Saturday, May 19, 2007

BIG post

Okay, a lot of text, but it's important for those of you still having orders outstanding, like myself.

Here is Paul's story:

Starting tomorrow (Saturday), I will do something that I have *never* done, andthat is start with the oldest orders in the backlog, kit OR assembled, and ship them out IN ORDER. This is more work for me, but it's time for me to do this. I have inventory, I don't need to generate lots of cash flow in order to buy parts (the #1 business issue with the kit business) to there really is no rational reason *not* to start at the beginning, and go through them 1 at a time until all the orders are shipped out.

The only orders not handled this way, for the most part, are MOTM 2.0 bits but those I will not place as top priority for several weeks.

First to ship will be orders entered pre-current order page, then orders on the database #100 and below. The vast majority are assembled/MOTM-650s, but there are 5 kits to make up.

Many people have found it odd that this is not the *normal and correct* way to do things (first in/first out) for me. However, as I have explained in the past, I have always had to "charge ahead" most of the time so that I could buy parts not using credit cards, and hence having not going into personal debt. At MOTM's peak, I was buying over $18,000 a MONTH in parts. And most of my customers have been VERY understanding in this regard.

However, that point is now past. I need to resolve the backlog in a fair manner.
And the fairest manner is now first in/first out.

A reasonable question is: just how long is this going to take? What if I am waiting on order #640?

I have not done a full backlog inventory. I have done old/up to #100. It will take me until mid next week to catch these up. So, as a rough starting, assume 1 week per #100 order number (ie if you are waiting for #595, it may take me 5 weeks to get there). But this is a GUESS. I will have weekly emails stating *exactly* where I am in shipping the backlog. Everyone can then judge my shipping rate. I will say, that initially I will ship a LOT because my "real job" will have limited travel for the next 2 weeks, but in early June I will be "back to normal" and having 2-3 days per week when I cannot ship.

Now, in many cases the backlog is a VCO or MOTM-510 kit. If this is your case, then you WILL get these sooner. I plan to make up many of these kits next weekend and ship by June 4th. I am also putting MOTM-900/950s ahead.

There is another issue I have to resolve, because eventually it will affect backorders: log pots. I have trying for *3 weeks* just to get a QUOTE from Vishay. This worries me a GREAT DEAL. On Monday, my #1 priority is to beat a
quote out of them. Then, in the past, they quote 12-14 WEEKS for delivery. As of right now, I have ~100 log pots. This means I can ship ~33 modules that use them (440/480/830/etc). Hopefully Vishay will respond and I can place the order. I have *plenty* MOTM-800 log pots.

Lastly: I have not verified this, but I did hear a rumor that the Evil Empire (aka Tyco) raised prices 5%-8% on May 1st. Which is the *THIRD TIME IN 5 YEARS* if true. Tyco supplies my knobs and the Power One power supplies. When I first started MOTM, the knobs were 48 cents each, the last time I bought them they were $1.09ea (and by this I mean buying 1500 or 2500 at once). I am also about to buy 1000 Switchcraft 112A jacks to finish out the backlog. Hopefully they have not gone up, too. And, if you have not been paying attention, so has postage (and Fed-Ex and DHL and UPS). The power supplies are 15% more today than when I started.

I WILL hold the old prices until my stock of knobs/jacks runs out (probably up to at least order #450 or so). But, if it does happen that prices went up, I will charge/ask for a small increase to cover (like a staggering $5/module). I'm not taking advantage of the increase, I just don't want to be thousands of dollars behind because of it. Yes, you can argue that it isn't *your fault* I didn't ship the backlog sooner, and therefore I should 'eat' the increase. OK, point taken, but rejected :)

I am 'eating' the postage increase, so it evens out. Just last Friday a heavy box shipped to NYC was $9 over what I billed. I am guessing orders to Europe could be $20-$30 over what was billed. So, no whining.

So to summarize:

a) MOTM 2.0 orders will still go out, just not as often as before. This will last ~5 weeks or so.
b) If you have pending orders with an Order # LESS than #475, you should see it by the end of June. The exception will be part stock issues.
c) If you have pending orders with an Order # GREATER than #475, chances are it will be late June/early July.
d) If you want to cancel an order, please email me the Order # and I will mail you a check *immediately*. This has always been my policy.

Paul S.

There, go have a cold beer now :-)


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