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 🙂
If you’re one of the many customers waiting patiently for your back-order, I have good news!
This week I regain access to the workshop and can begin the long task of fulfilment and restocking of out-of-stock items. I’m prioritising the fulfilment of back-orders, so the delays on new orders of affected items (as detailed in my previous post) remain.
These are still uncertain times and I don’t know for how long I will have access to the workshop. If government guidelines increase the restrictions once again, I may lose that access. Moving everything I have already brought home is a non-trivial task. I must also juggle the order fulfilment with the 3D-printing of masters for GCT’s Bushido (the MCM store is a part-time endeavour). With all this considered, I am still largely working from home with all the inefficiencies that introduces.
Please bear with me – this will be a long job!
First of all, thank you to everyone who has ordered since we went into isolation and then lockdown. It’s really helped to have some sales coming in. Despite fulfilling print-on-demand orders, I’ve been somewhat anxious about the delay in fulfilling the rest leading to a massive pile to catch up on! Fortunately, I was able to access my workshop this week and retrieve the bulk of my resin stock. This means many orders containing pauldrons, hands, wildlife, etc. have been packed.
Whilst resin products may be listed as in-stock, I am normally able to cast them when actual stock is depleted. This currently isn’t the case, so those order containing items which need to be cast are still on hold. I will email those customers as soon as I have an understanding of the situation.
I still can’t say when I may be able to restart the casting side of the business. Even if I can gain access to my workshop again in order to retrieve equipment and materials, the business has expanded somewhat since I moved out of the garage – and quite a few other things have moved in to take the space – so I’m not quite sure how to arrange things. As it stands the conservatory is already housing a couple of 3D printers, postage boxes, and crates of resin products!
I’ll try to get a stock-take done soon, so you can know whether the item you want exists or not. In the meantime, feel free to contact me and ask in advance of placing an order. Additionally, I’d like to clarify what is definitely available to order:
Anything with the ‘print-on-demand’ tag
3D Alien Worlds
3D-printed Japanese scenery.
Speaking of movement trays, there are a few new releases! These designs were made at the request of two customers. Need something custom? Just ask!
Stay safe and paint your minis!
Sunday was a bit of a shit day for our self-isolating little family. First, my wife was told that her grandad had passed away in the night. Shortly after, I was told that my dad had also passed away. Both largely without drama, and nothing to do with COVID-19. It does mean that visiting was out of the question and any funerals will be somewhat difficult to plan.
I was fairly prepared for my dad passing. I saw him last Sunday and he was clearly done with it all – he said as much. Not in a depressing, defeated way – this has been a rapid deterioration – but he was ready to go. I knew I may not see him again.
Still, rough day, & weird times. I think we’re OK. Little man is clinging to his mum a lot, and is getting upset easily, but seems otherwise fairly well. Hopefully a false alarm. He bloody loves Totoro right now, so we’re watching that twice a day and spending time in the garden whilst the weather is nice. Could certainly be worse!
I received notice this morning that, following Monday’s announcements by the UK government, my place of work is shutting entirely. As I’m still not allowed out, I can’t retrieve any stock from the workshop. The store will remain open, but all orders will be delayed indefinitely – except those consisting only of print-on-demand items. Those will continue as long as I have material with which to print.
Print-on-demand items include: 3D Alien Worlds scenery, Bushido zones and accessories. All resin items, such as shoulder pads, are stuck at work 🙁
Take care of yourselves, and paint your minis!
These are strange times. Our hobby finds itself split between being ideal for isolation and massively crippled by it. In some ways, I can imagine demand for hobby products increasing, but many of us find ourselves in a position where we can’t guarantee our income over the coming months.
I’ve moved much of my office home for the time being, though the workshop remains at work. The intent was to head in to the workshop once a week to cast, pick, & pack orders. This could lead to delays in dispatching orders, but would allow things to keep going. I have brought my printers home, so print-on-demand stuff should be largely unaffected. I simply can’t transport all my stock and resin casting equipment home right now.
All of this was fine until my son developed a cough and fever on Friday. Our family finds itself looking at at least 14 days of self-isolation. At the same time, my 86 year old father is in A&E suffering with breathing difficulties and other complications. We’re awaiting test results. It doesn’t look great, honestly, and I have had to come to terms with the possibility that I have seen him for the last time.
How does this affect Master Crafted Miniatures for the time being? For the next 14 days, no new orders will be fulfilled. I’m looking at a way to circumnavigate this, but I obviously can’t head in myself. Any print-on-demand orders which are made will be printed during this time, for dispatch once I am able to return to the workshop. I will continue my freelance sculpting for GCT during this time, so expect to remain financially secure. MCM isn’t going away!
I’ll update as things change, and post to social media when I can.
Stay safe, and paint your minis!