I'm writing this month's blog post from China. The goal of this trip is to set the expectations and goals for the upcoming year with our manufacturers. I learn more about the entire process with every visit and that, in turn, helps us to better understand how to continue improving order outcomes.
During this visit to our factories, we are excited to share some upcoming process changes, including digitizing your order specs. We anticipate that this will allow for more timely communication about orders and production workflow. We are also very focused on finding ways to cut down on delays.
Not repeating the past
I think it was Einstein that said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. We do this on a fairly ongoing basis by creating orders with specs that push manufacturing limits, and we need to reevaluate this practice along with our customers.
In some cases we have clients that have returned more orders than they have kept. This tells us we may need to take a closer look at the order specifications because obviously what we are asking the factory to produce isn't working for the customer.
If the issue is repeated from order to order, we need to start asking whether it is a manufacturing issue or if the order specs themselves are causing the issue. Not all order expectations can be met on a consistent basis (from a manufacturing standpoint), so we're hoping that those who are experiencing the same problems again and again will work with us on a solution, listen to our recommendations and give them a fair try.
Cutting down on delays
We always do our best to keep moving forward, and our goal is to correct past mistakes so you have a better experience. In addition to improving order outcomes, we are putting some new systems in place that we hope will make strides toward cutting down on delivery delays as well.
In addition, we are hoping to see fewer overall delays as a result of the Chinese New Year. We can't completely prevent one hundred percent of delayed orders (because there is a two-week period of time when the factories are completely closed), but we do hope to reduce delays by ordering customers on standing orders ahead of schedule. We will better understand the overall impact at the beginning of May, and will continue to plan ahead for next year.
We are already working very closely with the factory to improve next year's ordering schedule in anticipation of the holiday shut down. I can assure you that now that they are back in full production mode, they are working very hard to get your orders completed and shipped as soon as possible. In fact, our being here almost feels like an interruption to their work!
Here's wishing you all a very prosperous and Happy Lunar New Year!