Author Topic: SMS  (Read 714 times)

Offline fishnjim

  • Posts: 2431
  • Name: J. Bozin
SMS
« on: May 08, 2022, 09:04:34 AM »
I got my upholstery samples in a little over a week, I don't see that being unreasonable.   They were "free".   I think they're using the old L-B swatch chart data.  I have a L-B sample book somewhere in the garage with the "P" stuff.
Only thing was they didn't put the numbers on the samples, they renamed them A-D, so more confusing.   But they did that before, if I recall, when I didn't have numbers just samples.
The letter says they're doing door panels, etc. too.   They had suspended, but I'd call to check before I assumed.   Don't give up the ship just yet.   Takes a while to sort through/catalog all the inventory.
I found a nice cloth with the crest over v pattern, but not sure what was the right one of trim 30 -black and white carousel cloth...  The vinyl doesn't look right either, too off-white and pattern not grain.   They only showed one.   More research and waiting on upholstery shop guy.  The white/black sample looks to busy to be of use.   I don't want a clown car...

Offline Clewisiii

  • Posts: 563
  • CLC Number: 32323
  • Name: Carl Crittenden
Re: SMS
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2022, 10:22:02 AM »
Just a warning. Just because you got the sample does not mean they have the material. They have several walls of trays of precut samples they pull from. I got my samples in a week. I got my material just shy of 2 years.

In my 1961 fabric book they show the Cadillac fabric. But all vinyl was generically listed. I could not find a vinyl in the 61 book that matched my car.  But the SMS vinyl was correct. I never found out the number.

The headliner fabric was the right color, but not the right construction. The original headliner fabric had a woven backing. So it did not stretch. The SMS material is very stretchy.
"My interest is in the future, because I am going to spend the rest of my life there."  Charles Kettering

Offline Clewisiii

  • Posts: 563
  • CLC Number: 32323
  • Name: Carl Crittenden
Re: SMS
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2022, 10:25:23 AM »
Part of their wall
"My interest is in the future, because I am going to spend the rest of my life there."  Charles Kettering

Offline Art Gardner CLC 23021

  • Posts: 1605
  • Name: Art Gardner
Re: SMS
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2022, 03:46:34 PM »
I got my upholstery samples in a little over a week, I don't see that being unreasonable.   They were "free".   I think they're using the old L-B swatch chart data.  I have a L-B sample book somewhere in the garage with the "P" stuff.

Last time I bought from them I got the samples in a week or two.  They told me that they had the materials in stock and that my order, once placed, would be filled in 2-3 weeks.  So I ordered.  It took over a year to get the materials.  Lots of excuses.  The fabrics seem correct and in the end I am happy.  But the wait was ridiculous.
Art Gardner


1955 S60 Fleetwood sedan (now under resto)
1955 S62 Coupe (future show car? 2/3 done)
1949 S60 Fleetwood sedan (restored 30+ yrs ago)
1958 Eldo Seville (2/3 done)

Offline Abe Lugo

  • Posts: 172
  • CLC Number: 31763
  • Name: Abe Lugo
Re: SMS
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2022, 09:04:39 PM »
I ordered yardage for a bench project but one of the vinyl fabrics  was too stiff and the upholster said it would be hard to use and might rip. It would not stretch or basically it post it’s elasticity.
I was matching up some seat fabric to do some repairs. 
The upholstery was able to mover around some pieces from and hidden area and make it work.
This SMS fabric a few years ago.

