Resuming Shipping - Ending Bad Relationship & Forging New Ones
Short version: We are shipping, we shipped 100 two days ago and will ship another 100 Monday, and continue with 100 units every other day.
Long version: Since the last update, things were in a bit of limbo. As I mentioned, we terminated our order with the Santa Clara manufacturer and needed to sort out how to finish the remaining order with them while fulfilling the Kickstarter rewards.
The screws are finally done, it took longer than the supplier quoted us. They are done at a place that manufacture parts for high-end watches, the screws are great and very strong.
Next came the Allen wrench, which they had to re-order because they ran out. At that point in time I realized how unreliable they were and moved to seek legal options, all these elements they should have prepared for ahead, not waited till the problem comes up.
Finally after all parts arrived, they came through and start delivering (we think the pressure of legal action helped, which is heart-breaking to say).
I also found that they had trouble with their own suppliers, they lack long-term relationships with the anodizing company, which took their time finishing the colors. At the beginning, they gave us the impression that they had all of these suppliers under their umbrella, while the truth is, they had to wait in line while the place service their larger customers. It's infuriating to the point where I looked for other anodizing places myself.
Ok, done whining, sorry. On to the good stuffs.
Starting two days ago we received the cases from them, it's 100 units per day. So far we have shipped out 100 units and will ship out another 100 Monday.
We requested they deliver based proportions of most popular colors with each delivery. Red & Slate were 3rd most popular but not received at this delivery, it will be on the next delivery.
A rare color combination made its first appearance. Slate & Polished X
All Slate, with new screws.
Red & Polished, new screws
We are glad to have these few hundred units at hand and start to deliver them, we hope, when you do receive them, it will make your day, and those who frown, turn it into smiles.
Note that some of the All Polished have minor polishing compound (dark grey) dust on them, they are easily removed by a waxing cloth or cotton cloth.
We will post another update when we ship the next 200-300 units next week.
We will try to ship as much as we can as they are delivered by the manufacturer every other day, so we may not be able to tell individual backers if we have shipped yours.
As always, thank you backers. I have been in every update as candid as I can with the details and some of them can seemed unpleasant, but I feel it's part of the process to see and learn what can happen during such a promising project.
No matter, let's keep our smiles and I look forward to yours when you get the case. My sincere apologies for the delays and heartfelt thanks to each one of you backers.
On a very personal note, it's been an incredibly stressful ordeal, it is heart-breaking and infuriating at how inept or careless they were with our project. And it is completely unnecessary, had this manufacturer just been a little more DRIVEN, this is a complex product, but it is not building rockets. Me and my friend who owns this manufacturing facility no longer speak directly due to legal reasons, we deal via his employee. I have always been a firm believer that the best partnerships come from great friendships, not politics or power-play, I am disappointed that this is not the project where great-friendship makes great project happens. I could not for the life of me imagine what had gone through his mind when he neglected the project and not taking the utmost care to deliver the best he can. Mismanagement, dishonesty, dragging their feet, inexperience, not enough pressure etc. I can only speculate and have accepted that they are just plain incapable as exhibited by the tremendous amount of frustrations by so many who backed the project.
I can no longer in my good conscience recommend this facility to anyone who asked me about a local manufacturer.