and shows the interest generated by the social media activity of many of her fans and others interested in purchasing in time for Xmas.
The video itself was filmed in and around Caerphilly and is only a glimpse of what this fantastically talented artist displays on the CD. The Album, which will be available from the Dischromedia website from Monday and various other outlets, is anticipated to sell well and is the perfect gift for the festive season.
Included on the album are classics like Ave Maria and World in Union with the powerful Titanium and the title track Every Breath You Take, all performed to perfection by Miss Link whose range and quality is fully displayed throughout with more well-known numbers from West End Musicals.
The Dischro group has been fully involved in this amazing project with Dischromatics designing the CD and packaging as well as providing the CD manufacturing. Dischro Creative produced the promotional video and was able to use a number of techniques including green screen technology used in the Shabbey Road studio in Caerphilly and it was a pleasure to be able to use the beautiful St Martins Church as one of the settings.
The CD has been released under the increasingly popular Dischromedia label who are making a name for themselves in the Classical Crossover genre of music with stars like Mark Llewelyn Evans and Peter Karrie as well as Samantha Link having their music distributed by this forward thinking and artist friendly label.
Friday, 12 July 2013
Dischromatics Vinyl CD's are available from small runs to large volumes. We have been receiving orders from as far afield as Switzerland and Spain as well as numerous requirements from UK groups, bands and solo artists. They are ideal for a great retro look and people are amazed at the look of authenticity of this product. For small runs the company provides on-site duplication with ink jet printing.
For larger runs, we use our UK partner Sony DADC. We are the only UK partner of this professional Manufacturer based in Wales, Sony DADC are the largest producer of CD, DVD and Blu-ray Replication in Europe. Orders placed for this product is delivered direct to anywhere in the European Union free of charge.
We are now also finding that we are picking up business from companies who have previously purchased from elsewhere, only to find they are receiving a sub-standard product and they are not even paying much difference in price, if any difference at times, they just assume that because it’s quality product it will naturally be much more expensive, well it isn't!
Vinyl CD’s when fitted into Dischromatics own design Digipaks really do look impressive and we are continually receiving commendations for the quality and therefore, much repeat business. Regarding CD Duplication, because everything is produced in-house, we are able to control the production time-scales and costs. This attractive product is ideal for our music orientated customers and we are continually requested for a quick turn round for their gigs as hand outs or sales opportunities.
We do need to have an IPR form completed to ensure compliance with the law and when the CD has cover versions an MCPS licence is required. Along with this we will require all artwork to Dischromatics spec but customers needn't be concerned as these are available on the website and our staff are more than happy to give advice on any areas where customers need technical support.
So if you would like a sample or no obligation quotation, please call 01495 243222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, 24 May 2013
Under the current credit crisis we are still seeing many companies, large and small going into receivership. On some occasions this is due to their inability to recover money owed to them by their clients.
It is a sad situation we find ourselves in when we see customers treating their suppliers like a credit facility passing on their own debt problems without the slightest tinge of guilt, many of whom eventually fail anyway causing untold misery and suffering to their loyal suppliers, dragging their viable businesses down with them. Worse perhaps, in terms of integrity, are the business owners who hold out paying until the very last minute or not at all, even though they may be cash rich themselves, some even hide behind the fact that they are based in a different country and simply rely on the supplier not being prepared to take the matter further due to logistics and the extra costs involved which may be difficult to recover.
Dischromatics found themselves in this situation with a well-known company based in New York called MBM Records run by an individual called Yan Saquet, who also, according to LinkedIn, claims to be President at Universal Music Brand Management Group. So if such large and well-known companies are prepared to treat a relatively small CD and DVD Duplication company like Dischromatics in this way, who knows where we are headed! It is therefore essential to follow a few simple steps to avoid this scenario but first some background on how this debt occurred and how easy it is to be lulled into a false sense of security.
In April 2012 the company received a rush order for Music CD Duplication for the Lotus F1 team for the Australian Grand Prix from MBM Records, the order was paid for in advance and the job was delivered on time and to the great satisfaction of MBM who even supplied a great testimonial. Dischromatics then received a follow up order in May 2012 for a much larger volume for the same disc. They requested credit saying they would pay once the delivery had been affected and therefore this company agreed bearing in mind the organisations involved. Terms were set and agreed at seven days from receipt of samples in New York.
On receipt of these samples by MBM Records and the rest of the discs to the requested destinations, MBM once again expressed their gratitude and satisfaction on the quality of the product and the service and said payment would be made as agreed. Since that time Dischromatics has dealt with several representatives of MBM including Yan Saquet and Loren Berrier, this has been done via email and directly by telephone and even text messages, none have resulted in settlement of the debt even though MBM Records received their payment from the Lotus F1 team several months prior to the order being placed. Over the following months Dischromatics encountered numerous stalling tactics and empty promises including some of the following comments:
“My name is Yan Saquet; I am the CEO of MBM Records. It is my understanding you have been in touch with Loren regarding the outstanding payment of the Manufacturing of the Lotus GP CD project we did with you. We were very happy with the product, and it has always been our full intention to comply with the agreement we initially made, but unfortunately the situation is that the company has been going through an extended period of cash flow issues. We would obviously like to avoid any litigation, so can you please let me know an appropriate course of action to resolve this issue”. Yan Saquet 07/08/2012. Dischromatics offered a payment plan but further prevarications prevailed and at the same time MBM were tweeting about acquiring new business deals.
Here are just a small amount of messages received: “I have just been informed by Yan that the payment will be made on November 1st. Can you please send the latest amount due”. Loren Berrier 17/10/2012. Statement was sent by Dischromatics immediately.
