Saturday, January 28, 2012

Post Vegas...scoping out the Amazon and Other Tales of Discovery

You can read my CES/Las Vegas Blog here. It's where I do my best to provide a day-by-day oversight of my travels through CES - the International Consumer Electronics Show and through Las Vegas.

Nutshell Update #1
Nutshell has a new manufacturer. Well, what I really mean it that our manufacturer has a new owner.

The old one had some major problems with his house and family and the stress finally got to him; he bailed just before Christmas. The new owner is a get-go gung-ho chap with a degree in business and marketing who is hot-to-trot when it comes to growing his business; and that includes the Nutshell.

We make up a very sizable portion of his annual revenue and obviously we are comfortable with the existing arrangement, the folk who make Nutshell every day are still engaged (although their terms of employment may have changed).

But as an immediate result some of our order processes have been thrown into a bit of a muddle; not only the annual down-under Christmas holiday shutdown and go-slow, but also new processes and new ideas running over old and established procedures do not always make for comfortable bed fellows - as we all know too well.

The result is that some orders are getting delivered later than we would wish. We are communicating these delays to our affected customers, and most all are comfortable enough to give us wiggle room to move and let the new system settle down. If you haven't been contacted and you feel we are dragging the chain, please send us a note and let us know.

Nutshell Update #2
We are having to design a new range of product to meet the newer, taller design of smartphones coming from most all the major manufacturers. 

Samsung, Motorola, HTC and even Casio have all recently released new product that is as wide as our existing mainstream range of #208 belt cases, but taller. The #208 works best with devices up to about 125 mm in length, and these new devices extend out to 130 mm and more in length (to cater for wider more panoramic screens), which  means that while the #208 cases will still contain these new 'phones, it also means the #208 cases do not provide as total coverage as we would like.

One problem has always been getting our hands on the latest designs to enable us to make absolutely sure our cases will fit. One result of visiting CES was that contacts made within the Chinese manufacturing community have led us to several outlets for dummy phones. Viola! No more hassles and worries about making the correct connections. Or that is what we though initially.

However, the best laid plans etc...
Currently it is the Chinese New Year/Spring annual event that basically shuts China down from Mid January through until early February. As a result we are still waiting on a lineup of several dummy phones that will give us a leg-up on our design process. Once we get those we will be back in the race with a vengeance, but until then we are in a holding pattern not of our own making.

These are the sort of errors and omissions that always pop up when you least expect them. Waiting, waiting, waiting is not a game we play well, but it is one we are used to.

Nutshell Update #3
We have commenced shipping a range of product into Amazon's supply chain. Currently we are limiting these to our popular #258, #260 and #208 belt case range with the magnetic tab or flap and either the steel belt clip or the multiway belt loop - as well as the smartphone wallet. According to the sales reports all the products are gradually gaining some momentum.

If you need a case for a phone that fits into one of the above case sizes, and you don't want to wait for it to be delivered from down under, then you should go to Amazon's wireless accessory category and hunt for Nutshell. I know there is product there, because we keep shipping it. In small quantities. For now. They will grow.

And you can help us make them grow.

While you are on Amazon hunting for Nutshells, you may care to put in a good word about Nutshell in the places where you can add product reviews. Not that I would ever be exhorting you to do anything that you may not naturally do, but every little bit helps. Right?

Till next time.
Take care.
And thanks for being a valued Nutshell customer.

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