Also not that if you have 50’s silver embossed pieces needed make sure to get photos or a swatch of the actual item.  The embossed stuff is sometimes not an exact match. 
Abe Lugo  CLC#31763  Sunny Los Angeles,CA @abelugo IG

Offline fishnjim

  • Posts: 2431
  • Name: J. Bozin
Re: SMS
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2022, 10:28:10 AM »
Past is past.   Helps to know when the orders were placed vs delivery date, stock vs out of stock, so we can gauge any improvement/worsening.
I'm just monitoring the situation and won't let it go that far.   I'll cancel the order if it's delayed excessively/not in stock.   Sometimes we get what we tolerate.   
Some of these cloths have to be made, as I described earlier, if they're not in stock, so some foreign factory has to weave the pattern and ship to states.   Not a fast operation.   If it was a 2020 with those type deliveries, I'd be worried.   No time machines out there.
I suspect they should have improved and some of the covid stuff still lingers, so I don't expect miracles from them or anyone.   One measure of a good company is if they know they're order backlog/delivery and publish/notify of it.   Always ask when ordering.  Even the USPS is having major issues with packages, etc.   They've tried to out cheap the competition and got bit.   
SMS absorbed a lot of inventory over the last few years, to sort that out is a chore.   Depends how well the places they got it from was organized and how much inventory.
I went back and matched up the samples with their numbering, so I ordered some similar samples to compare.   There seems to be a series of clothes, that they ascribe to '58 with same pattern but differing amounts of the contrast threads.   The one they say is "right" was rather busy.
Need to involve the upholsterer in the materials decision to avoid some of those issues describe like stretchy vs backed.   We discussed that at my visit.  Trying to avoid the up material charge is not always good.   I'm waiting on him anyway, so can't rush.
ps: I didn't find my L-B samples I must have thrown them out or confused with their website years ago.   They didn't handle P materials/nothing close then.  Was looking at what ifs.   I have all the others including the SMS samples I had used.   It took a bout a year to find the right stuff and that was 7-8 years ago, with sample back and forth, searching for inventory, etc.   Once they said they found it and how much they had and I ordered it, it didn't take long to arrive.   So that's my benchmark.

Offline StevenTuck

  • Posts: 1055
  • CLC Member # 16507
  • Name: Steven M. Tuck
Re: SMS
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2022, 10:14:45 AM »
All I can tell you is that I ordered some vinyl I was told was in stock on December 10, 2020. I had SMS create stitching embossing on a section. They told me it would take six weeks. It took 13 months. They did it twice and both times it was not right. I was able to make do with the first attempt and work around the errors. Secondly, they shorted me one yard. At 13 months I had no recourse with my credit card company to get my money back. I feel like I was told a lie in order to get the order and my money. I would contact them every month with a promise that it was coming next month. Next month would come and go with no delivery. I will never do business with them again, lesson learned!
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Offline Bryan J Moran

  • Posts: 207
  • Name: Bryan Moran
Re: SMS
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2022, 10:53:08 AM »
All this SMS stuff makes me wonder how the manufacturers did it from essentially 1950 onward.  Manufacturers made millions of seats, door panels, and headliners each year. 

Now each seat seems to be a custom job.  There are never enough "good" upholsterers and never enough fabric.  SMS has kind of cornered a market.  Lebaron Bonney, and Hampton out of business. 

This is why a person sees so many non authentic obviously wrong interiors in cars from the 1940's on.  When photos are posted of a vehicle for sale, our eyes go inevitably to the interior, and there you go, a pleated vinyl interior.   

Online TonyZappone #2624

  • Posts: 1076
  • Retired GM dealer
  • CLC Number: 2624
  • Name: Tony Zappone
Re: SMS
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2022, 06:49:13 AM »
The rugs they made for my '58 convertible about 15 years ago, were perfect.  I asked for seat samples, both the leather and Elascofab, and they were a dead match.  Never used them, my interior was too nice, and just needed to redye some areas, etc.  Indeed, when one calls them, for whatever reason, they are not at all warm and fuzzy
Tony Zappone, #2624
1936 Pierce-Arrow conv sed
1947 Cadillac Conv cpe
1958 Cadillac conv
2016 Cadillac CT6 Platinum
2018 Chrysler Pacifica Limited

Offline J. Skelly

  • Posts: 438
  • CLC Number: 15958
  • Name: Jim Skelly
Re: SMS
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2022, 07:34:18 AM »
All this SMS stuff makes me wonder how the manufacturers did it from essentially 1950 onward.  Manufacturers made millions of seats, door panels, and headliners each year. 

