From the desk of Will Hodges
September 16, 2022
Re: Slim Side Click + Trailhead Mechanisms
First off, I want to say I'm sorry for the recent issues with the new Slim Side Click pens. We always stand behind the quality of our craftsmanship and will do everything we can to make it right.
Here are the most common issues we're seeing and what we're doing to address them:
Trailhead mechanisms not being smooth and/or getting jammed. This is due to the clicker being machined a little too small as we made separate parts for Cerakote and it turns out those needed to be a bit bigger. That allowed the springs to bind between the clicker and the body, causing mechanisms to feel bad (gritty) or flat out not work after some clicks.
Clips falling off. We had a couple revisions of clips and screws and some of the screws had too much chamfer so thread engagement wasn't as good as it could've been. The latest round of parts have plenty of thread engagement to the point where you'll REALLY need to try to get the clips off.
Packages that lost by UPS. From what we can tell most of these packages were from the first 2 days after launch. We have shipped out new pens to most customers but some of the original tracking numbers are now showing movement. Some of you will likely receive a second pen as the first shipment somehow got found by UPS.
Replacements have the same (or worse) problems. It took us time to identify and solve the parts issues and, unfortunately, some customers received replacements that were not 100% perfect. All of the pens being made now have the newest internals, clips, and screws so we're confident this will not happen again.
- Poor or unresponsive customer service. This should never be the case but it hasn't been from lack of effort. Our main customer service person, Andrew, had a baby 3 days before we launched and, while I should have more people fill in sooner, we fell a bit behind on emails. Over the past week, four of us worked together to try and get caught up and, thankfully, Andrew is back leading the charge with a healthy baby girl back at home.
Over our 10+ year history, we've never really had someone dedicated to overseeing the whole operation – making sure that we're efficient all the way from raw materials to quality, finished products. At one time I could do it all myself but, as we've grown with now 49 employees, it's clear there's too much on our plates and we need to do a better job delegating responsibility.
This week we hired our first Operations Manager, Shane, who will free up time for some of us to focus on new products and better nail down designs long before launching products so we don't have issues like we have seen over the past couple of weeks.
Making prototypes is difficult on its own. Making a production run of a couple thousand pens with lots of new parts is so, so, so much harder and, while I don't want to make excuses, I want you to know that we've found solutions to the widespread problems and are continuously taking actions to prevent them in the future.
We stand behind what we do and, if you ever have a problem like the ones I listed earlier or something else, please email email@example.com and we'll take care of it.