Slayer Espresso Announces Partnership With Gruppo Cimbali

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Postby NelisB » Dec 01, 2017, 8:37 am

Any thoughts?
It brings me great pleasure to announce our new partnership with Gruppo Cimbali! For some this may come as a shock however I'm certain after reviewing this letter, you will have a better understanding and appreciation for my decision.

Would you believe me if I told you I recently pulled out my original Slayer business plan. I literally wrote into the plan that there would come a point in time at which Slayer would need additional guidance and funding to reach its full potential. I also noted it was time to develop a technology that focused on enhancing the steam wand assembly and steam itself. As crazy as it sounds, Slayer is becoming exactly what I originally imagined.

Over the past ten years we've built a modest team at Slayer working tirelessly on our mission to make coffee better. Each machine has a special placement towards that mission. With Slayer Espresso (flagship machine) our focus was to aid in the extraction process, and find a way to showcase the subtle but exciting flavors of the cupping table without compromising mouthfeel. Thus the needle valve was born. The Slayer Single Group would put all those incredible commercial features (and a touch screen interface) in a compact unit enabling restaurants, roaster labs and coffee enthusiasts to take espresso beverages to the next level. Slayer Steam was in part an early on vision that would challenge the status quo in steaming technology but also to craft a machine with fast, efficient bar flow in mind. We did all this, always considering craftmenship, a remarkable design interface for baristas, bar flow efficiency, ergonomics and the guest experience.

Fast forward to today and Slayer is known as a rule breaker of traditional molds and we've been able to successfully redefine the coffee industry by manufacturing professional, hand-crafted espresso machines with well thought out design aspects.

Our vision is to further grow our business internationally, stream line our production capabilities and meet, hell even exceed the expectations of Slayer machine owners without whom we would not be able to do what we do.

I'd like to assure each of you, this partnership is not a take over and our management structure will remain the same, under my leadership and guidance. Furthermore, ownership of our product line remains unchanged and Slayer will continue to innovate and design high end, craft coffee machines managing sales and distribution channels independently as they currently exist, in Seattle.

The partnership with Gruppo Cimbali is a significant business move for us and has been well thought out over the past year, representing the perfect blend of the classic established know-how of Gruppo Cimbali with the subversive and innovative methodology of Slayer. This partnership will also assist Slayer in streamlining our manufacturing process through consultation and lean production implementation, enhance our engineering expertises and provide us access to build a large, high quality team to truly achieve all of our goals.

Slayer, today is one of the most disruptive and innovative companies within the coffee industry. I am humbled by your inputs and trust invested in us over the past ten years. We are becoming the company I dreamt of creating. I've never been more excited about the future and possibilities of Slayer.

Thank you for your continued support, passion for specialty coffee and loyalty.

Gratefully Yours,

Jason Prefontaine

President & CEO Slayer

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Postby spressomon » Dec 01, 2017, 9:26 am

Interesting indeed. Hope it all works out like Jason thinks it will.
No Espresso = Depresso

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Postby Gataros » Dec 01, 2017, 10:09 am

In partnerships, the most important thing is who acquires who.

If Slayer is acquired by Cimbali, then you can expect that many changes can happen. It is not the first or last time these changes have led to a complete change of a company. In any case, time will tell.

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Postby arcus » Dec 01, 2017, 10:40 am

I have to think that Cimbali is now the majority owner. There's not enough upside for them otherwise. As part of the deal, Jason has likely committed contractually to stay on for a few years.

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Postby AssafL » Dec 01, 2017, 11:07 am

Hopefully it is the firing shot in consolidation season. Winnowing a crowded market? arguably so.
Caution! Water, heat, pressure and electricity don't mix! I want an espresso.

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Postby keno » Dec 01, 2017, 11:53 am

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Postby redbone » Dec 01, 2017, 1:12 pm

It appears that Gruppo Cimbali's plan here is to have greater access into the U.S. higher end market.
G.C. site states that they have production facilities/centres in Italy, in Binasco (Milan), Ghisalba (Bergamo) and Cappella Cantone (Cremona) manufacture on average 200 machines every day. If Slayer required greater production capabilities, access to G.C. factories would allow them to ramp up production and cut costs associated with tooling a new factory or expanding current facilities.

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Postby Headala » Dec 01, 2017, 3:02 pm

He says they will keep designing and managing in Seattle. He also said that they will benefit from "streamlining our manufacturing process through consultation and lean production implementation". So to me it sounds like they won't be hand building them there anymore?

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Postby ds » replying to Headala » Dec 01, 2017, 3:08 pm

Or maybe they will get some parts made by Cimbali factories and then do final assembly in Seattle... It would make sense since Cimbali has those processes dialed in at good scale.

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Postby bluesman » Dec 01, 2017, 4:48 pm

Headala wrote:He says they will keep designing and managing in Seattle. He also said that they will benefit from "streamlining our manufacturing process through consultation and lean production implementation". So to me it sounds like they won't be hand building them there anymore?

I assume this means that they're adopting the Lean methodology popularized by Toyota - it's a process improvement tool that can be applied to any production system, including manual.