Now each seat seems to be a custom job.  There are never enough "good" upholsterers and never enough fabric.  SMS has kind of cornered a market.  Lebaron Bonney, and Hampton out of business. 

This is why a person sees so many non authentic obviously wrong interiors in cars from the 1940's on.  When photos are posted of a vehicle for sale, our eyes go inevitably to the interior, and there you go, a pleated vinyl interior.

I'm sure this is one reason why people who want an old car buy a Mustang, Corvette, Chevelle, Tri-Five Chevy, etc.  You can get just about anything you need for one of these from a catalog.  When I go to a car show, I want to see the less common cars rather than cloned muscle cars.
Jim Skelly, CLC #15958
1968 Eldorado
1977 Eldorado Biarritz
1971 Eldorado (RIP)

Offline fishnjim

  • Posts: 2431
  • Name: J. Bozin
Re: SMS
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2022, 10:29:29 AM »
I just got an email from "Doug" over there, and I'll relay the messages/concerns.   He didn't sound too flexible from what I asked and how he answered "we've done it this way for 45 years".   cf: you're wrong, I'm right.
They've been in business too long, apparently, and aren't keeping up.  In fairness, the last few years have been crazee, too.   Still having global fall out on shipments and supply currently.   First it was covid, now we just blame Russia?   USPS took 3 weeks to move a package from MO to me in SC???.  I can walk faster than that!   Tracking system out of order most of the time.   Our tax dollars at work...
I have no magic answers, all I know is things change over time, some better, some worse.   It takes skill to navigate troubled waters.   I know how it is and I only worked for ~35 years.   
Like I mentioned Hirsch seems to have some new interest here, so if you "ask" they'll know the market and whether they can serve.   Markets are like nature, they abhor vacuums.
My grandfather(WW1 & depression era) would just put an old rug or canvas over it...   and maybe a throw pillow cushion.   
I also know some people can be mighty particular and communication isn't always assured between humans.   Can't be fast enough nor cheap enough.   Part of the discussion I had with the upholsterer.    "Time wounds all heels."   " No good deed goes unpunished".   
When there's no contract, it's a tough go.   We always used purchase contracts at work and saved the bacon big time a few times.   Get it in writing, is the motto here.   

Offline Bryan J Moran

  • Posts: 207
  • Name: Bryan Moran
Re: SMS
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2022, 11:26:33 AM »
In the old days American ingenuity - referred to as "Build a Better Mousetrap" led to innovation when an industry was bogged down like this one.  Yet SMS seems to be the only game in town. 

Imagine an Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos creating from scratch an old car hobby upholstery business.  However, there is not likely enough money in it to do this.  Not sure, they did make millions of vehicles in the past 100 + years.

I fall in the camp where if I found a decent 50's Cadillac four door sedan I liked, and wanted to buy, but it had seat and maybe door upholstery that needed replaced - I might replace it was a close approximation of correct and not wait the 3 years with multiple BS answers to "when will it be done" inquiries.

If it's a 57 Seville, no way - it gets original -  but a 56 Fleetwood with little upside over the next 40 years until the hobby is pretty much done anyway?  Not worth the hassle. 

SMS - I would love to work there and see about process improvements.  Business "fun", but these owners don't seem to care.  What if he decides to hang it up and there is no buyer?    The old car hobby would be in a pickle.

Offline Bryan J Moran

  • Posts: 207
  • Name: Bryan Moran
Re: SMS
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2022, 11:29:32 AM »
I'm sure this is one reason why people who want an old car buy a Mustang, Corvette, Chevelle, Tri-Five Chevy, etc.  You can get just about anything you need for one of these from a catalog.  When I go to a car show, I want to see the less common cars rather than cloned muscle cars.

Jim - you are correct.  As has been noted, they even make new bodies for $17,000 for a Chevelle.  I was into Buicks and Cadillac full sizers for most of my hobby - and I decided to get a muscle car or two about 12 years ago specifically because of upholstery and parts availability. 

