Launch Party, Fulfillment Status and Shipping Tests

OpenBeam had a successful launch party at Metrix:Create Space on Capitol Hill earlier tonight. Big thanks for the crew at Metrix for helping out with the hosting and a really cool space.
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For those of you who are in Seattle metropolitan area, your orders have been transferred to Metrix and you may pick them up for the next 3 weeks. If they are unclaimed after 3 weeks we will then drop them off at the Fedex office. You will be receiving an email shortly (next 48 hours) confirming the location of the package.

For those of you who ordered a camera kit, please note that there was a mistake in the pick list. We are missing shaft clamps in the kit. Please see Matt at Metrix for the missing shaft clamps, or I can mail you the missing parts. Also, please make sure that you have picked up the laser cut camera mount kit, shown here:

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Anyway, we had a blast, and we raffled off the big giant dinosaur to a lucky winner:

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And meanwhile, people have already begun to work on their OpenBeam projects...

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So, how's the fulfillment process going for non-Seattle backers?

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Here's my work cell at Dan Terry, Inc.

Every day after work, I've been helping out with packaging.

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With the exception of about 1000 servo brackets and stepper brackets, everything has arrived at DTA from our vendors:

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And we've got enough shipping tubes to last us a little bit…

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(Suburban included as a size reference. The courier sent the wrong truck to pick up the tubes - and it was too small. And this wasn't an F150 that we were talking about).

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Here's the kitting line: the boxes are arranged in the same order as the parts appear on the pick lists (generated my Microsoft mail merge). This way, as we pick the kits we minimize the movement on the line.

Anyway, we have about 200+ of the 450 orders kitted up. They are currently in a holding pattern at Dan Terry.

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Earlier on in the week, 15 random lucky recipients were selected and had their orders shipped out to them. We are currently waiting on the results of the shipping. (If things were to go wrong with shipping, I'd rather it happen to 15 packages, than 450 packages). We received an email from a backer indicating that he only received a partial order, suggesting that the tape holding the end caps on were suspect. This was later confirmed at the launch party when one of the backers with a heavier $2000 kit was walking up the stairs and the bottom of the sealed shipping tube just blew out. We are consequently waiting for our test guinea pigs to receive their packages and report back to us whether there were any concerns with shipping. (We would, of course, replace any damaged or lost parts, for free).

So, there's the status update. If all goes well, once we triple wrap and reinforce the shipping tube caps, we should be ready for the Fedex pickup.

As for the webstore, the programming is ready to go. We have to wait for Fedex to certify the shipping labels, but we can get around this by printing our own labels. However, given the order backlog right now, I am electing not to launch the webstore for another few days, to make sure we don't swamp our fulfillment team.

At the end of the day, at every project junction, when given the choice between quality and cost, we've chosen quality (just look at the tools we include in our kits). And I'd rather do things well, then do things fast. Thanks for your understanding!

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(Oh, and, to celebrate our launch, we are going to have a cake. No, the cake is *not* a lie…)