Friends and customers, we have come to a crossroads in our business that requires some major changes to our communications and procedures moving forward. While we appreciate everyone's enthusiasm and support for our services, we find ourselves overwhelmed by the many different avenues of communication, which have become impossible to keep track of as our business grows. Living in today’s world, where everyone is constantly connected, it has become normal to send messages to a company or individual at all hours via social media, text, etc and expect an immediate response. We will no longer be able to continue down that path.
**Official hours for the time being are 8am to 5pm EST.**
Please limit all communications via a phone call or email during our business hours. Calling on the weekend or after hours is acceptable if you really need help. Be honest with yourself about whether your issue can wait until Monday or not. All emails from the weekend will get a response by the following Monday. Our Email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. We will not respond to social media messages moving forward. If you call, please leave a voicemail and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Please feel free to follow that up with an email to us, those are much less likely to be missed because both Kelly and I see them. If you email, please feel free to send photos to give us a rough idea of what you are looking to have answered (visuals always help).
All orders are typically shipped the same day or the next day if it is in stock. As much as we try to have everything in stock we rely on multiple vendors all across the country. We offer products that are made in small batches and require lead times to have made. We do not control the time for these products to be manufactured. We forecast demand based on sales. To keep up with demand, we have increased our purchase levels as well as the frequency of orders and this places a severe strain on the manufacturers and vendors to meet our deadlines. A manufacturer typically will perform most operations in house but not all operations. An example of this is anodizing and heat treatment processing. These are very specialized operations therefore are usually sent out to a third or forth vendor to be completed. Our vendors are at the mercy of their vendors, which places us near the bottom of the chain.
If you need a product immediately we ask that you send us an email. We always work to fill emergency orders; we have the best Customers in the World. We have Customers who were not in rush, and graciously allowed us to to ship products from their order, which they have already paid for, to fill orders for another Customer. From the bottom of our heart, we do not know how we are this fortunate to have a Customer base as understanding and generous as you all are. Since we are a two-person operation, and much of our work is custom, we will have to give you a "window" for your shipment. If you have a deadline for an event and we promise to meet it, we will still do that as always, but will need advance notice. Please don't be offended if we are straightforward with you and tell you outright that we cannot do it. We hate to lose your business, but would rather lose that sale to another shop than let you down by missing an important deadline. Please plan ahead 3 weeks in advance, if possible.
We have multiple open projects that have been dragging on for 2 years due to time constraints. We have 6 products we have been unable to complete because our time resources are constantly eaten away by social media.
The main idea here is that we care very much about the quality of the service we provide, and care just as much about all our customers, who we consider friends, but some reasonable structure and boundaries need to be set so that we can have some semblance of life outside of this to spend uninterrupted time with our friends and families. We also hope to keep our passion and drive so we are able to provide excellent products and services to you for years to come, but at this pace burnout is imminent. Kelly is usually working 16 hours a day, I am usually working 20 hours a day and we no longer can support that. We understand that we have Customers all over the World in very different time zones, we have many fine Men and Women serving us overseas so we will continue to support them as long as everyone understands the responses may not be immediate as they were in the past. We take full responsibility for this since we have allowed things to be "loose and free" for so long, which is why we are being proactive about changing things for the benefit of everyone.
Thanks very much for taking the time to read, we appreciate all of you, and we hope to have the opportunity to help you build something awesome in the future.
Kelly and Tim Hilliard
P.S. A huge thank you to LeVel Motorsport, Glendale, AZ for allowing us to borrow much of the above.
That is what you get for being so nice and so good at what you guys do. ;-)
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