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Order/Stock/Support Status [Last Updated: 23rd Sept' 2020]

Posted on 24th Jul 2020 @ 5:05:05 PM

Following an extended period of varying restrictions and numerous pressures placed on us as parents and individual commnuity members, we're now reaching a point where Covid-19 is still an active consideration but additional factors (such as Brex*t) are now pushing to the fore. As a result we're restarting this status thread to encompass all factors and give a basic summary of what that means for our service, products and, of course, customers orders.

 

Update: Sept 23rd 2020 @ 23:43 GMT+1

  • Almost back to normal health and we've been working hard to restock some existing products while also adding new inks to stock.
  • Royal Mail have been really struggling to get packages delivered internationally and we've had to adjust our shipping service options to remove even Tracked & Signed services for high value orders, because of delays and losses over the last couple of months.
  • Due to other staff members moving elderly parents, I will be handling all orders and other tasks from Friday 25th through Tuesday 29th Sept'.
  • Additionally VAT return and accounts are now critical so all support will be via email, not phone while I get on top of that.
  • No change to shipping days (ie: Still dispatching Mondays and Thursdays only)

 

 

September 5th onwards... 

With schools back and a new spike in infection rates showing, we're now preparing for additional restrictions and potential lockdowns while also preparing for the long term effects of the utter farce that Brexit has become. We will note any changes to our dispatch schedules, stock availability here with as much notice as is feasible.

The good news is that, at OctoInkjet, we have done everything we can to maximise our efficiency, improve home based connectivity and prepare for most eventualities. However, for various reasons, the main parenting responsibility will fall squarely on mine and my team members heads during the working/school week. So far, evenings and weekends are providing opportunities to catch-up but it does and will continue to be a careful balancing act.

Your continued understanding and patience is appreciated throughout and we are doing what we can to return the favour.

Thank-you.

Martin

 

 

Earlier Status Updates 

Update: Sept 22nd 2020 @ 12:55 GMT+1

So, we were healthy and then my kids shared a "lovely" cold & cough with me. Nice!

  • Main result has been slow support/pre-sales response times and my ability to answer the phone is severly hampered. 
  • Order shipment is prioritised Mondays and Thursdays
  • We are getting most of our DHL Parcel, Express and Fedex parcels out for delivery next day if we can manage it.
  • Manufacturing has continued and we're placing long term orders for inks to cover us through the impending high demand period, particularly in the run up to Brex*t.
  • The UK is now under threat of a new lockdown and regrettably my wifes teaching job places us firmly in the firing line for possible infection so... things are likely to change.

Thanks as ever for the patience everyone has been showing. We are moving forward and while things may be taking a bit longer we're still getting orders out the door, questions answered and stock topped up. Stay safe folks... 

Update: Sept 19th 2020 @ 21:25 GMT+1

Everyone is now back up and healthy. Orders shipped on Thursday as expected and most priority items also went out on Friday.

We continue to focus our efforts on restocking our existing product lines and are now working on release of new product lines that were stalled due to the pandemic response and time constraints.

  • Orders will be dispatched on Monday and Thursdays. 
    Where feasible priority shipments via DHL Parcel, DHL Express and Fedex will also be dispatched on other days but we're unable to guarantee dispatch.
  • Support backlog is mostly resolved and I'll be reviewing earlier queries to check status and/or catch any that were missed.
  • New stock items are coming online as soon as we can get them organised.

 

Update: Sept 16th 2020 @ 22:10 GMT+1

Kids! Colds! Germs! You could almost forget that school + children equals the "normal" germs but one team member had to take the last couple of days off to play nurse. Net result has been that we've not managed to ship other orders out beyond Monday.

  • Orders were shipped on Monday and will be shipped (tomorrow) Thursday.
  • We weren't able to ship other orders due to chidren getting poorly resulting in staff absence.
  • VAT invoices have now been sent out (sorry for the delay)
  • Paul Roark Lucia Ex Blue and Cyan component inks are now available for those using his DIY black & white recipes.

 

Update: Sept 12th 2020 @ 23:30 GMT+1

Pleased to note that after a full week of school, our children are now gradually finding a sense of equilibrium. The school day drop-off/collection schedule has meant some creative reorganisation of the working day but we have been managing to get most orders shipped, while manufacturing and support is being tackled during evenings and weekends where needed and feasible.

