Friday, March 23, 2007

Less than 2 weeks until we launch the new clubs!




We are less than 2 weeks from launching the new Drivers, Fairway Woods, and Irons. In typical GRIP fashion we are doing a million things at the last minute. We have clubs launching in less than 2 weeks and our photographers will be done this Sunday with the photos for the site, media and the hundreds of other things we need photos for. Our web developers can't start adding the new products to gogrip.comwithout photos so they will start development changes on the site Monday. We are also still editing copy for the site. However, we expect everything and everyone to execute smoothly and launch on time. The official media launch is April 9th. We will put pout our press releases and send clubs to reviewers etc. Everything will be available for purchase on gogrip.com on April 4th or 5th. We will send an email to our customers with "pre-launch" savings.

Our ultimate goal for 2007 was:
February 2007: Perfect samples for photographers
Early March 2007: product samples avaialble for media and reviewers etc.
End of March 2007: all products in warehouse ready to assemble and ship

What actually happened:
February 2007: Sample drivers show up in wrong color, we get a final 3-wood but no 5-wood or 7-wood, full iron set is blank with no medallions (logos) in cavity.

Early March: We finally get everything from our casting houses/factories. Relatively unhappy photographers start work. We give them 12 days - I escape to Aruba with the wife and kids before the busy season starts.

Mid - late March: Casting house that makes irons notifies us they will be shipping a week late. They provide no explanation. This is referred to as the Chinese New Year delay. All of China halts work for the holiday. Most comapnies order early enough to have their products shipped in advance of the holiday.

April 2-9: All clubs will ship into our Hartford Warehouse via super expensive air freight so we do not have to further delay our launch and we can start selling the new clubs. We will stay up all night assembling and filling orders for 6 days.


This is the life of the "small guy" in the golf business. My wife recently asked me why we don't start working with the casting houses and developing product earlier? Simply stated, we are all assembling, talking to customers, selling, packing boxes and dealing with our business all summer. Trust me, I have spent many a late night folding boxes and looking for a box of 56 degree LH wedges on the bottom of a pallet. Everyone at GRIP works hard and pitches in with whatever is needed when it needs to be done.




In August we finally sit down, share ideas, look at samples and start corresponding with the casting houses. Even if we had our act together earlier I think we would incur the same delays. Our vendors make clubs for Nike, Orlimar, Dick's Sporting Goods, Ping and others. I am pretty sure that our small volumes and lack of clout would move us to the back of the pack at all of the factories no matter when we put the order in.




As much as all of this stresses me out, I am really happy with the new products, I am very excited about the 2007 season and believe it or not, we are working on some 2008 designs already.




Check out our casting house photos.


2 comments:

Jason said...

Wow. Sounds like you guys have a lot going on over there. My offer still stands with helping out on updating your blog. Let me know your thoughts.

balniketh said...

Did you add your site at BLOGSEARCH