Another busy month has passed. I understand how anxious waiting is because I'm also a buyer for our supplies. In this update, I will share you with full details about the current shipping progress, what we've been going through, and how we are trying to accelerate the process.
So far, we have shipped 300 packages and will email their tracking links in a few days. We will send 800 more in the coming week. You may check the new assembling instruction video for Bittle to preview the building steps.
Our main challenges are the shortage of labor, the delay of supplies, and the many configurations of packages. We have to plan carefully and dynamically to ensure an efficient and reliable fulfillment process.
The Chinese New Year rush usually starts in January when workers return to their hometown for annual family gatherings. This year, more workers are leaving early in December, worrying that the traffic might be locked down again due to COVID-19. I was in the hospital for my fever and saw many of them taking the antigen tests before traveling. Factories are struggling to catch up with earlier orders while our funds just arrived in November. You may also hear that the price of raw materials and chips are rising recently.
Our sensors were already delayed by one month. We just received a few only to compile 102 complete sensor packs. The motor factory changed one subtle dimension without notifying us until delivering them in mid-December. It happened to interfere with our structure. We tried to modify the motors, but the pass rate was low. We ended up returning all of them and tore down 100 assembled Bittles. The replacements came slowly to our servo manufacturer but missed our allocated production window. Now we have to compete with a tycoon company who also has an urgent order in the factory. We requested the manager to assign a minimal number of workers for our servos every day. You may check this post to see the production line of a tiny servo.
We launched the campaign with two full-time members in August and trained four skilled workers in two months. Then they started to leave in December. To fully utilize their experiences, we moved the batch of assembled Bittles to the highest priority. Otherwise, we would waste time after packaging a few servos into Bittle kits every day. Now we have made 800 Bittles in different colors for the campaign order. The newly produced servos are being filled into boxes to complete the rest of the pre-packaged kits on the shelf.
However, we could not ship them at once due to the diversity of package components. The delay of sensor packs, OLED gift, and BiBoards added multiple layers of filters for the batches. Besides that, incomplete surveys, mismatching contact information, special handling instructions, and the special bonus for Nybble backers also slowed things down. We are sending the standard kits as fast as we can before the couriers go into their holidays. I will stay in the factory to finish all the customized packages before the couriers return to work.
Some of you may have seen Bittles being sold on some pages other than our igg.me/at/bittle. Many of them are scammers. The only exception is SeeedStudio and TinkerGen. They are both our suppliers and distributors. We signed the collaboration very early and didn't expect a delay in the production. As a large company with a strict schedule, they used their stock items and our parts to compile their different version of the package, which doesn't have the bonus items and discounts as in our campaign. And we only supplied them the components that won't affect our fulfillment of your orders. You may find their version of documentation for Bittle while we are more focused on the production. Our user manual is under construction at docs.petoi.com.
I'm already working 15/7 on the production and wish it could be 24/7. I appreciate your eagerness to receive Bittle and play with it. I have to spend more than one hour every day answering your questions regarding the Bittle fulfillment. I hope this post answers many of your questions. I apologize for the delay, and I assure you that every order will be shipped.
Stay safe and healthy! Bittle will delight you once you receive it.
Rz and the Petoi Team