Dave just popped this over and asked me to post it up 🙂


Quick note as I’m on FB, made quite a few calls today and have fixed most of the Christmas mail issues, few more to do and that will be them all done thankfully.
I am looking at some new machines later this evening with a view to continuing boxes into March and onwards as the boys back at work have put forward a compelling case for doing so.

What I am not prepared to allow to continue is the mail services causing any more problems for customers and us.That is going to be addressed at the same time as the machines.
We have decent products available, we have the BEST customers in the world and sub standard services from couriers will not be tolerated after the Christmas / New Year nightmares.

It may well mean we end up paying a little more for mail but there is no intention to pass on the increased costs to customers as we will be saving more than cost in less work chasing carriers up.

The increased workloads will mean boxes have to go out the door faster and more efficiently from time of order to avoid any long drawn out chase ups but that will benefit everybody.

As always, thank you for your continued support and for the advice and suggestions we get daily. Every one of you is truly appreciated.

best wishes Dave


Cheers  Terry

Executive Decision, as P2G don’t seem to be able to track anything more distant than the next room I have instructed the office to simply replace any thing that is even remotely unusual. It is faster and a lot more efficient than trying to get any information from P2G. What this does mean is that quite a few folks will get double orders delivered. Call them a new years bonus 🙂

Reason: I just had an email from one of our customers (Kris) to say he loves his storage box (he has it in his hands) yet the P2G tracking reads “Awaiting Drop Off”….

Back to Terry for more updates on work stuff later

thanks   Dave

Just spoken to Dave and he said can I let folks know he is working through his email but internet access is rather slow at the Travellodge he is staying at.

Back here we are doing the morning packing ready for when the early shift arrives.

Cheers   Terry

Remember Dave’s post last year about “Glasnost”

Well, after yesterdays phone meeting there have been some developments in what we do here. Most of it concerns the following from our FAQ:-

Q: Will you always be making these?

A: So long as it is practical and viable to do so yes, however if that should change for reasons out of our control then like most companies we would re-evaluate the practicality of continuing to manufacture these. While all of us here do enjoy doing it, it still has to remain financially viable for us to continue.”

Most of the work we do here is volume cutting and engraving for industrial end users, this can be small sealing rings right up to very large stainless steel sub-assemblies, most of these are high value long term contractual obligations so are not something that varies very much. However we submitted a tender for a contract towards the end of last year with one of our current customers and found out last week that we have secured the contract for the next three years. This will increase our workload by as much as 70% in some areas (mainly engraving work) but this kind of work still has to be manned and we have to have machinery available to process it. That has never really been a problem but of late with the Christmas postal problems the impact on our available time has been a lot bigger than expected.

Over Christmas and into the new year we had 68 packages that either got lost, damaged or were generally unsuitable for purpose, a far higher number than usual but still manageable with our current workload.Chuck in a lot of emails and shop software problems though and this won’t be the case though once we have more machines tied up on the new work from Mid March so something had to *give*.

In effect we have been left with a very simple decision to make (hence the tele-meeting) we either bring in more machines and continue with everything we do or we reduce our workshop demands on time. Dave did the figures yesterday along with myself and Brian and we decided that we can continue to make boxes until the end of February and at that point we will either have to buy in more machinery (not a problem) or stop making Game Storage boxes OR some of the other things we make entirely and concentrate on the much larger aspects of what we do.

Up till now our workflow has been as follows:

The guys on the actual machines make the items
Brian is responsible for the day to day running of the machining aspect and machine schedules
I (Terry) oversea the workshop in general including the drawing office
Dave is the overall boss who makes the final decisions (and has always been the public face of work)

With an increased workload this quite simply won’t work, all it would take is an over run on a few lines and we would find ourselves fighting fires every day (as it is there are very few weeks we don’t work 100+ hours each of the three of us) so this left us with the above choices.

