>> October 22, 2015 – thoughts
|Even Esther is frustrated...|
This month I have experienced, (and not for the first time), the helplessness of not being able to supply my customers with their orders in a timely fashion. I judge most things, as I am sure we all do, by how would I feel? When I order anything online, I start counting the days for its arrival. I want it all yesterday. So, when I can't supply an order right away, and when I find out that there will be a big delay due to issues on the supplier end, I feel horrible! This month has been very frustrating. My monthly fiber collection was a big hit, much more so than I anticipated. I found myself, on the first day of introducing the collection, already running out of the most popular combinations. I immediately began to order more fibers from the suppliers and asked to have them shipped as quickly as possible. With some it worked, with others... I'm still waiting. That means you are still waiting. That means we are all upset!
It was quite incredible, therefore, to read a post on Jane from Chilly Hollow's blog referring us to a post Debbie from DebBee's Designs wrote on September 30th. Hence my title to this post... I couldn't have said it better!!
... When I ordered supplies from my regular supplier, I specified that if anything was back ordered, to please let me know so I could acquire from a different source. I heard nothing, so I assumed that everything would be in the box. The shipment arrived while I was away tending my mother, and I couldn’t open the box while I was out of town. When I opened the box to begin assembling kits, I discovered that not one, not two, but three different items were back ordered and not in the box! Frantic phone call to the supplier, who confirmed that the items were indeed back ordered, and no hint as to when they would ship.
I spent yesterday trying to find other sources for the missing kit items, and hopefully they will be on their way soon.
I also had to revamp the instruction book to include a fourth color way. Instructions rewritten, books printed and ready to ship as soon as the missing kit items arrive. But the clock’s ticking and I’m getting nervous about getting things out in a timely manner.
Why not order sooner? Good question, and one for which there’s no easy answer. I placed my orders as soon as the registration period ended, and there’s a built-in time cushion to allow for supplies to arrive, assemble kits and mail. When a supplier lets me down, though, that time cushion quickly evaporates. Ordering in advance of the end of registration is fraught with problems. What if I order too much? I have to pay for the supplies and am stuck with them unless I can find another use, or have the class again. What if I order too little? It’s also a problem because I have to pay shipping charges for each and every shipment – far better to place one order and have one shipping charge!
So while I’m waiting for my missing kit items, I’ll get back to Citrine. Fingers crossed the supplies arrive quickly!
Most needlepoint designers have small businesses. The inventory we can afford to keep is limited. We try to anticipate and predict, but we are sometimes surprised. We do as best as we can, but it doesn't always work. I know I have let some of you down, but it is not because I don't care. I do, very much!