Thanks to Graham and his dad’s hard work, we’ve moved everything back to MCM’s permanent premises. This should mean a return to normal operations very soon. I’ve taken a little time to make some changes to the way the business works, so we’re not quite back to normal order fulfilment just yet.
First has been a reorganisation of the workshop and the office. It is easy to put such tasks off when there are so many more pressing things to deal with on the day-to-day. Moving back in has provided a great opportunity to change some things up. We’re not quite there, but I’m confident things will run a little smoother as a result.
The second big change is finally moving to a better system for shipping. Changes to Royal Mail rules at the start of the year resulted in me having to write a hell of a lot more information on customs forms and not being able to print them myself using my old method. I’m still getting to grips with the RM Click & Drop system and store integration, but it is immediately more efficient – even if the larger format makes international parcels 90% label! Tracking numbers should now be automatically sent to customers when their order is dispatched, which is a big improvement.
Before the move back, we almost completely caught up with orders. Graham was a massive help here, though he isn’t as available right now due to other work commitments. My house is currently a building site, with the extension work coming to its conclusion in the next week. This has meant sleeping on the floor of the room which continues to serve as my wife’s home office, and moving my home PC to the office so we have space for the mattress! No PC at home for me to catch up on work in the evenings, and my workplace is closed on weekends. This is probably healthier for me, but I’ve missed being able to put in a little extra work whilst my wife works on her uni course. These factors, along with the move and reorganisation, has meant things have slipped a little again.
I have a bunch of new products to release, but I’m reluctant to do so until I’m happier with the number of back-orders awaiting fulfilment. I’m now planning on releasing at the end of the week, so stay tuned.
It’s been a hell of a year, and I’m really looking forward to settling back in to normality again. It has been great seeing people at my workplace, I had my first vaccine jab on Saturday, and my local games club reopens pretty soon. Things are looking better 🙂
I’m happy to say that my family managed to get through my son’s isolation without anyone showing symptoms for COVID-19. I’ve been back working for about a week now, though I’m still working most evenings to catch up.
Last week, Graham and I managed to get 51 orders shipped. If you haven’t seen a completion email, please check your spam folder. If it’s not there, you are likely in the remaining ~70. You should be able log in & check your account if unsure. You can always email, and I’ll try to respond within a day or so.
Printing has been out of action for a few days due to work starting on an extension to our house. This has meant moving all the printing equipment from our now-demolished conservatory to the temporary workshop. The downside is that I am working from home at my PC more than at the workshop, so printing will be less frequent.
Before the move I made plenty of progress on printing new masters for the products whose moulds have degraded beyond use. New moulds are being made. If you order is held up by these products, you may receive prints in an effort to fulfil your order more quickly. Quality is just as good, and they don’t need to be removed from the sprue or cleaned up, but they may be a funny colour!
I’ve also managed to get some new releases lined up, which are mostly a spin on existing products. I’m holding those back until we’ve caught up a bit more on outstanding orders. If you like spikes, you’ll be happy.
Shortly before we would have left the house this morning, we got a call from my son’s nursery because another one of the children in his group had tested positive for COVID-19. He has no symptoms right now, but is required to isolate for 10 days. This means my wife and I will be looking after him instead of sending him to nursery 4 days a week. As my wife is involved in the local response to the pandemic, I will be taking on most of the childcare duties. I will be working as much as I can in evenings and at the weekends, but my time will obviously be much reduced. Again. Best case scenario is that my son is back to nursery for the start of February March. Worst case is that he shows symptoms on the 9th day, and we are all then required to isolate for 10 days, at the end of which we then get symptoms and the period is extended for a further 10 days. I don’t expect things to go that way, but it is highly likely we will get it if he is carrying the virus now.
On the plus side, this week Graham and I have finally got the temporary workshop set up after last week’s low temperatures delayed the work. He’ll be keeping that side of things running, as well as handling shipping. It’ll be clunky, but we should be getting orders out very soon. I’m sorry to those of you who have already heard that before. Seems like one setback after another, but we’ll get back to normal eventually.
We collected the keys to temporary premises on Friday. We have use of this space for up to 6 months. Hopefully, by then we will be moved back in to the normal premises with no risk of further closures.
This arrangement should allow casting and order fulfilment to resume this week. The snowfall we’ve had here is poor timing as the space is unheated and electric space heaters are only so effective! Both resin casting and 3D printing are very heat-sensitive, not to mention that is is helpful when I can feel my fingertips!
Thank you to all of you for your continued patience. I wish we could have fulfilled your orders sooner.
I’m going to start this update with positive news. Thanks to Graham’s help, I’ve managed to get some stock and have packed 30% of outstanding orders. I’ll be shipping those today. I also viewed a temporary premises and have asked to go ahead with renting that space. This should allow me to move casting equipment so that I can cast more than 3 hours per week and, importantly, get new moulds made. With building work due to start at my house in the last week of February, this will also provide a home for my 3D printers. I hope to get access to the bulk of my stock soon and also move that.
Now, on to the negative news. On Thursday, my son was sent home from nursery because one of the children in his group had tested positive for COVID-19. He has no symptoms right now, but is required to isolate for 10 days. This means my wife and I will be looking after him instead of sending him to nursery 4 days a week. As my wife is involved in the local response to the pandemic, I will be taking on most of the childcare duties. I will be working as much as I can in evenings and at the weekends, but my time will obviously be much reduced. Best case scenario is that my son is back to nursery for the start of February. Worst case is that he shows symptoms on the 9th day, and we are all then required to isolate for 10 days, at the end of which we then get symptoms and the period is extended for a further 10 days. I don’t expect things to go that way, but it is highly likely we will get it if he is carrying the virus now.
Graham will continue to cast once per week and I will continue to dispatch orders when I can. I will, of course, take all the necessary precautions to protect customers when packing orders, but I do recommend you observe guidelines when you receive packages. The store will remain open for now, with all the previous warnings of fulfilment delays. Should I get symptoms, the store will be closed and I will suspend all order packing unless Graham can do it without contact with me.
Many thanks for your patience and support. Ben.
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