Thursday, August 17, 2006

the art of importing...

... well i hope that you all find my blog interesting b/c i like to mix things up with MR and also talking about my family. today it is all about business and i want people to understand what extreme amounts of coordination it takes to get stuff here to the US.

deb works on all the fine details of scheduling containers to arrive here - and we are moving on up as some of our containers are now 40 ' LONG (rather than 20 ' LONG). that is a lot of stuff. and here is the trick about containers, if you book a whole one, it doesn't matter if you have 1 roll of ribbon in it or 10,000 rolls of ribbon in it - so it is in our best interest (and our customers) to try to coordinate getting our container filled to the limit ( and there is a US weight limit so that is another story). and the reason we do this is so that we can keep our prices fair and low. it doesn't make sense for us to ship 4 containers only 25% full of stuff each time when we can get it all in one bang shot.

but then along with this comes the coordination of getting all of our factories to deliver all the products at the same time to the container loading date. if one misses, then you have to reschedule the container or that stuff gets left off.

and now that it is on the boat, the sailing time is about 3 weeks but if there is bad weather or traffic, that can take even MORE time.

so now the MR container is at port. cross your fingers that it doesn't get held up at customs. also these are huge container ships. if we were the first containers loaded, it could mean we are the last unloaded - luck of the draw again. also all of the paper work has to be right or the container won't be released and then we end up paying for storage the port.

after the MR container is released, then it is railed over to the hub and then it is trucked to the warehouse. and the warehouse is spending the day inventorying and sorting everything before it is ready to go.

so we are looking at from the time it is made, packed, put into a container, shipped, arrived, inventoried and shipped a period of anywhere from 6-12 weeks.

so when customers and retailers ask me things like "why can't you tell me when your container will get here?" or " if you can't give me a more reliable supply, we will go elsewhere", i just want them to understand the logistics behind it all. although MR is small, we are not the only company that has to tackle this issue. i know other companies (big and small) have to tackle the same issue. that is also why we try our darnest to adhere to the first come first serve order policy. it is only fair. but when you arrive late, i am truly sorry that something is out of stock. we are working on improving what we can...

... and deb and i were talking about how complicated the scheduling is b/c she does most of it now, and she asked me "didn't you do all of this before in your old life as a supply chain planner" - yeah i did - but i had an "easy button" -like staples - and i just planned and directed and people got it done for me (LOL)!

have a great THURSDAY!

oh yeah, check back tomorrow as i will be giving away a RAK of stuff (including that cute MR book Ali Edwards used in the Sept CK article!)


At 8/17/2006 12:53:00 PM, Blogger Vee said...

OMG...never knew all of that took place.
but makes total sense
i agree that first come first serve is a great policy
keep up the awesome work!
Love love love MR :)

At 8/17/2006 02:42:00 PM, Blogger Carla said...

Nice to hear how things work at MR.
I placed my second order some weeks ago and I am looking forward to see it in my shop. Since my shop is in the Netherlands, it will take some time to arrive, but I don't mind waiting. LOL!! You have such awsome stuff at MR!!

At 8/17/2006 03:58:00 PM, Anonymous Tricia H said...

Wow...Keep your patience and doing what you do. Loved seeing your stuff in the CK Magazine, noticed it right away!!!

At 8/17/2006 04:07:00 PM, Blogger Laura Vigliarolo said...

I can always come and help inventory things if needed LOL!!!!! I know how things work and I know it can be frustrateing not know, I think you guys just produce such awsome stuff we all want it as soon as we see it. Keep up the great work and wewill try to be patient.

At 8/17/2006 04:25:00 PM, Anonymous Sharon said...

SO can I still whine a little when it's late?

Really, I can't. Today, I got a 4 boxes of your wonderful goodies so I am happy and so are my customers.

Keep up the good work!

At 8/17/2006 06:23:00 PM, Blogger Suse said...

WOW that is huge! You guys do an awesome job. I live in Australia, so we have to wait a lot longer for all the american products, but I tell you what, the wait for MR is always worth it. Keep up the awesome work girls!

At 8/17/2006 07:31:00 PM, Blogger CathyG said...

AHHH! I know exactly what you mean with containers and ports. They will make you go insane sometimes. My DH works for a distribution facility here in NC. His company used to have to wait until it got to port and then truck it to the warehouse in Charlotte, NC. It was killing them not only to wait for the merchandise to arrive, but the cost of trucking was becoming outrageous. (and that was BEFORE these gas prices!) so we moved to the coast of NC by the ports. Saved a ton of cash, but you still wait.

Don't be frustrated. It's all worth the wait!!! It just makes us all the more appreciative when it arrives! THANKS!!! :)

At 8/17/2006 08:08:00 PM, Blogger Shirley said...

Love the "easy button"! :) See, you should've stayed in Charleston! LOL! Can't wait to see the new stuff!!!!

At 8/17/2006 11:46:00 PM, Blogger Heather M. said...

I love reading about the 'business of Maya Road'. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes that us consumers/customers aren't aware of. Thanks for sharing - it helps put things in perspective for me and many others as well, I'm sure. Keep up the great work!

At 8/18/2006 12:36:00 AM, Blogger Melissa said...

You should call your blog Maya Road for Dummies! ;) (us being the dummies, not you!)

Anyway, Wow! I didnt realize that shipping could be so complicated! :P So can I ask a dumb question - why is everything made over seas? Wouldn't it be cheaper in the end to get it made here? (just slap me if this is a stupid question).

Thanks for taking the time to explain things to us dummies!

At 8/18/2006 08:03:00 AM, Blogger Katrina said...

I never knew it was that complicated either!! Thanks for explaining!

At 8/18/2006 12:39:00 PM, Blogger Carmen said...

I am truly amazed that you get it all done!! I really had no idea how complicated it all was!! Wow.... Now thank you even more for your dedication!!!

At 8/18/2006 10:08:00 PM, Blogger Jenn said...

Wow, I never knew how complicated it was. You guys are amazing for all your hard work.

At 8/20/2006 07:52:00 AM, Anonymous Melissa said...

I am tired just reading this.

At 8/22/2006 12:34:00 AM, Blogger Sue said...

This info just makes Maya Road all that more wonderful because of the hard work that you and Deb put into it! [clap clap clap]


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