DAYSTATE PLUS FX AND THEIR OUTLOOK AS COMPANIES (NOT JUST THEIR GUNS).

Forums General Discussion DAYSTATE PLUS FX AND THEIR OUTLOOK AS COMPANIES (NOT JUST THEIR GUNS).

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    Spray1Mark
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    I started this thread on a UK forum and had some very interesting responses, I thought it would be interesting to see the response from you guys.

    Seeing as the competition between our beloved British Daystate and FX seems to be hotting up I was wondering aside from their guns what was the thinking behind their strategies as businesses?

    Daystate as I see it, subs out a lot of their components to CNC space in the machining industry, i.e. those who make very high end machined parts and have some machine capacity to spare, with the ability to produce the quality product Daystate wants.

    Of course they stick to the reputation of Walther for their tubes which I think is sensible.

    Mainly then Daystate assemble parts designed in house and made to a very high standard by subcontractors and hand fit them. This is very clever in one way because it requires relatively little in the way of investment of "big ticket CNC" machinery and of course less space, less in the way of very costly machinists etc. etc. presumably the very high level of quality control, is partly the responsibility of the subcontractor?

    This hand fitted approach IMO is reflected in their product, it looks handfitted and I think it gives a little more of a "custom" product look.

    FX on the other hand have a very different approach, they have invested hugely in CNC equipment, the Ben Taylor smoothtwist barrel system was looked at in depth by Daystate in the beggining, but adopted by FX after Daystate rejected it.  FX also borrows from Ben Taylor or Theoben in reg design and magazine system.

    This is also very clever in it's own way as it allows full control over production, with of course the ability to make very fast design/manufacturing changes in house.
    Potentially curing design/function issues without waiting until another cycle or generation of product begins before introducing it. However it may frustrate others including me, you simply can't keep up with the product at the moment, I admit to feeling a little cheated by this.

    However this approach also has great risks, capital invested, high operator costs, space and the need to pump out a lot of product to cover costs, this is fine when demand is high of course.

    In my opinion again, despite the excellent styling innovation and function of FX products, they still look mass produced upon close inspection, something that I never feel with Daystate products.

    On the other hand FX seems to react to customer demand very quickly, huge drives to satisfy lots and lots of variations on the theme. Daystate seems to take it much more slowly and release less product, not rushing into new guns continuously, but little tweaks, custom or special editions, something I love but I know some don't. Perhaps though trying to satisfy the market with lots of new products all the time as FX appears to be doing can harm your reputation in the long run?

    I looked at the Daystate accounts published at Companies house in the UK, I think that their commitement to quality may cost them profit margin that they could get if the product was produced to a lower quality, but this is of course why they have been around for 40 years, the product quality is simply second to none IMO.

    I don't know if FX publishes accounts in Sweden or if they are required to make them public record or not, it would be interesting to look that is for sure, my opinion is that profit is much more central to their business model, not that there is anything wrong with that of course.

    Also for me Tony Belas MD of DAYSTATE is a great ambassador for the sport, I have never seen him not smiling at the shows, ever enthusiastic and willing to talk to anyone who approaches be it their biggest customer or the guy who owns one Daystate rifle.

    I love the products from both companies, it will be interesting to see if they are still both around in another 40 years, certainly if you look at Gareths collection of Daystates (displayed at the UK 40th anniversary events) they are all still working well and have defintely stood the test of time despite being fully used, having said that the odd battered but Iconic AXSOR pops up every now and then still fully working.
     

    From the feedback I have had on the UK forum the opinion seems to be heavily in favour of the quality of DAYSTATE products over FX.

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    2manyAirGunz
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    Do you happen to live in the UK?

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    STO
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    This thread is going to stir the pot. We should put in a real effort to remain friendly in it. 

     

    What I will say is that both companies make world class guns, however I'm not sure to what extent a "competition" exists between them. I say this only because FX covers dramatically more of the market than Brocock/Daystate, and even on their premium rifles FX appears to out-sell them by a SIGNIFICANT margin, at least from where I'm sitting. 

     

    Regarding in-house manufacture vs. contracting, I don't have any insider information on either company, however I would guess that at least some of FX's stock work is actually done by a third party contractor. The sort of equipment you need to make laminates, source high grade walnut, etc not to mention the tooling to cut it is not insignificant. I believe I even found on a certain stock maker's website FX patterns. ;) I know Daystate doesn't make their own stocks. 

