English Version of an interview of Freeworker with Hubert Kowalewski about the RopeGuide TwinLine!
Hello Hubert, our customers are wondering about the status of the ART innovation RopeGuide TwinLine. The device is already advertised in the Freeworker catalogue of 2016 and the new edition will be published in three months. Why is the delivery of the pre-ordered RopeGuide TwinLine delayed?
That’s a very legitimate question! I have already mentioned a lot in my last statement on the SpiderJack 3. In fact, even in case of the RopeGuide TwinLine the delivery delay has become significantly longer than I would have thought possible. One of the main reasons which has not yet been mentioned is that the staff capacity at ART was quite simply overstretched and, in some cases, still is. A sales increase of more than 40% in 2016 is, on the one hand, a reason to celebrate. On the other hand, it means the overwhelming order situation for the assembly and pure office stress. Luckily, ART has gained a good amount of personnel. However, our new employees do not start working right off, but are professionally trained first. The necessary care and control of products, which human life depends on, must never be neglected. Even under pressure, quality and care are the top priority!
Despite these problems, we were well on our way to deliver the RopeGuide TwinLine in sufficient quantity at the beginning of the year. However, the ordered quantity was waste within the first weeks of January because further orders were added. This creates a problem at the level of the wholesaler and retailer, as Freeworker strives to achieve an international, fair and simultaneous sales start. For ART, it means that, despite the completed RopeGuide TwinLine, a considerable post-production is pending. It is a big challenge for assembly and production facing up to this without free capacities but with high demands.
So, there are no problems with the quality and certification of the RopeGuide TwinLine?
Absolutely not! It simply depends on the fact that procurement, production and assembly can not keep up with the galloping order situation and the number of pieces which has to be produced.
Small device, huge effect
As an exclusive distributor of the ART product line, we are regularly asked by customers when the delivery of the RopeGuide TwinLine will be realistic. Is there a deadline the pre-buyers can rely on?
It is far from pleasant for me to disappoint the ART fans and the expectant new customers through announced but not being kept delivery dates. But even if we assemble the missing RopeGuide TwinLine within a few days by working overtime, the delivery to Freeworker will be unfortunately delayed a little more due to a small error with big impact. In our technical dimension drawing of the lateral sides of the Art-Trapeze we made a mistake: instead of a winding of M2 5×3 millimeters the drawing shows a winding of M 3×3 millimetres, this is wrong.
That’s the place where a “watchmaker screw” fastens the spring plate. However, since the head of this M 3×3 millimeters screw is a few tenths of a millimeter too high and too thick, this screw must be individually clamped and reworked. This tiny defect clearly shows how easily the assembly of a PSA product becomes incomplete. If only one watchmaker screw is missing, or if only one single component is not delivered in a standardized manner, the entire production will be stopped for weeks in the worst case!
ART works with the tolerances of the self-developed construction parts in the hundredth of a millimetre range. Products like SpiderJack and RopeGuide consist of many parts. Concerning the SpiderJack 3, these are currently 14 different standard parts and 29 different construction parts. The RopeGuide TwinLine consists of 22 different standard parts and 31 different construction parts.
Currently, I assume that we will deliver the RopeGuide TwinLine to Freeworker in sufficient quantities at the beginning of March 2017.
So, small device, huge effect! What are the consequences for the future?
The success year 2016 was a roller coaster ride for me and the staff of ART. The lessons that I have learnt from it are far-reaching. The main points are: Firstly, every further sales start of new ART products will only be disclosed if every single part of the complete assembly is complete and available. Secondly, each video for new products will only be available on-line if the serial production of the respective product is ensured in sufficient quantities. And thirdly, the test phases of new products will be significantly prolonged and expanded.
Satisfaction with Spiderjack 3
How did the market launch of the SpiderJack 3 work in your opinion? What kind of feedback did you get from customers?
The market launch of the SpiderJack 3 worked very well, not least due to the great job Freeworker does. Regarding the feedback, I received a lot of praise and appreciation. There were very few negative feedbacks and I followed up with them. So far, there has been only one climber, who simply could not handle the SpiderJack 3. The silence of many others means to me: “Silence is golden! Their silence is praise enough.”
Thank you for your time and the conversation.
I thank you.