Dave decided it would be down to Bri and Myself to make the final choice and this is what we came up with (and he approved)

None of our positions will change but I will be taking over doing the blog stuff here rather than Dave. At the end of Feb we will look again at workload and decide if we are going to buy in more machinery (a very quick process) to ensure that no piece of equipment has over a 70% of it’s time scheduled (that gives us a 30% buffer to cover any eventuality) OR if we will drop out of retail sales of Game components. (currently 38% of our available time makes 8% of our return)

If it was a basic choice we would continue with game accessories as all of us here do enjoy doing it but there are many things to consider before making that kind of decision.

What all this means: We will continue to make game accessories until the end of Feb but from then onward we currently do not know if that will continue. This will NOT affect warranty or spare part requirements and we will still of course keep full stocks of parts for any such issues.

Dave has already said he is happy to buy in 6 – 8 more machines if that is needed and we will be looking at that tomorrow night when he gets back from doing deliveries.

cheers for now   Terry

Morning all,

Dave’s in Glasgow doing a couple of deliveries so asked me to post here for him.

I’m about to go through his emails and reply and we have 3 of us packing boxes for the morning for UPS / DPD. Dave also asked me to mention that if anybody want’s to get hold of him easily and quickly to use his personal Facebook account (Myself and Brian don’t have Facebook personal accounts)

The Five Rings standard boxes are currently being uploaded and we have a scheduled period of downtime from Monday while the shop will be in Browsing mode only. Everything will work as normal (such as logging in to see orders etc) but purchasing won’t be available for a couple of days while we do some auditing and stock building.

Kind Regards   Terry

Some time ago we made a load of different inserts under the Mr Craft Banner for card cases (inserts) these are no longer made but if you have access to a laser feel free to make some for yourself (non commercial use only) These are designed to fit the standard 288mm square boxes.

We have around 200 designs here that we either will never use or aren’t really something we want to make, so they will all be uploaded for folks to use themselves.

Series 7 Dividers

Series 7

You will need winzip to unzip them (or a similar program)


Other news: Doing more packing for the morning before going to Email 🙂

thanks   Dave

12 Emails left to deal with, tonight has gone amazingly well with a massive amount of catching up being done. We are expecting ALL current orders to have left us this week with over 80% of them being delivered by Friday.

More later

Thanks   Dave

24 Emails left to reply to then on to more packing and shop updates. Looks likely to be Sunday 14th we put the shop into browse only mode for a few days to catch up with some stock building and get around 3 months ahead. That will make deliveries a LOT faster and now Christmas/New Year is out of the way a lot more reliable too.

Back later with more

Thanks   Dave

Well that was a long and eventful day, Pete Childs came in and seems to have fixed the mail server (thanks Pete you saved us having to buy a new one if I had gotten near it yesterday) so now I should be able to get to the last 36 hours worth of emails. Sorry for being a bit slower on updates on here while this was done.

We didn’t waste the time though and have been sorting the last of the Christmas MIA’s and getting some new orders packed ready for the morning drop off.

Folks that also follow the Company Facebook page will be able to find some rather nice downloadable files on there in a minute for making your own inserts if you feel like having a go at doing so. This is something that will increase over the next few weeks as we have a huge number of files that to be honest are never going to be commercially viable (take too long to make or are over complex) so we thought we would give them away for personal use. Commercial use is different and all that requires is a donation to the Charity COPS (Care Of Police Survivors) of any amount you are happy with.

https://www.facebook.com/opticalpower/ 

The Larger Dicemasters are due to be released along with a large version of the antique Elder Sign case (Antique) although the elder sign is really only as we had to make one for Stephen so decided to make 4 spares.

Possibly some “pending” statuses to clean up while we are working on the web shop so if anybody has an order that has been paid and is showing as pending (usually E-Cheques) let me know and I’ll edit it manually for you.Sorting the last of the overdue “Processing” stickies as well so all in all quite productive while email has been down.

We still have some of the lamps here that are going out with anybodies order that wants one free. Drop me a line and let me know what style you would like and I’ll make sure one gets chucked in for you.

Also have some give aways with orders coming up for direction markers and some tokens we made as well as card stands (a bit like the easels that are available) as we do get a lot of waste material it was no real effort to add the files in and cut some out for freebies.

Back later today with more updates

Thanks   Dave