    And this raises a larger point regarding contract vs. in-house. If you're doing something to sufficient scale that you can keep the machines busy, it makes sense to do things in-house. It gives you better control over tolerances, it allows you to iterate and improve much more readily and rapidly, and it dramatically cuts your costs (assuming you know what you're doing). The most likely reason you'd contract something out is if you just don't have the throughput to keep the machine busy, so you'll pay a higher price per part, but essentially you can get fewer of them. I don't know to what extent Daystate does the work in-house vs. contracting out, but I would point out that American Air Arms have a handful of nice CNC machines and keep them quite busy. 

     

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    Spray1Mark
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    Firstly it's not meant to stir the pot so thanks for the suggestion to keep it friendly, secondly yes of course I appreciate that the stock is not part of the equation, I presumed everyone knew that Minelli make paractically everyones stocks nowadays, why wouldn't they, their product is fantastic!

    My first  observation is that you say FX dramatically outsell Daystate in the USA, do they seriously? have no idea if that is the case or not? again I am very interested in your opinon, 60-80% of Daystate sales are apparently export (to the USA mainly I suspect).

    I wonder what percentage of FX's sales are to the USA? they must sell an awful lot of guns then, probably the reason they have adopted in house manufacturing of most of their parts, Daystates high quality means longer production lead times.

     

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    Springrrrr
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    FX seems to be "technically" in front of Daystate with their multi-adjustable guns.  I have also seen more FX posts than Daystate by far.  The reasons for this, by speculation only, is that FX offers wide adjustability, usually lower price, a very good showing in the winner's circle, barrel change ability and more distributors.  There are most likely a few more reasons I have overlooked, but these are the ones that stick with me the most.

    On the other hand, Daystate's quality, is very attractive.  I also see more posts that speak of FX problems, but that may be simply because there are more FX's out there to have problems.

    So for those of us, like myself, who don't call for the extras that FX provides, as mentioned above, Daystate was my choice.  The Wolverine "R" is a fantastic gun that suits my needs.

     

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    sonny
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    Daystate is more business minded like car manufactures as a for instance who buy parts from other company's as the OP expressed then repackage them as in Reebok shoe's etc. They are very savvy like the 5year warranty just ad an extra $100.00  per year to the gun to cover costs.Great business tactic to sell more guns although most air gunners would probably try to fix their own gun rather than send it off and wait weeks or months  for their gun back especially more than once. I think FX extended their warranty as a competitive move. As far as quality go's I think it would be bias to say one is better than the other. FX business is probably closer to Edguns business structure.

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    Sell682
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    Daystate and FX are currently the leaders in high end airguns. FX is creating a lot of models and looking to satisfy everyone’s needs while also slight improvements on currrnt models. Daystate looks to be investing heavily into electronics and improveing current models. 

    I don’t think there is a wrong way and right way but with FX they have a lot more overhead with part production. The dreamline is the LEGO of airguns. You buy the receiver  block and bolt on what ever barrel, stock and now airtank you like to make it your own. Similar to ARs in the States. You have the lower and upper which are mostly uniformed and then build from there. One gun can be used for different principles. One day shoot long range and then another make a compact for pesting in barns. However let’s be honest most of us will usually have two or three guns for these two areas. I think it’s a way to get people hooked on a platform and then the consumer realize they need more guns rather than constantly disassasseble and reassemble. Also I like the way they work with little partners such as Side-shot and Donnyfl rather than just take their idea and make it their own.

    Daystate focus on electronics has a lot of promise too. Easy to produce and improve at a lower cost as it doesn’t require CNC. Think of the possibilities with introducing Apps for rifle tuning and integrating into other electronics such as range finders or chronographs. It’s a simple Bluetooth interface and coding which is easy to outsource. As for the new barrels ART with LW I like to understand more on this. I also wish they would mandate their stock builder to use the same piece of wood for their cheek piece and stock so the wood or laminate grains fit together better . You can tell this is also CNC and being done to reduce waste.

    There is no wrong or right way just different models and these are my observations. In the end I wish them both success as it advances our hobby. Wish the price would come down.

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    Swish
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    I feel like in todays world proper marketing seems to trump all. Even if the finished product isn't as nice.

    It appears to me FX has really mastered the marketing end of things. The EBR was a genius move on their part. It put them in the forefront at leased here in America by a long shot.

    I always wondered if it was a level playing field in the early EBRs. FX seemed to dominate until AOA started pushing Daystate. Now it seems to be more of a competition. FX has been so aggressive in marketing it's really gonna take something special for anyone to knock them off the top. After seeing what they are putting out for this year I'm sure alot of other companies are in trouble. IMHO.

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    bandg
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    Personally, I don't own either.  But I would like to own both and probably will in the near future.  So nice to have such a range of choices these days.  