Offline Moody

  • Posts: 78
  • CLC Number: 32704
  • Name: David Moody
Re: SMS
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2022, 06:02:24 PM »
I have always found SMS to be very friendly and helpful. They always respond to questions via email, offer advice when I ask for it. That being said, I have waited quite awhile for my material. I did just get an email that it would ship this month. I knew what I was getting into when I ordered, so I’m not surprised. Frustrating for sure, but I rearranged my work schedule on the car so this didn’t slow me down. I’m slow enough as it is. Since I do all my own work, nothing happens right now anyway. -Dave
Moody

Offline fishnjim

  • Posts: 2431
  • Name: J. Bozin
Re: SMS
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2022, 09:40:18 AM »
This is the response I got about delivery.

"Cloth and vinyl aren’t the shipping problem.   The long waits are for custom made door panels and custom made seat covers.    You’re comparing apples to oranges I believe."

As I said, if you have a cloth requirement that has to be made as out of stock or are requesting interior panels, they are short handed apparently.   They stopped taking orders for door panels but I think they have resumed.

I guess some of this is self inflicted.   We want it cheap and we want it now!   When they made your car, the factory had a supply of that year's materials and staff with patterns to make it fit.   It's >50 years later for most classics and whatever scraps of material remained, have dried up.   Lots of US industries have off shored for lower labor costs, and that increase lead times and eventually cost for extra shipping.   And the shipping situation right now is dismal at best.   Places like AMD, OPGI  etc. study the market and can better assess the needs for parts, etc. than a random order system.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2022, 09:47:17 AM by fishnjim »

Offline Clewisiii

  • Posts: 563
  • CLC Number: 32323
  • Name: Carl Crittenden
Re: SMS
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2022, 10:55:24 AM »
That is what they say.  And it seems reasonable.  But this is a lie.   It was 18 months for my vinyl yardage and it is old stuff. Has the smell and edge stains to prove it.  If you want correct use them. But expect lies and delays.   I heard them tell me many times they are packaging now and will ship on the end of the week.  And still waited another year.

When they actually ship you will get an email from UPS that a package is coming.  That is when you know.

This is all my SMS yardage. The only yardage that was made was the carpet lining
"My interest is in the future, because I am going to spend the rest of my life there."  Charles Kettering

Offline Moody

  • Posts: 78
  • CLC Number: 32704
  • Name: David Moody
Re: SMS
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2022, 08:00:35 PM »
I was promised six weeks ago that my shipment would be this month. Today I just got my UPS notification.
Dave
Moody

Offline Jason Edge

  • Posts: 1177
  • CLC Number: 14225
  • Name: Jason Edge
Re: SMS
« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2022, 03:49:55 PM »
I was promised six weeks ago that my shipment would be this month. Today I just got my UPS notification.
Dave
Wow! That is phenomenal speed for SMS! Seems like from most feedback I have seen you can take their estimate and multiply it by 4x to 12x. The only recent experience I have had with them has been ordering trunk material. I was smart enough to ask if they had it in stock? The answer was yes. I asked how long to ship?  They said 2 to 3 weeks. I asked why not tomorrow? They said they had to process the order.  I said "WELL, OK THEN" in my most snarky southern accent. :-) I sell parts on the side and regardless if it is a $1 bolt or a $1000 24 piece order, I try to get it out the door in 1 to 2 days ... period! But... they (SMS) have what people need and am sure I may have to use them again. It sure wouldn't hurt if they hired an extra hand or two to get those "in stock" items out the door a wee bit faster!
Jason Edge
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email - jasonedge@nc.rr.com
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Offline Moody

  • Posts: 78
  • CLC Number: 32704
  • Name: David Moody
Re: SMS
« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2022, 02:30:01 PM »
Actually, I ordered it last June, and asked if it was in stock. Yes. I started emailing and calling everyone there. Not sure if that helped, but the shipping notice is real. Mind you, I’m only buying material, not door panels or seat covers. But if you order after reading their reviews, you should know you could be in for a wait. No sense in getting upset, it is what it is.
Dave
Moody

 

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