May 24th, 2012, 00:55 Posted By: wraggster
Whew, it has been a long time since I last made an official newspost.
The reason I didn't post was NOT that things are not going well - the reason simply was lack of time due to too much work...
I had a speed-holiday with my girlfriend (one day Europapark in Rust), and as I had my Pandora with me, I could make a newspost while it was her turn driving the car.
This is the first full newspost I made directly on the Pandora - the keyboard is really working well
So... let's see how everything is coming along, shall we?
1. The overall production
Overall, things are running pretty smooth and well.
Over 600 Pandoras have already been delivered (about 200 of those to long-time preorders) and we're currently getting a stable 100 per week units.
This is not yet full production speed. New test PCBs have been successful produced, so once the next batch of 1000 PCBs is finished, I'm planning to speed up to about 250 units per week.
The company COULD produce more per week - but we also have to sell and ship them, so 250 sounds like a good number to me.
To be honest, I'm pretty happy they didn't do more than 100 per week up until now - as I am flooded with work already and I don't plan to work myself to death...
I've got to catch up a lot of things right now. I got tons of emails left to reply, I had to work on the whole shop and order handling system as it was not suited for so many orders, I got some RMAs left (though MOST of them have been done already), etc.
Aditionally, all the pre-assembled units Askarus, Link and Linux_SWAT created have now been used up... so I'm currently also preassembling the next units.
About 250 left to go, from then on, Global Components will also do the full assembly.
So yeah, there's a lot of work still left for me to do, but I'm slowly catching up and should have most of the work done sometime in June.
Then I'm also prepared for a fullspeed production.
2. Parts and Cases
As usual, the stuff from China is late.
The new cases should've been finished mid-March, but as usual, they took a while longer.
Good thing I ordered them early... Fatih told me that they are already on the way.
So within the next few days, we'll get 5000 more cases. That should be enough
The new cases will also have a new color. It will be a dark silver, looking a bit like aluminium.
The new paint is way more scratch resistant and looks a lot better.
As soon as I got it, I'll take some pictures.
We still got some black cases left, so you will be able to decide what color you want.
We had some issues with the LCD-Cable company, but Fatih did a good job and we already got the next batch of cables now.
Another problem solved.
LCDs are becoming a bit harder to get (they're out of production), but we're not having too big issues sourcing them right now, so that's fine as well.
So all in all, besides that all these things are eating up our time, I don't see any big problems right now.
3. email backlogs...
Well, you probably already saw it on other threads here at the boards: my email backlog is still pretty long... I got about 700 emails left to reply, and though I take some time to reply to them each few days, the queue is only slowly shrinking.
Each day, I receive about 20 more emails I need to reply... so yep, this is a MASSIVE amount of work.
Please don't be mad about that - I'll reply to all of your mails, but with all the other things I have to do at the same time right now, I'm not that fast.
I try to look at the mails when they come in and try to reply to the most important ones, but sometimes one of these hides itself in the massive queue.
Once GC fully assembles the units and I've got less things to organize, this will get better.
4. Where in the world is...
... no, not Carmen Santiego... but we're looking for someone else.
We all know: It's simply not possible that NOTHING goes wrong within Pandora-Land... so yeah, here is something new.
When buying bigger parts in large quantities (like LCDs and AC adaptors), you either have to handle the custom declaration yourself when you want to pick them up at the airport or get an agent who will do that for you.
Agents are not that expensive - and unlike me, they know what they're doing (and doing custom declaration wrong REALLY can cause issues).
So I hired the company SoundMoves at Munich Airport to do that for me.
Sent them the import tax fee right away (5000 EUR), picked up the custom documents and the goods, and everything was fine.
This was in March.
One week ago, I got an invoice from the customs about these 5000 EUR. Apparently, they hadn't been paid by SoundMoves... and SoundMoves are not able to pay them, so I have to pay them again.
WTH? SoundMoves bankrupt? It's a big worldwide operating company... handling transport for musicians like Madonna and U2...
As I wasn't able to contact anyone in the Munich office, I emailed the main office in London.
And things got even weirder then.
They told me the company in Munich is a totally different company founded by the same CEO. He simply used the good name of the company to open up a new one... he even used their website for this company... even though the London office tried to tell him to use a different name.
Whew, what a bloke. But it gets even better.
The London office told me he also owes them quite a bit of money.
AND they don't even know where he is - they asked me to tell them his whereabouts in case I get hold of him.
They only know that he sometimes visits the office when no one is there to grab the mail and he most probably is somewhere in Italy... geeez.
Now most of you probably know that it's nigh impossible to get money back from a company that has filed for bankruptcy.
However, the case is a bit different here: They never had the right to use the 5000 EUR from me for themselves. It was not THEIR money, it was money they got simply to forward it to customs.
So this is fraud - which means: the CEO is personally liable for that.
My lawyer is already working on it and I'll pay a visit to the police tomorrow to report him.
Then they'll start a search for him...
In Pandora-Land, there's always something weird happening.
I'm pretty positive we'll get the money back from him soon, so this is mostly simply annoying and eating up some more of my precious time.
So all in all things are still working fine here
I wish it was less work for me, but I'm working towards that
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