Massive Progress and "Behind The Scenes"
The various blog posts I've done over the last few months (and probably even longer than that actually) have mainly been about how late we are on projects and, often, a new product here or there.
I'll get to the main content in just a second - but first I'd like to selfishly share some thoughts with you. 🙂
We are really catching up right now and somewhat on the home straight. This might not seem a big deal. And, fair enough, it probably isn't. But for the four of us here at Magnus Industries ...tucked away in far-away New Zealand ...we have been living in "lateness" for few couple of years.
Long story short:
I started falling behind on projects around four years ago ...but did not really realize it was happening for many, many months (I actually had no employees back then).
The longest-serving employee has been with us for around two and a half years. What this means is that everyone who works here has only ever experienced "lateness", "catching up", etc. etc.
The "business model" has been that we are routinely making products to fulfill orders that have already been placed ...but, more often than not, we would end up late on many of these. We've had almost nothing in stock for years. We've had some significant cashflow challenges in the business (not that you want to know all the "dirty details" behind the business ...but, hey, that's the reality :-P).
Everyone here works REALLY hard and they are VERY good at what they do. So when I say we are nearly "caught up" ...this is really a big deal for everyone here.
It will be nice for our machinists to make products that can then go on the shelf as "in stock" ...because they've never done that here before (it's always been, "quick, we need to get this out the door ...it's already late!").
It will also be nice for Sky (our kick-ass customer service superstar) to spend less time replying to emails from customers wanting to know where their late products are (don't get me wrong, it is with great shame that I have put Customers in this position by getting the business into this position ...but I do have to think about the people who work here as well :-D).
Oh, and one more thing...
Every single one of us here (machinists included) read the feedback from you (yes YOU). We all like to keep on top of what YOU are saying to us. Whether it's, "you should consider making one of these" or "there is a design flaw in this product" or "why are you making this new product when you have not fulfilled my LATE product".
Whether it is positive feedback or negative feedback ...we are ALL acutely aware of what YOU are all saying all the time. We know we're late ...but, as you can hopefully gauge by the last couple of blog posts, we're FINALLY near the end of catching up!
And so, in that regard, let's show some progress...
Projects Almost Finished...
As I mentioned above, we are close to catching up ...BUT we are still late-ish on a number of projects.
However, with most of these projects, it's just sanding and tumbling left to go and they're done.
Here's a bunch of photos of some projects (some late and some not) to show you that we're almost there!
First up, the CoolKey Titanium Key Holder:
Here are the plates at various stages of hand sanding...
Here are the "drivers" for the key-holder (this is the custom titanium tool we include with each keyholder)...
...and here are some of the custom-made titanium screws we produce for each key-holder:
Here are the custom titanium springs for the ClickShift Titanium Pen:
This next photo is one I took today of the second-last cycle on the milling machine of the SlideCache 5 x Utility Blade Holder (only one more cycle to go and these are finished):
Here's some of hugely popular Titanium Dice I offered recently (obviously still have the "dots" and chamfering to go):
This next one is a little different...
The photo below is of the titanium "feet" of the custom case we make for the Titanium Domino Set:
And here are some of the new "9 x 9" Double-Nine Titanium Domino Set having just come fresh off the machine:
What Should I Make With This?
Below are 50 x water-jet cut "blanks" for the titanium dominoes.
However, in a moment of true genius, I cut them out of 3.6mm thick sheet instead of 6.7mm thick sheet ...which, of course, means they are unusable as dominoes.
I'd like to not waste these and -- since we ARE catching up -- making something else out of them would be the ideal situation.
So far I'm thinking about an ultra-compact multi-tool (i.e. hex-bit driver, pry-bar and bottle-opener all in one compact package).
The maximum length, width and thickness of the product that could be made out of this is:
Open to any other thoughts you may have?