  • Orders continue to be shipped Mondays and Thursdays
  • Some priority shipments are being dispatched on other days, where possible, but we are not making guarantees and none should be assumed.
  • Canon Pro-1000 inks are now available
  • Pending VAT Invoice requests will be resolved in the next few days

 

Update: Sept 8th 2020 @ 14:38 GMT+1

As anticipated, things have not gone as smoothly as we would have like although more to do with the usual tantrums, confusion and resistance to change that we would normally expect. It has resulted in a few hiccups, lack of time and similar over the last few days.

All other things are as per Sept 4th, we're just lagging behind on Email/Phone messages but will attack the backlog in the next 24 hours.

 

Update: Sept' 4th 2020 @ 22:45 GMT+1

The reintroduction of children to school has been a memorable success and made the frustration of minimal work availability, well worth the sacrifice. Moving forward the children will all be full time from Monday 7th September. Policy on illness is likely to result in more sick days home than normal but we've planned for this so we're just getting on with it.

So moving forward... 

  • We will continue to ship most orders on Mondays and Thursday.
  • Where possible we will process and ship Next day and priority shipments but only if the time is available and doesn't interfere with manufacturing and planned tasks.
  • Support/Email is still getting hit slightly but we're closer to same day.
  • Phone calls and voicemail are being handled on an adhoc basis. If we're not up to our eyeballs in ink, manufacturing or video shooting we'll answer... Often we'll call back when we can.
  • New stock input, listings (including Pro-1000 inks) and other admin including Accounts/invoicing, etc... are all taking more of a priority this coming week.

Thanks for your continued support, patience and thanks from all of us for your well wishes for the kids... They're definitely happy to be back. We just have to keep them as safe as we possibly can now.

 

Update: Sept' 2nd 2020 @ 23:05 GMT+1

Shipments are being dispatched Thursday this week (and did go out on Tuesday) and mostly things have made it out the door on time. As expected my [Martin] parenting responsibilities have meant almost no time in the office/workshop so I've been working from home with reasonable success:

  • Orders shipped on Thursday
  • Support/Email is being delayed until evenings (but replies are going out)
  • Accounts, invoicing, etc... are still delayed (Weekend purge is planned)
  • New stock items, listings, etc... are still pending

As an aside, our kids are taking things in their stride (my own start back tomorrow) but it is all new so it's a watching and waiting time. We're adapting as required.

 

Update: August 29th 2020 @ 13:30 GMT+1

We're now back to a standard team of two and we completed a major restock of most products over Thursday and Friday last week. However, due to the impending school return (see advance notice below) we are expecting disruption that means an extension of our existing shipping schedule:

  • Orders will ship Tuesday* and Thursday this week (*Monday is Bank holiday).
  • Support/Email may be delayed until evenings.
  • Accounts, invoicing, etc... are now becoming a priority.
  • New stock items, listings, etc... are pending

 

Update: August 26th 2020 @ 23:10 GMT+1

We continue to ship on Mondays and Thursday as our guaranteed days.
We are sending out some items when time allows and where the courier collects. Regrettably Royal Mail are not on that list so Special Delivery items are still only Monday and Thursdays.

The last couple of days have been focused on decluttering, reorganising the workshop space and installing new equipment to improve our cartridge cleaning/refilling, ink bottling and labelling efficiency. This has been a monumental task with a lot of planning involved, but it's starting to pay dividends already. It has meant some delays to email/phone call responses today. Apologies if you were affected.

  • VAT invoices, accounts info will be priority #1 from Friday 28th and over next week as we focus on the admin.
  • Sharon returns to work tomorrow (family are fine) so we're replenishing stock before the back to school chaos ensues.

 

Update: August 23rd 2020 @ 21:22 GMT+1

  • Orders continue to be shipped on Monday & Thursday only (although shipping some items earlier when situation allows)
  • Still working on own, so manufacturing, rebottling and general stock replenishment is being affected.
  • VAT invoices queued as task for week ending: Aug' 28th.
  • Support remains a priority and we are managing to respond to most customers within a few hours.

 

Update: August 18th 2020 @ 16:50 GMT+1

  • Orders continue to be shipped on Monday & Thursday only (although we are shipping some items earlier when the situation allows)
  • Still working on my own so manufacturing, rebottling and general stock replenishment is being affected.
  • Support remains a priority and we are managing to respond to most customers within a few hours.

