...the buckle manufacturers in their Wazoo
A) Everything is ready to ship, still just waiting on the buckles to be finished.
B) Cache Belts with Cobra Buckles are on schedule to begin shipping by the end of the month.
C) BONUS: We will be able to include the Trail Markers in the Adventure Kits!
D) Your patience and understanding have been amazing. THANKS!
...OK here's more details:
Our original manufacturer, the one that started this entire fiasco and delayed this entire project, is still continuing to go forward with the order, but they also continue to push past deadlines and make sophomoric mistakes along the way. We'll save you the hair-pulling details. They are sending their latest "final inspection" this week. All previous articles they have sent have proven unsatisfactory as they were not to specification.
On the other hand, most of you do not know this, but months ago when we began seeing that our original manufacturer was showing to be incompetent, we brought on and have been working with several other buckle manufacturers as backups in case the original manufacturer continued to prolong their portion of this project.
It is probably apparent to you at this point that our original manufacturers cannot handle this project and so we have continued to manage multiple alternative manufacturers to ensure we get the best product as quickly as possible. In fact, a company rep flew down and came by the office today to assure us that they will come through. We hope they can stand by their word, but we'll continue to keep several other horses in the race. Tooling is progressing at each one, but any dimensional mistakes can range from 1-2 week "tweaking" of the tooling to a total re-do that can take 30+ days. Here's one that's currently in the fine tuning process.
Of all the issues we anticipated with this project, we didn't see this one coming. We stressed that it has to be high quality to stand up to daily wear and tear, but we never could have anticipated the off-the wall colors they'd send us for "matte gray" and "matte black." Some of them literally had a chrome mirror finish. Incompetence at an astronomical level. The good news is that some of the manufacturers are getting close to both a quality buckle and decent plating!
The original plan was that the Cache Belt with the Cobra Buckle would be about 2-3 months after the standard buckle. Now it looks like they're going to be done first! The crew just drove the buckles up to the shop in person to work out final designs and details of these rigger's belts. We should begin receiving the Cobra Buckle versions next week and will begin shipping immediately!
Waiting for final touches, but otherwise ready to roll!
Trail Markers will be back in the Adventure kits now! We originally found out the manufacturer stopped making them and we couldn't source enough to fulfill the Kickstarter project, much less future orders. Over the last few months, we've been able to work out a deal with them to continue producing these exclusively for Wazoo!
If you're not familiar with them, they are twist ties with a high visibility orange on one side and a reflective material on the other. Great visibility both day and night! Mark the trail to and from your camp while scouting out the area, or use it as a twist tie to seal your water bag.
As always, thanks for being patient with us. It has been a HUGE pleasant surprise how loyal and supportive you all have been through this unforeseeably long project. The fact that you all are sticking by us and staying calm has been an incredible encouragement in these trying times.