Ok, lets get the bad news out of the way first. In January, the USPS increased shipping rates, which sucks. So I need to update my shipping rates accordingly, and International shipping is going to take a huge hit here, as my cost has gone up quite a lot. So, starting on March 1st, Domestic US shipping rates will be $5.00 flat-rate. International shipping will be going up to $20.00 flat-rate. I know the international is a huge jump, but my costs have just about doubled.
Now, the good news. I’m going to continue modernizing my production systems. Part of this is to continue to migrate toward SMT as opposed to thru-hole manufacturing. More on that in a couple of days, but as I make new designs I’ll be increasingly using SMT components where possible. It will be a slow transition, but it will be a transition. I’m using SMT parts on the current generation drop target boards, and the next couple designs include SMT components already. The more I use them, the more I can invest in equipment to better assemble them.
I’m also improving my record keeping. Thankfully my wonderful Wife does bookkeeping for a living. So a lot of the paperwork is getting handed over to her in order to actually do it correctly and efficiently. This also means I now have my first part-time employee. Cool, huh?
Since things keep getting more complicated in my lineup, I need to start better documenting my instructions. So I’m looking into some freeware software for work instruction management. First try is going to be Lockstep Free. We’ll see how it works out. Either way I need to start planning for better production accuracy and potential future growth.
More cool stuff! If you’re at the Midwest Gaming Classic this year, I’ll be selling off some surplus equipment. Good stuff too! Pace and Xytronic soldering stations, an industrial EPROM eraser, misc other tools and things of that nature. Stop by the table near the pinball hall. It’s all heavy and bulky … I don’t want to haul it round trip. Willing to let them go fairly cheap.
New Products On The Way!
My first automotive product was just sent out for prototype PCB’s, an OLED gauge set for first generation Toyota MR2’s. Note sure yet if I’ll be selling them, but I am working on developing it. Also about to send out the first order for prototype PCB’s on LED adapters for the Aux Lamp Boards in classic Bally machines. I’ll probably have prototypes for display at MGC, not sure if I’ll have them ready to sell yet at that point. Either way … they’re coming soon!
Improvement to the bench displays!
I came across a small supply of 5v power adapters that would work perfectly on my Williams Bench Displays. They didn’t cost me anything, so why should I charge for them? I’ve crimped on some proper connectors, and if you’re a customer in the US or Canada, I’m giving them away free with any purchase of a bench display while supplies last. They’re only good for 110v 60hz power, like here in the USA, so I won’t be supplying them anywhere else.
2015 was a record year and 2016 is off to a great start. You guys have treated me fantastically, and I am genuinely thankful for all your support over the past few years I’ve been in operation. So I plan to keep improving my product lineup and quality, and continue to give back to you all.