Introducing Mate - The Wall Hanging Chess Board
I wanted to share my new campaign for Mate with everyone. Mate is a chess board that hangs on your wall like a functional piece of art. Here is a shot of the product.
The ATOM campaign suffered a number of setbacks and delays. However, I learned from my mistakes. Here is a list of issues that delayed ATOM and corrective measures I have taken to ensure that Mate meets the delivery deadline.
1. Family Owned Business
- Problem: ATOM was manufactured by a multinational corporation better suited for mass producing goods on a larger scale. The company did not invest the required man power or attention to completing the smaller order of ATOM units.
- Solution: Mate is made by Advanced Laser Cutting Technologies (ALCT). ALCT is a family owned business that has been serving the community's laser cutting needs for over 20 years. ALCT specializes in the laser cutting wood products, actually...that's all they have been cutting for 20 years! Plus, they take pride in completing both small and large orders. You can learn more about the company HERE.
3. Local Operations
- Problem: The company that produced ATOM was headquartered in the United States, but the production was outsourced to overseas contractors. The distance and language barrier made it difficult to solve problems in a timely and efficient manner.
- Solution: Mate is made entirely in the United States by ALCT. The company is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, which is only a 3 hour drive away. I have met the owners/operators of the company in person and will be able to visit during production.
3. Manufacturing Process:
- Problem: The initial ATOM prototypes that were used to market the product were machined by hand in the USA by the manufacturer’s development department. However, the final units were produced overseas with metal injection molding by an entirely different department. The disconnect between processes and departments introduced a number of previously unforeseen manufacturing issues that severely delayed the project.
- Solution: The Mate prototypes were made by ALCT with the same people using the same manufacturing processes that will be used to produce the final units. The entire process has been well-vetted with the production of 10 prototype boards. So, there are no hidden issues with manufacturing Mate.
4. Manufacturing Complexity
- Problem: The manufacturing process for ATOM was extremely complicated. The pocket tool was small, but there were a number of required steps to produce the final product. The process included: (i) machining the mold to the exact specifications (any changes in the product necessitated machining another mold), (ii) selecting a metal with the right composition, (iii) molding the part at the right temperature to ensure structural integrity and dimensional accuracy and (iv) completing the part with a number of post-production steps like polishing, plating and painting the markings.
- Solution: Mate is much simpler to manufacture. The entire product is laser cut from Baltic birch plywood, painted and then assembled by hand…straight forward and easy.