 

Update: August 14th 2020 @ 16:35 GMT+1

  • Orders continue to be shipped on Monday & Thursday only
  • Only one staff member available for all tasks so:
    • Manufacturing capacity has reduced, particularly affecting Pro-1000 inks, PGI-570/571 remanufacturing and new product listings.
    • Support is taking priority but response times have been between 24-48 hours at points
  • New equipment is coming online is already improving efficiency, particularly on time consuming tasks (eg: labelling) but we're still short handed.

 

Update: August 11th 2020 @ 23:20 GMT+1

I (Martin) am now back from holiday but our other team member has sprained her ankle and once recovered will also be supporting family for a number of weeks so we're very short staffed with a crew of just me/Martin.

  • Orders will continue to be shipped on Monday & Thursday only
  • Support tickets are currently being worked through and I hope to get caught up in the next 24 hours.
  • The phone is being answered when possible. Backlog of voicemails needs to be addressed though.
  • Manufacturing is ongoing with a very LONG list of products to remanufacture

So, it's busy... VERY busy, but I'm working hard to keep up with orders and queries. I'm particularly focused on setting up some new equipment which should speed up a number of the processes, particularly cartridge remanufacturing and ink bottling/labelling although it's taking a bit of experimentation and time to get things tuned properly so that they work.

 

Update: August 5th 2020 @ 23:15 GMT+1

Orders are being shipped as per Monday & Thursday schedule with support tickets answered within 48 hours.
Some more detailed pre-sales queries are queued for a proper response due to the time required to respond properly.

 

Update: August 3rd 2020 @ 10:40 GMT+1

Minor confusion when family pointed out it wasn't a bank holiday today (Monday 3rd) so orders are being dispatched today as normal. Luckily the other team member just shoved me out the door to take time off.. It may have been required.

 

Update: July 30th 2020 @ 21:55 GMT+1

Martin (the boss, support contact and general jack-of-all-OctoInkjet) is on holiday from end of Friday July 31st to August 9th. As such all but essential queries will likely be delayed to allow for rest and recurperation.

Orders will be dispatched on Monday and Thursday as per the "normal" schedule established over the last few months.

We're also expecting other team members to be taking holiday and/or family time to support relatives later in the summer, so some aspects of manufacture and dispatch are likely to be further affected until late August. Thankfully our stock levels and pre-planning are paying off, so we should be able to resolve most customer requirements.

 

 

Update: July 24th 2020 @ 16:33 GMT+1

We have decided to maintain our current Monday and Thursday only shipping schedule until at least September 7th. This will allow us to be, well, "parents" while enjoying some much needed holiday time over the coming weeks. We are anticipating some weeks when shipping will be limited to just one day a week but we will do our best to determine these in advance to give plenty of notice.

Manufacturing efforts have been continuing with considerable effort and resources being put into increasing our production efficiency to maximise the available labour hours/resources 

 

Summary: January - July 24th 2020

Just to provide context to whatever the "current" status is (above)...

...it's important to note something that may not have been apparent. Since January of this year, we have been absolutely swamped with orders, queries, support requests and some of our products have seen such increased demand that we couldn't anticipate stock needs properly, nor keep up effectively. In many respects, the need to lockdown and reduce shipping to just 2 days a week, actually made it easier for us to regroup and adjust to the increased demand. A huge amount of effort has gone into re-thinking our processes and investment has been made to re-tool and re-organise things to resolve most of the issues causing us problems.

At the same time, despite only shipping twice a week, we've been working flat out. Whether we've been home looking after children, staying up till all hours to answer emails or sitting at a workbench processing cartridgs, making Printer Pottys, ordering stock, fighting accounting packages or staring blankly into the third cold cup of tea in 10 hours, it feels like we have not stopped, and frankly, we're exhausted. 

That said, our customers have been absolutely amazing, displaying patience, kindness and a willingness to forgive when mistakes were made. So, in no small measure I do need to say thank-you for all those who've experienced our service and products over the last 5 months.

So, sales pitch aside, what I'm leading up to is that during July and August we will be taking some desperately needed holiday time (such as it is) during this, the strangest of Summer holidays, and yes our services will be affected as a result. Specifics will be available on this thread (see top).

 

Key Dates:

  • July 31st to 9th... Support will be email only. Orders should ship on Monday 3rd and Thursday 6th