Update as of Monday, May 9
EU preorders are shipping to customers
UK preorders are shipping out today, May 9
USA shipment arrived today and orders are being organized to ship
Canada and World preorders have all been shipped
Update as of Monday, April 25
EU shipment left our North American Facility on Friday April 22
UK shipment is scheduled to leave our North American Facility Tuesday April 26
USA production is complete with an intent to leave our North American Facility before Friday April 29
Canada and World preorders are beginning to be fulfilled as of this week, April 25.
We are behind schedule
We wanted to take a moment to apologize to everyone who has been anticipating the release of our amazing new products. As challenges arise, we always do our best to overcome them as quickly as possible – but sometimes the challenge is bigger than expected. Our primary concern during these unstable times is getting our products into the hands of our customers, and we want everyone to know that we are sorry for any delays, and are working hard to deliver as soon as possible.
Part of the logistical issues that everyone is encountering is delays in shipping and availability of raw material. We created an ambitious pre-order plan for Black Friday that we hoped would allow us to work round the logistical challenges, and at the time we felt very confident that we could get these out within the first few months of 2022. Unfortunately, we are behind schedule and we need to offer our sincere apologies and let you all know the problems and plan to get back on track.
Our current pre-orders are delayed due to several issues:
- Delays in receiving raw materials.
- Staffing changes and training time (especially for our SioRes team)
- Increased delays and cost in shipping our product overseas.
Each of these issues is being addressed as quickly as possible to get us back on track.
One of the biggest challenges at this time has been resin shortages combined with delays in shipping both resin and silicone required for Resin production. We had placed a very large order for these materials, enough to last us for 4 or 5 months, that was expected to arrive in December but was delayed until February. At the time we were also expecting our kickstarter production for PVC to be completed, and so we were working full time on the kickstarter in an effort to deliver in February. Because of our prioritizing the kickstarter we actually did not have the material on hand for our regular production runs.
We now have a surplus of materials, and we are already placing another order for more materials.Unfortunately these materials have a limited shelf life, so we cannot order too much or it will become unusable. We are now being as proactive as possible, and ordering as much as we can possibly use, and so we are not expecting further delays due to material shortages.
Part of our commitment to get these products out is to increase the size of our production team. With the resin components of our recent kickstarter requiring a significant amount of our production bandwidth we realized early in the year that we would have to add more people to the production team. At the same time we also experienced staffing shortages due to a covid outbreak, and we were even having to lay off employees because of not having enough materials on hand for them to use. This actually led us to starting the year with a decreased amount of production capacity.
With a small team we have often been operating without redundancy of knowledge and skills, especially for the siocast production. Staffing shortages, or having to train new team members has therefore had a larger impact on production than we expected, and has taken a bit of time to get running smoothly again.
We now have a larger production team, and have increased the training and knowledge of production staff so that we can better respond to any changes that may be thrown our way.
Shipping has changed dramatically over the last 6 months. Not only is shipping taking longer than previously, but the costs have increased significantly. We are now at the point where we would either need to implement a significant price hike or we have to change the way in which we have been shipping.
We have decided to make changes to how we ship. Previously we would often send less than container sized shipments, sometimes multiple times a month. With the new costs of shipping we will now need to make sure each shipment we send is a full container. For the most part this won’t have any significant impact on North American shipping, but for the UK, the EU, and the Rest of Europe we will only be able to ship once per quarter.
This may set the release date for certain products behind in Europe, but we are looking at ways to synchronize that in the future by shipping new releases earlier. In terms of the preorder it means that while we have finished European production for the preorder we are holding the preorder items for at least one more week so we can add additional stock to the container and make that our one shipment for the quarter to Europe.
In hindsight trying for such an ambitious pre-order in such uncertain times was a mistake and is something that we have learned from and have improved a lot of our internal systems to make sure that we don’t have a repeat of this situation in the future. We are very sorry, and are incredibly thankful for all of you who have been so patient and understanding. We also know we have not communicated enough or been transparent enough as to what is happening with the preorders. We got caught up in the scramble of trying to get everything out on time, but that is not a good excuse for poor communication.
Right now we expect all the production for Europe to be completed in the next 10 days at which point it will ship. We expect all the production for North America to be completed in the next 20 days, at which point it will ship.
In an effort to have better communication we will post again in 10 and 20 and 30 days, letting everyone know exactly where the preorders are in the world.
Future of Preorders
Long story short we are going to try and avoid doing pre-orders when we can. We know these campaigns often create a lot of hype, and that people are excited to get the preorder bonuses like art cards and alternate pieces. However, until we feel that the instability of supply and shipping has settled we are going to avoid running pre-order campaigns.
We are also starting to approach the time where we would normally do a Chimera Creation Campaign. Based on the current situation we are approaching this with an abundance of caution. We will not be creating the usual preorder for the Chimera this year. Instead we will start the creative process with anyone who had a Chimera Campaign preorder in the past, and wait until we have begun production before making the new Chimera available for purchase. We expect the final delivery date to actually be in 2023 for this new Chimera, not October as we have aimed for in the past.