March 1st, 2016
AR500 Armor® Update - Production Growth and Company Vision
AR500 Armor® would like to thank all of our fans and customers for their tremendous support as our company and product line(s) continue to grow. To be blunt, we too have experienced frustration regarding production lead and shipping times on our most popular products. We have strived continually to solve these frustrations; however, demand has exceeded our wildest expectations. Each improvement made (there have been many) has been met with ever increasing demand.
While these frustrations certainly do not affect every customer, we are again taking a serious look at the situation and would like to take a moment to own and identify our frustrations, and then share findings, goals, and solutions as a company that values true customer satisfaction above all else.
To that end, we are proud to announce the following core company values that will guide our continuous improvement efforts:
Integrity & Quality First. Our own patience has been tested, but we understand the necessity of taking the time required to do things right. We will only release products of notable quality and value; understanding that our product may very well save your life one day. We know the quality and integrity of our product is unquestionable, and we must again reiterate that under no circumstance would we veer off our path of integrity and quality. We are resolved to create products of the highest quality and value, and we will never compromise on this value.
Meeting Demand. Our production lead times are often rightly scrutinized. We understand the frustration. We understand that our lead times are less than ideal, and we have implemented a program to reduce them rapidly.
Over the year’s we have received incredible response to our product based highly on affordability, quality, and performance resulting in order growth beyond our imagination. This growth has forced us to adapt quickly to the best of our ability. We have already implemented significant efficiency improvements such as:
•increasing staff throughout every aspect of our business
•doubling the size of our facility
•doubling the amount of production equipment
•significantly increasing the number of orders shipped daily
•tripling the number of key team members on our production team
•tripling the size of our order fulfillment and inventory management teams
We vow to continue and expand these efforts in the future. While the effects of these changes may not be instantaneous, we are confident they will result in reduced lead times in the very near future. As we gain knowledge and traction in this area, we will continue to look for more ways to improve upon and surpass this goal. All business efforts are focused on and consistent with maintaining affordable, quality, and high performing body armor, with significantly reduced lead times being an integral part of our mission.
Commitment to Value. We are continually humbled by new and returning customers alike. We cannot adequately express the gratitude we feel from your support. We remain aware of needed improvements and would like to explain implemented solutions.
As we strive to improve production and delivery processes, we must balance this while maintaining the affordability (value) of our product. These goals are in tension—further increases in production capacity would add costs forcing an unnecessary price increase onto you. We have achieved our success through in-house American-manufactured products since inception and the results have provided incredible value for our customers at the cost of significant lead times.
We could have increased prices to balance demand with production, but instead, we have recognized and implemented improvements in manufacturing processes to reduce costs. And while we feel this has been a great accomplishment, it has not yet significantly reduced lead times for certain popular products.
Lead times are the unfortunate result of high-value products. We strive to maintain that value and sustain the incredibly customer-friendly price point we’re known for and that will continue. Rest assured that we take the quality our product seriously and without doubt will never cut corners to increase production and rush orders. Instead, we take a logical approach and improve internal processes incrementally and every day.
Customer-Centered Focus. We relish the opportunity to continue to earn your business on every level; with goals in place allowing us to continually exceed your expectations in affordability, quality, and, again, soon to be significantly reduced lead times. It is truly an honor knowing that our company is leading the industry in affordability and value while catering equally to both consumers and professionals; in an industry previously dominated by unaffordability, hostility towards the civilian market, and a lack of innovation.
Through integrity and innovation, we will move forward to better serve you, and that is what sets us apart.