“Don’t find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain.” – Henry Ford

Sometime in 2005.
Somewhere in South San Jose.
Somehow we are surviving 2 start-ups.
Someway we are also raising 2 babies…

Remember that revolutionary invention by the late and great Henry Ford?
Not the Ford truck, although that is one of the greatest inventions of all time…
The assembly line!
Well we had one too!
What an eclectic group!

We have had founder, new mommy of two…
The office manager/bookkeeper…
The UPS driver working two jobs…
The pulled from retirement mechanical engineer bank of dad guy…
And, of course, me.
I was a cameo, of course, because I had the other start up to deal with.
But those big orders start t really come in, I got the call…
Like a Super Hero called in to save the city!
Okay, I exaggerate a little bit.

Anyway, there we were grabbing parts, hammering, drilling, screwing….
Scraping flash, cleaning, bagging, stuffing, boxing…
Travelmate? Check.
Emblem? Check.
Test? Check
Assembly parts? Check.
Manual? check…
Boxed, tapped, labeled and ready to go!

That is how it all started.
We had some parts sourced from overseas, and the main molded parts made in the USA…
Everything assembled, tested, and packaged by everyone from the bottom up and the top down…
Until…

The mold for the main part broke!
It’s going to cost how much to replace???
How can we possibly afford that?
That will put us out of business, we just started…
What were we to do?
There was a serious decision to make – this one I was not really in on…
But I have the inside scoop.
Like the quote above…they found a remedy.

Assembly lines are great and efficient, but at our size at the time…
And, our current growth pattern, it was a lot of work.
The time it took to prep and assemble was not very efficient or productive.
Not to mention the flash – anyone know what that is?
When the plastic is injected into the mold and pressed, some plastic squeezes out of the seams.
This causes “flashing”, a thin run of plastic at most of the seams.
We had to scrape this off every plate with a razor, and then clean it.
Why didn’t the factory do this? Great question, ask them.
That took a lot of time and played a major factor in the final decision to move production…
You guessed it, overseas.
It was the only way to move forward at the time.
We now had a complete product, fully packaged in a 4-color retail, shelf-ready box.
We just had to stick a label on them and ship them out.

Of course, that was after we inspected and tested every production run…
That was fun with the larger quantities we were producing now.
Costing more upfront than ever before…

We really could not afford any mistakes…
Please, please, please let everything be OK!…

Most of the time, everything was good, but sometimes…
Stay tuned to see what we would find, or not find inside the box.

Talk Soon,
Kevin W.
@Leap272

You have to leap if you want to live.

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