A busy busy April – a lot of updates and news

It’s Andy here. If you’ve read our blog, you guys will know I like to post updates about the company and the milestones we’ve had. This past April has been an incredibly busy time for us, especially with adapting to life with a global pandemic going on and a boatload of new orders coming in during this time.

Because of all the craziness I haven’t been able to post as much as I would like to, but we are continuing to adapt as best we can. Here are some updates.

Lead times

April brought us more than double the number of orders than March. Ikenna and the rest of our team have been working hard to ship machines out as quickly as possible, and as we go into the month of May, we don’t see signs of stopping.

As far as shipping goes, we have been able to get most LongMills out the door within a week of when they are ordered, and we are currently working on some new ways to improve our speed and efficiency of getting machines out the door.

Shipping delays and slowdowns

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen an overall slowdown in the courier system. Packages sent through UPS and Canada Post have been slower than usual to be delivered. We have typically seen most packages impacted by 2-3 days, with Canada Post seeming to be more delayed than UPS.

Rest assured, our courier companies have been very responsive on helping us with shipments at this time and are doing their best to keep up with demand.

Here’s what you should know about shipping at this time.

  • Packages no longer require signatures and will be left at the door.
  • If you have customs duties from UPS, pay-at-the-door services may be suspended. You should receive an email or call about duties and taxes. This only applies to orders above $800USD.
  • If your order is going to a commercial location that is known to be closed, it may either be held at a post office for pick up or sent back to the sender. Please note that local post offices may be closed or have reduced hours. We recommend shipping your orders directly to your home or residence.
  • Tracking information may be slower to update at times.

We will continue to offer pick-up during business pick-up hours (10AM-4PM) Monday to Friday. Orders will be placed on our dock for pick-up in Waterloo ON.

Batch 3 is in production

With our current rate of orders, we expect stock for Batch 2 of LongMills to run out by July or sooner. We are currently working on building inventory for Batch 3 so that we’ll have machines ready to go as soon as we can once we run out of Batch 2.

We’ve also added additional racking to our space to accommodate larger batches of inventory and help us smooth out our operations and give us some additional space for new products and parts to come down the line.

I’m also happy to mention that between Batch 2 and 3, we’ve had a significant reduction of customer issues through implementation of better QA processes and engineering. You can read our post here about this topic: https://sienci.com/2020/02/18/a-list-of-common-issues-and-how-we-resolved-them-on-the-longmill-v1-and-how-we-improved-on-our-machines-for-v2/

We still aren’t 100% yet but we are working on getting there!

Growth in our very active commuities

It’s been awesome to see a lot of growth and great vibes on our Facebook Group and Online Forum. In the last 30 days, we’ve seen over 4400 comments, posts, and reactions on our Facebook group and over 28,000 views on our Forum, which is amazing. Many of these interactions involve sharing tips, ideas, and assistance to users.

It’s also awesome to see several of our beta testers and many of our senior users continue to welcome newcomers and help them get their machines set up. Our team has continually been impressed at the quality and detail we’ve seen in customer projects, especially first-time projects.

Updates to the LongMill Resources

We’ve been continually updating our LongMill Resources. A quick thank you to our customers who’ve sent us compliments as well as feedback on our resources. We’ve been working with our friend Aleks (https://agontarz.com/) to update the resources and assembly for the last couple weeks. If you don’t already know, Aleks helped us make the highly acclaimed Mill One Assembly Manual. You should expect to see changes happen over the next few weeks!

One year since our Kickstarter…

On April 25, 2019, we raised over $400,000 for the LongMill. It has officially been a year since then and we have now shipped over 600 machines to more than 30 countries. Over a million dollars worth of LongMills have now been sold. We are excited to see what our next year brings!

Want to take a trip down memory lane? Make sure to read our posts here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sienci/longmill-benchtop-cnc-router/posts