First and foremost, apologies for another 3 week delay in posting - between keeping on top of e-mails, continuing to update our software and instructions based on our first run feedback, and a few snags in the shop with our lathe, we've been extremely busy - but this is nothing new. Because of this, we've decided to bring on three more staff. As things have been going for the spring and summer, everything is pushed to the limit - 18 hour days, 6 days a week, with zero time for error. So whenever even the slightest issue comes up, it spirals into a massive delay in nearly everything we're doing. Think of jogging vs. sprinting, and then tripping - if you're jogging, you just recover and keep going, but if you're sprinting, you generally fall over, might injure yourself, etc.
Between the (well deserved) angry e-mails and comments that we keep disappearing, and the internal stress and frustration of not meeting our targets, we've decided to bring on some more staff to help spread things out. In total we're going to be bringing on a new machinist and two new assembly staff. This means that instead of one person having to do machining, customer support, assembly, and handling any materials sourcing (for instance), we can have each person perform one dedicated task. Similarly, instead of having one person handling e-mail, updates, software, electrical, assembly, and administration, those tasks can be split up so they don't all get brought down when only one of them has an issue.
We're in the process of hiring these staff as we speak and will let everyone know once they're in place - hopefully within the next 2-4 weeks. In the meantime, the juggling act will be a bit more difficult, because hiring good people takes time!
Some other bad news for those that haven't yet ordered a unit - our prices will likely be rising going forward to reflect both this change, and our fulfillment and logistics changes. As most of you know we ran into issues with US and EU fulfillment when we sent out our first runs, and have been looking to solve the issue ever since without letting shipping costs climb. Between that and requiring more staff to keep things operating smoothly, we'll be raising our prices once our first batch of pre-orders has been shipped out and we've finalized our plans there. Shipping will likely become included in the price for North America and Europe based on a new fulfillment strategy, with marginal additional shipping costs for places like Asia or Australia. We haven't quite finalized the price yet, but we will not charge anything extra if you've already placed your order!
Last but not least, a quick update on where we are: While we're about two weeks behind in shipping out our first batch of pre-orders, they should still head out the door by the end of August, or start of September at latest. This will include some Indiegogo orders as well - think of it as a transitional batch. The two week delay is due to two things - the screen on our lathe broke, which has taken about a week to fix (we have a loaner in the meantime to keep it up and running), and our new plan to hire more staff and adjust the way we operate to try and increase our customer satisfaction has taken some additional plan to time, crunch numbers, etc.
As mentioned in our previous post we've also gotten a lot of feedback from our first run users, mostly on little quirks with user friendly-ness that we've been trying to tweak through software updates for all future units. With that being said, the first draft of our support page is now live and ready for you to look through, start reading, and open up the feedback to add on to everything we've gotten already. Keep in mind there is still quite a bit missing - the full user manual comes to mind - but the quick start, safety guide, and the current revision on how to use the software are all in place and ready for your feedback and constructive criticism! While the link isn't yet up, head over to www.redetec.com/support to get direct access to these pages.
That's it for this week - we should be back to weekly or bi weekly updates starting next week, though do bear with us as we bring our new staff on board and get everything adjusted to our new roles and operations going forward! A sincere apology from everyone as well that it's taken us some time to make this change - in hindsight, it's been foolish of us to expect the ongoing issues to stop at some point and to "get over the hump" of our current backlog, when in reality it's now pretty clear that we can't do it ourselves and need some more help to meet the expectations of our customers, and the level of service they deserve!
Thanks for your patience and support as always, and we'll be back next week with more!
-The ReDeTec team