I had no clue about how to send the first shipment of drill bit holders. So I stuffed the car and did the 7 hour one way drive myself. Daddy tagged along to stop me from picking my nose.
Safe – Not sorry The reason for me driving across half of Sweden was that I didn’t know how to conduct an ordinary truck delivery. Instead I concealed it with booking a meeting, claiming I was passing by on another errand. This way I would had no worries about the delivery being made in a timely fashion.
Daddy driver My father tagged along and drove the car most of the time. I was rather exhausted preparing the late delivery and got a bit of a rest. I guess he was a bit proud of my success and wanted to participate.
Awkward delivery The supervisor of their huge national inventory warehouse was perplexed by me climbing up one of their +80 truck ramps with only a few boxes. And it was indeed awkward since I couldn’t even give him proper answers about the delivery apart from how proud I was of my invention.
Awkward meeting I was concerned about the late delivery but my contact assured me not to worry, they’ll just put my drill bit holder in the spring catalogue. It was a very short meeting. I had nothing special to say but was very happy knowing the delivery was done.
Small orders for more Gearfix bit holders are trickling in. If this keeps up I might just hit break even this year.
When I eventually understood my earlier packaging failure I also grasped that my boxes needed to be packaged in large delivery boxes. I created virtual boxes in Google Sketchup to test the measurements. Today they fit so perfectly I get tears in my eye every time. It’s so beautiful!
I still wasn’t sure if Gearfix eventually had to be manufactured in Asia. So I chose to just claim the value of ”Swedish design”.
Saving by spending
I had an order for ”only” a few thousand units. But it was much more economic to buy the printed material in bulk. For a little more money, I ordered 20.000 extra paper labels with the print -”Swedish design”. This also turned out to be a good move when the drunk & brawling packaging service started to trash my stuff.
I figured that if my gadget had to be manufactured in Asia, the labels would still be usable. How ever, the boxes were made in a very limited edition and got the more prestigious print -”Made in Sweden”.
If you ever hire a rugby team to do some work. Wait with the beer until after the job is done!
In an attempt to save a buck I hired my rugby club to label and package my drill bit holder Gearfix. This batch had run in to some production problems that made it into a gruesome job.
Pain in the ass/fingers
Every product had TEN rubber strings from the moulds casting beard. They had to be individually cut off by hand. Multiply that with a few thousand and you got a real pain in the ass (The pain was actually located in our sore fingertips.).
To motivate the guys I offered home made chilli and beer. Instantly I realised it was a bad idea opening the first case of beer so soon. They quickly became loud and started having fun showing off their strength by pulling my precious inventions to shreds. The rumour of free beer spread and more people came to the club to drink, wrestle and demolish my stuff.
Hungover packaging service When everyone had sobered up a few days later, we restarted the job and eventually I had my first order ready for delivery.
You see them everywhere but what are they and how do they get there?
My own code
I spent hours researching and eventually figured out what needed to be done. It’s always scary diving into something you are completely clueless of. I’m still not sure, but it seems that www.gs1.com is the only place to get a bar code from?
You actually just log on to their website and place your order. Beware, there are lots of different types of bar codes and the information provided doesn’t help that much. You then receive a number that somehow transforms into the bar code.
Everything is relative, but I wasn’t too keen on putting up the money for this when starting out with my drill bit holder. The cheap choice would have been to force my retailer to create and print their own bar codes. I’m quite sure they wouldn’t have liked that at all. I prefer being professional and keeping my customers happy any way I can.