Monday, May 08, 2006

Computer Lessons Learned

Being without a computer has meant a huge lesson for me! The machine had overheated twice, so I thought it would be a good idea to have it checked out while I went to the Maryland Sheep & Wool show this past weekend. Good idea, but that meant it had to leave here one day before the show and get picked up one day after the show, leaving me without communication with my cyber customers for five whole days. When I finally got all the wires and plugs in the right places this afternoon, and checked the orders, there were 47 new ones! This would normally be great news, but they are mostly from the Dye-O-Rama participants who all want the same yarn. Due to some miscommunication, my fax'ed stock order wasn't received, and the supplier was having the yarn remilled anyway. This left me high and dry in the yarn department!

But wait! The new Kona Fingering is very close in weight and feel as my Wool2Dye4 SuperSock, so I wrote to the first 40 pounds worth of people who ordered my sock yarn to see if they'd take substitute. Everyone is being so very nice about it, and I'm hearing back quickly. Still, I am running about 8 pounds short so I put in an emergency order for the Kona Fingering 2-ply. Unbelievable.

The Kona should be in by Thursday and I'll get all orders out by the end of the week, if all goes well.

So, there were two lessons learned this week. 1) Keep more stock on hand for swaps, internet knit-alongs, etc. 2) Buy a backup computer! Both have been addressed, and things will very soon be back to normal. I guess these are growing pains of my little business. Sometimes there are internet knit-alongs and people post my website name on the event's discussion board. All of a sudden I'm getting a rash of orders for one yarn, and then in a couple of weeks it slacks off, and a new one starts, and it is very seldom that anyone writes to me to tell me what's going on. I thought I had planned well for the Dye-O-Rama and was not counting on the mill supplying the 'wait factor' at all. That settles it. From now on I'm keeping 50 pounds of the most popular yarns as my lowest stock figure.

I just hate being late with the orders. When I was planning the structure of Wool2Dye4, one of my very first objectives in the original business plan was to fill all orders within 24 hours, and what has just happened is driving me mad. Maybe I get one pass from my customers, but I sure don't want to find out what happens if stock falls low again! Thank you, dear customers, for your generosity of spirit.
Sheila

1 comment:

Christine said...

You are awesome and very timely. With my orders, anyway :)