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    AirSupply
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    Daystate took so long to introduce side lever action and regulators to there guns. There electronics are there biggest draw card and should be used in all there guns (including Brocock). Switch 100% to electronic regulators and get the price down. Develop the full potential of the electronics. 

    Then they go in a clearly different direction to FX and don’t try to compete on the same features. The  electronics have so many advantages that they don’t market well enough. Never having regulator creep for just one. They should be jumping up and down about this a lot more. 

    They have now got the electronics sorted out in terms of power and reliability now get that system into some great looking bullpups and different models. Special edition rifles that are only different because of there colour, stock or some special insignia do nothing for me. I can appreciate they are beautiful guns but have zero interest in owning or shooting one. 

     

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    elh0102
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    I don't know anything about public financial reporting in their countries, but I assume both are privately held, and that nothing is publicly available. Daystate is obviously a proven company, so I assume they are financially sound. I didn't realize until now, but FX has been in business 20 years, so they have established a track record also. The only FX rifle I own is a Crown, and I have a Red Wolf and Brocock Bantam. The FX products are innovative with a lot of features, and they have probably forced other makers to think a bit more progressively. From my perspective, Daystate trades off a little in features, for a strong focus on robust rifles with strong durability. I enjoy both brands, but if you told me I had to choose one to shoot with no access to parts or service, I'd go with Daystate. 

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    Spray1Mark
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    A lot of very interesting feedback, I have already learned a lot about what the biggest market for airguns i.e. the USA really thinks about both companies.

    Please keep the interesting views coming and thankyou all for your positive input so far.

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    AirSupply
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    Another example of the different company philosophies 

    The large capacity side shot magazines. Developed by another company. Great product and now standard magazines in fx guns. 

    Heliboard great product. Far superior to the Daystate  board. Every who has one raves about them. Been around for years. Daystate does nothing!

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    Spray1Mark
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    Interesting post, why is the Heliboard better than the original?

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    Dairyboy
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    sonny

    FX business is probably closer to Edguns business structure.

    I would highly disagree here…seeing and hearing from Ed's videos I think there very different business structures.

    I think where FX is lacking is they get way ahead of themselves about a year in advance before there actually getting there products to market it seems like and good luck getting one as there backordered forever because of there admittedly great marketing plans. No doubt the people at FX know how to get hype going, blood pumping and people to get exited about there upcoming products which they keep coming out with which is impressive. But really think the super long waits before they come to market hurts them. 

    Don't know a lot about Daystate but know that they are top notch in terms of fit and finish as my Regal XL was impeccable. Do think there slower to the game but maybe there taking extra time to perfect them and when there ready then bring to market rather quickly. I'm sure that hurts them in this area as well.

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    AirSupply
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    The Heliboard has 12 power settings and you are able to program each of the settings however you wish. It is about 1/2 the cost of the Daystate hand held programmer which lets you reprogram Daystates 3 power settings. 

    I don’t no that I’d really want 12 power settings but this is an example of how much more the electronic system has to offer. 

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    AirSupply
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    elh0102
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    I'm sure the Heliboard product offers the tuning advantages mentioned. But, here is my perspective. I have a new Red Wolf with warranty. Granted, it has only 3 power settings, but, that's 1 more than I need, it's accuracy is superb, as is the shot count. So, while the Heliboard offers a great advantage to those in need of its flexibility, I'm not one of those users, and I'm very satisfied with the Daystate product. I find that folks are often too quick to express that a product is "better". The thoughtful user needs to ask, better at what, and, is it relevant to my needs? 

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    AirSupply
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    I have a RedWolf and am very happy with it also but would appreciate being able to adjust the velocity. I understand not everybody would want or need to adjust anything. You would still be just as happy leaving the settings as they are. It isn’t a feature you would have to use but would be easy for Daystate to incorporate 

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    Spray1Mark
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    Dairyboy

    sonny

    FX business is probably closer to Edguns business structure.

    I would highly disagree here…seeing and hearing from Ed's videos I think there very different business structures.

    I think where FX is lacking is they get way ahead of themselves about a year in advance before there actually getting there products to market it seems like and good luck getting one as there backordered forever because of there admittedly great marketing plans. No doubt the people at FX know how to get hype going, blood pumping and people to get exited about there upcoming products which they keep coming out with which is impressive. But really think the super long waits before they come to market hurts them. 

    Don't know a lot about Daystate but know that they are top notch in terms of fit and finish as my Regal XL was impeccable. Do think there slower to the game but maybe there taking extra time to perfect them and when there ready then bring to market rather quickly. I'm sure that hurts them in this area as well.

    Thanks, excellent post, you pretty much reflect my thoughts then.

    Please keep your opinions coming!

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