What's the deal with our lead times?
Yes, we have lead times that are longer than even we would like. We'd like to explain what we've done about it and what we're continuing to do to bring them down.
First, while there are some products that still have significant lead times, our average lead time is 3 weeks as of November 1st, 2019. It is no longer the reality that our true leads times are in the teens .
Second, at the end of August, our CEO declared war on our lead times, and these are some of the battles where we've made progress towards victory:
- We've increased our production capactity by about 250%
- We've doubled our production staff
- We've been paying extra to expedite all of our raw materials
- Our production staff has been working overtime hours for the last 3 months
Finally, we want to reiterate our commitment to quality. We will NEVER cut corners in order to get products out the door faster.
People often note that when it comes to price, quality, and speed, the best you can do is to get 2 out of the 3. We are constantly working to provide all three, but quality is a non-negotiable for us. It cannot be sacrificed.
Since we believe it is the God given right of every man to bear body armor, keeping our prices as affordable as possible is our next priority. That means that sometimes speed is what ends up taking the hit.
The reality is that quality workmanship takes time. We are humbled and grateful for the free men throughout our country that think our products are worth the wait.
Which restuarant would you rather eat at?
Where did the lead times come from in the first place?
In August of this year, there were a combination of factors that surprised even us:
- Our Anniversary Sale was a huge success. After creating the consumer body armor market and proceeding to lead it for the last seven years, we aim to show our appreciation for your continued support with an annual sale in August. This year was our best yet.
- Our new product launches were a hit. During the last week of our anniversary sale, we looked forward to the future of our company by launching several new products out of R&D. This year, we launched both the Phoenix and the Firebird armored backpacks, we delivered on customer demands for ballistic helmets with the Protector and the Patriot, and we released two sets of purpose built competion weight plates for both men and women. They were all received well and generated new interest in all of our products.
- Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said he'd introduct a bill to restrict body armor sales. In the wake of the Dayton shooting, the oath breaking senator from the Empire State thought it would be a good idea to trample the second amendment a little more by attempting to usurp every man's God given right to own body armor. When news of his asinine comments broke, we were blessed to receive a surge in demand as the leading provider of body armor for free men.
What's going on with orders that were placed this Summer and still haven't shipped?
Most of those orders included III+ Lightweight armor, which has been challenging to source quality material for.
Although we have received several shipments, we conduct thorough quality assurance tests on every batch we receive before we ever cut a single plate for customer use.
If we have any reason whatsover to think that the material will not live up to our industry leading standards, we do not accept it.
There are less than 200 orders that have purchased III+ Lightweight plates which have yet to ship and every single one of them carries the utmost importance to us.
We will NOT sacrifice quality for speed, but we are doing everything we can to deliver a quality product to every free man as fast as possible.