Due to increased public pressure and criticism, it is time to break an extended radio silence and give some updates to address said customer satisfaction and confidence.
First, I will state facts that are points of concern to both myself and others:
- There is a backlog and it is extensive.
- ETA predictions have not been accurate in some cases.
- Communication, especially via email, has been poor to none.
- Demand has far exceeded production capability.
- Promises are made and not kept.
Next, I will discuss the future of MKUltra Corporation.
It is clear that the stated facts all need to be addressed in some form or fashion. There have been plenty of armchair suggestions put on the table from, what I can only assume are, concerned customers believing they are trying to help. The suggestions are appreciated but not always applicable, as they are only addressing symptoms of a larger disease. Looking at the problems individually, each one appears to have an easy answer. Addressing them together as a whole, as is needed, is a more complicated endeavor.
I AM THE DISEASE AND I MUST BE REPLACED.
Over the past 6+ weeks, I have been in discussion with some fellow keyboard enthusiasts in Malaysia and we have setup a company there that will do one thing, and one thing only - CUT FOAM. They have purchased multiple lasers, have sourced a local foam supplier and are beginning calibration and test cuts this coming week. We hope to have them up and operational in early July.
Every 2 weeks, our partners in Malaysia will be sending a large shipment of the most popular foams, ensuring IN STOCK inventory for foams listed on the website. Initially I will be ordering far above and beyond expected inventory levels to be sure that if there is a sales spike, it can be handled. They are cutting foam exclusively for MKUltra Corporation and will not have any other customers for any other business - they are a dedicated outsourcing partner for us. They are equipped to scale up as demand increases and if the future holds it, run production for other new products as well.
The Malaysian outsourcing partnership will address the backlog and the demand vs. capability issues. By proxy, reducing those issues should reduce issues regarding ETA (as items will be in stock), communication (as there will be far less status requests) and promises (in stock items don't need promises to ship).
In addition to the physical production boost this partnership will bring, we are implementing a production and inventory scheduling system that should help us predict and adjust manufacturing on the fly to meet demands. For those interested, the system is KATANA which will allow for shared scheduling between both MKUltra Corporation and the Malaysian partners. I can watch progress from afar and make sure that everything is on schedule.
By removing myself from the manufacturing, I will have much more time to handle the shipping, support and design of new products. But, don't forget what I said above - I AM THE DISEASE AND I MUST BE REPLACED. Over the past 2 days I have been working closely with a business consultant who has been able to step into my business with eyes not blurred and blinded by the stress of it all. We have been working on a plan to both address the current backlog situation as well as future growth and it involves one basic premise - GET RID OF ME.
Inventory and shipping will be handled by hired staff with that as their singular focus, just like the outsourcing group. By breaking the business into smaller units with specific tasks, a lot of the chaos will be removed that I have been experiencing by trying to do it all by myself. Now this will leave me with two main priorities - support and design new products. By now you can see where things are moving - I am looking for someone to handle my support on a part time basis leaving me with just one task (besides learning how to delegate) - design new products.
There are confidence concerns regarding orders placed with MKUltra Corporation for Group Buy items, such as keycaps. We should see the MBK low profile Choc keycaps delivering in early July and that will be the first real test. I believe we will be ready to tackle it and prove that group buys are NOT an issue, especially since we are shifting towards a fulfillment only type business. I have over 20 years experience in shipping, logistics, inventory and fulfillment and while the manufacturing has been an extreme adventure in frustration, both for myself and customers, I believe the path has been cleared, the gravel spread and it is finally time to lay the tracks straight and true.
Thank you for taking the time to read and if you only skipped down here to read a summary, I'll leave you with this - MKUltra Corporation, just like many other businesses in the world, has had a rocky start, learned as it grew and refuses to give up. This should answer all of those questions from people asking if I am still alive or in business.
- Partnered with a company in Malaysia who will cut the foam.
- Transitioning to a fulfillment model rather than manufacturing in-house.
- Hiring staff for inventory, shipping and support.
- These steps will address all above listed facts.
- My time will be spent designing new products, delegating and overseeing operations.