Greetings Kickstarter Backers!
We are getting really close to the good part! A few more days to go.
Hundreds of orders are being received every day, and every day we are getting some great feedback. Thank you for all of the pictures and kind words! We can't wait to see more.
To answer several of the questions we have received I wanted to address some of the delays we have experienced. The fulfillment process has taken WAY more time than we thought. There is no excuse for this. But let me provide some of the reasons.
1. Mistakes: We have made operational mistakes along the way. We forecasted the wrong number of units in a critical SKU that forced us to make last minute changes to the order with our manufacturer. This mistake alone resulted in delays of 2-3 weeks.
2. Legal Wrangling: After the close of our Kickstarter project we received a cease and desist letter from a law firm insisting their client owned some of our trademarks. This cost us thousands of dollars to defend and set us back several weeks early on in the process.
3. International Supply Chain: Communication with international suppliers proved to be much more complicated and cumbersome than we had planned for. The several rounds of getting samples cut and shipped, adjustments being made, new samples cut and shipped, took weeks longer than we anticipated. This set us back 3-4 weeks from our initial timeline.
4. International Freight: When booking the ocean vessels from overseas we are often left at the mercy of powers far beyond our control. Most of our containers arrived late due to customs inspections, weather delays, and in one case a train that left without our container on board. These delays have set us back another 1-2 weeks.
5. Fulfillment Partners: The 3PL partner that we selected for this project has de-prioritized our projects in favor of much bigger clients. When we initially scoped this project with them we were told the entire fulfillment process would take a week. This was clearly fiction, but we didn't know that at the time. As we have tried to keep you up to date on timelines, they have given us several target dates on completion. We have tried to keep you informed with these new dates. Every single one of these has failed to be met and has become the single biggest barrier to fulfillment that we have. This problem has set us back several weeks.
There are still a few hundred orders that have not yet shipped. And as much as I hate to say this, our fulfillment partner is going to miss their target date of today (May 9th) for final fulfillment. We are pushing them with every resource we have, unfortunately, we are a small fish compared to the other clients we are competing against for resources.
Here is the exact wording of the email they sent to me explaining the latest batch of delays.
- "The crew has been working overtime, including Saturdays to fulfill and ship orders. Due to the order / product size, compared to the first wave, it is taking more time than anticipated. The goal for this week is 100 orders / day, again working through Saturday. I believe there are 600 orders outstanding. If we are able to maintain current pace all orders will be shipped before Monday 5/15."
I hope this is helpful in understanding some of the delays. I wish there was more I could do to improve the shipping speed. Please know that I am doing everything I can.
Thanks again for all of your support! We are working hard on improving everything we do.
Eric and Brandon