“Yes, Carl informed me he had spoken to you. I am working with Yan to come up with a realistic payment schedule that we can adhere to, and will get back to you shortly”. Loren Berrier 03/12/2012
“As our last conversation, email us a payment plan agreement: $1,000.00 per month. Then we'll process the first payment Yan Saquet 19/12/2012
“First $1,000 payment will be paid immediately the day we'll sign it”. Yan Saquet 30/01/2013
As a goodwill gesture a payment plan agreement was drawn up with the first instalment due in February 2013 and sent to MBM on 31/01/2013 and received back duly signed by Yan Saquet on the same day. Unfortunately, no money has been received by Dischromatics and all correspondence has been ignored. Naturally no company finds it easy to turn to litigation but there is no choice in order to maintain credibility. Bizarrely, MBM have been tweeting and releasing press releases over the past months on new deals they have concluded bringing further revenue into their company, they are still operating freely using funds from their suppliers with no intention of paying. All correspondence and agreement documentation is available for inspection.
Any small company who has the opportunity to export must sensibly do their homework on the prospective client in the first place to ensure they are viable and able to pay for the goods or services. Furthermore if credit is requested as being the only way they will do business, a letter of credit or other financial safeguard has to be implemented, if this is also found to be unacceptable, the advice has to be to walk away! For trading within the UK always do a credit check before accepting an order and a good tactic is a Director’s Guarantee, never offer credit to a company with a poor credit rating regardless of how much you need the business.
Monday, 15 April 2013
This is a question very close to my heart, as Dischromatics established Dischro Creative last year in order to exploit the undoubted opportunities available to any forward thinking enterprise with the experience, knowledge and wherewithal available. Dischro Creative offers filming forevents, showreels, testimonials etc., graphic design, web design, and app creation.
I read an article recently in the Director magazine that absolutely hit a chord with me as it mirrored my own thoughts and experiences. The article was based on the views of ex Dragon Doug Richard who certainly has the credentials and credibility to make anyone sit up and listen. His views are that the UK actually leads the world in this area but the UK government only pay lip service to it without giving credible and tangible support.
He goes on to say that the creative industry generates over £70,000 per minute in this country and accounts for 10% of exports and this is still a relatively young sector with huge potential for growth in this hi-tec area of our economy. Imagine what a significant financial boost from our politicians would do for the future economy, creating huge profits with a significant increase in exports and in high paid employment which would in itself have a positive knock-on effect for the whole economy.
Our own experience of the lack of support from our politicians is commonplace. Here in Wales. the Welsh Government continually pay lip service to how important the creative industry is to Wales and they have run a series of ‘seminars’ in the country to give the impression that they are being proactive but the truth is that they are offering very little tangible support to the creative sector itself. As far as the WG is concerned size I everything, they very rarely recognise small creative enterprises but this is where the most significant opportunities arise.
The past is a painful reminder of how our politicians in Wales fail to recognise the future lies with indigenous small to medium enterprises. It’s always about headlines with politician. The failed bid to establish LG in Newport is a poignant reminder of their incompetence, paying huge subsidies to LG and others for that matter only for us to see them fail and withdraw. I remember at the time, all the Ministers turned out for the photo call when the company moved in but they were not to be seen or heard when they moved out again.
What is needed is a body that includes leaders from a cross section of the Creative Industry, from large and particularly small enterprises together with politicians appointed by the WG who fully understand or who are prepared to learn, to get together to see how, collectively, we can progress in order to expand this valuable area of our economy. Instead of looking for publicity to boost their own egos, we need people who are genuinely interested in making this a success, to have the patience and understanding to learn what is needed, to offer support in whatever area is required ensuring there is cooperation with our universities so that courses can be adapted to suit what is required by our young and vibrant creative sector to the benefit of us all!
Thursday, 11 April 2013
Having completed some recent research using keywords relevant to my own business, it is surprising how many of the results that are prominent on Google are for companies that are no longer viable or may supply sub-standard product due to their low pricing. It seems that regardless of Penguin or Panda updates or whatever they do, Google just can’t get it right, with some unreliable sites still maintain a lofty position whilst other more quality sites are penalised due mainly to not adopting the black hat tactics of these lesser sites.
Further analysis of some of these sites through our financial checker, shows that they are actually trading beyond their means. They are simply not in a liquid enough state to carry on trading. If their customers are placing orders and paying in advance and they could finish up without product or the cash they paid for the goods because they may just be on the edge of bankruptcy.
One company who appears on the first page for the search term CD Duplication is Duplication Centre LIMITED (05279829), they have the audacity to claim to be the UK’s leading CD, DVD and Blu-ray Duplicator but have a working capital of minus (-£103,907), most worryingly for customers is that they also have a company which was incorporated in May 2007 but is not trading yet called Duplication Centre Service LIMITED (06250953). Not long ago, I was embarrassingly caught out like this by a company call Magellan who I had paid a sum of money to for equipment, they went bust soon after, I lost my money and they started trading again under a very similar name.
Another company called Max Duplication who also appears on the front page of Google for CD Duplication amongst other keywords they rate highly for has tangible assets of £937 with a working capital of minus -£7316. I wish someone could tell me how this works because the whole thing seems illogical. Yet another on the front page called Xpress Duplication Centre cannot even be found under that name at Companies House. Then there is Amstore who seems to have been dissolved and whose site is down still has a prominent presence in Google. TVV Productions also has a minus working capital!
In conclusion, I know it’s normal that you credit check your customers before offering credit but now you’d better check your suppliers too, especially if you pay up front for your product! Having said all this, there are of course sites that do have a high presence that are quality companies, many of these appear on lower pages too so it’s well worth doing thorough research before placing your order, if a similar product is so much cheaper than rivals, there’s a good reason why and it’s usually because the product on offer is sub-standard.
Posted by Dischromatics Team at 15:35