limited production :: hand crafted :: high performance :: rechargeable :: premium flashlights

This is my blog about creating a startup LED flashlight business. I'm a designer, fabricator, and strategist and I'm passionate about making ideas real. I believe that products are about people, that they should be built to last, deliver real value, and that we need to do a better job than we have in the recent past.

Most of my career has been contract or freelance work and I've crafted products and strategies for both big international companies and startups. I also used to work in the "industry" fabricating special effects for film and TV, along with the occasional hot rod. Bottom line, I love making things.

I'm starting this blog so you can follow along, from day one, and see what it's like to start a business, or fail in the process. Only time will tell, but I hope you find this interesting enough to stay tuned, comment, link, like, tweet, and (most importantly) participate in turning this idea into something tangible and valuable.

For a good place to get started with general info about who, what, why, etc., check out the "Stickies" on the left side of the page. Thanks for stopping by and please don't hesitate to ask questions and get involved!

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

DtD Update: Supply chain woes

Hey everyone. Here is a little hiccup: the company I buy my LED drivers from is out of stock till at least mid-March. After completing my pre-production run of 19 lights...I used up all the drivers I had on hand. This was basically a "proving out" run to make sure the plating process worked like I planned, check clearances/fitment, and see how the different surfaces finishes turned out.

I'm starting on my first production run of 20 lights that will be serial numbers 1-20. I should have all the machining done and the next batch off to the plating company by the end of the week...but I'm basically sitting on my hands till I get more drivers.

My bench during the pre-production build out
This is both a common sense and a new business issue. Instead of ordering what I need for the next batch, I've taken note and (though I can't afford it because I don't have the cash flow from sales) ordered a bunch of supplies that I'll need to get through the next 50 lights or so: LED's, batteries, chargers, optics, switches, wire, and rubber switch covers. Things that take time to get delivered or things that I'm not confident will be in stock.

To add to the fun, the aspheric lenses I've been using have been out of stock for about two months. I'm trying to find of if "out of stock" is a permanent condition or not. Fortunately I have a stable supply of LEDs and Boom reflectors...but I have to order them from Austraila which takes about two weeks. :)

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