I realize the title of today's blog carries the same ominous undertones of a hastily called meeting appearing on your calendar entitled "Organizational Changes." In truth, it's probably better news than layoffs across your department, so let's just start there.
The ongoing pandemic
Supply chain issues
Current industry realities
There just aren't readily available parts for the wheels you'd like to put on your bike. Hubs are still delayed by weeks and even months. Rims are snapped up by automated sniper orders as soon as they arrive at distributors. Spoke shelves are also barren, aside from a handful of options in sizes that won't work in your wheels, with shapes you don't want and in colors you'd prefer to not have. The result of which is that we spend more time unsuccessfully chasing after components than we spend building wheels, which creates value for exactly nobody.
We can't fix the global supply chain, but there are a few things we can do starting now that make your experience a little better:
- Manage expectations: Starting now we're communicating an 8 week lead-time on all orders, including any currently outstanding. Obviously if we get parts earlier and build slots are open we'll get them out ASAP. But the ground keeps shifting beneath our feet and we hate having to keep telling customers "looks like it will be another 3 weeks" every 3 weeks.
- Simplify offerings: Our current offerings are driven by demand - anything our customers might want. We're making the switch to offerings more tempered by supply - a variety that meets almost everyone's needs but is reliant on far fewer component parts. You'll see these changes in our product lineup imminently.
- Sorry, no. You may hear that for some custom build requests, where we just don't have any line of sight on a particular hub or rim. If we can't help you within 8 weeks, we'll just tell you.
So not great news - for you or for us. But it's the reality we've all been living for over a year now and these new steps are really only formally codifying it. As things change we'll let you know.