The Problems with Pissing Off Wicked Daddy, Darlin’……..

It has already been a tough week for Wicked Daddy and crew. There were two deaths of extended family across everyone, and one was in my family and tied to the troubles caused by Harvey. Until these recent occurrences, My personal and primary angst over the last month and a half was mainly with not yet launching the site. This was increased last week with having to take out a personal loan to cover the delays in launch. I have already given many talks across our crews on subjects ranging from “Timing with quality”, “Mastering logistics BEFORE they become a challenge”, “How to scale”, and also – “Being first to market”. My current ire comes from the last on this list (and specifics to be revealed later in this post).

For your viewing pleasure as the featured image is the actor Larry Hagman (R.I.P), in his portrayal of J.R. Ewing from the second run of the television series “Dallas”. After his portrayal of Astronaut “Tony” Nelson (Aka.”Master” in the show “I Dream of Genie”) – he donned the mantle of one of the most ruthless and calculating businessmen (and persons on the planet) being J.R. (Given both of these roles is there any wonder why I love his characters?). Today it is the latter that I am channeling, and I will explain.

In my mind we are well over a month late in getting the site launched. The reasons at this point feel more like excuses and my brain no longer tolerates such things. We are pushing now to soft launch by this Friday. Period. My added force – a little thing done by one of my manufacturers – Really (No no REALLY) pissed me off. Emotions with Autism, even under medicated control – are NOT a good mix.

There are a few products I had made custom. There are quality specs in place, and I paid for setup fees for the designs and variations I wanted. Here is the rub when using an overseas manufacturer – unless you logo the product itself in the design (Something which would raise the production costs so much I wouldn’t be able to feel good about what I would have to charge for it), the manufacturer is free to later sell the same product to others. There are ways to combat that – such as paying for the full production run (like I have done) and having first-rights to next production runs (which I have as well in many cases). This often results in a gamble in having to buy the higher quantities or a very careful collaboration on the final output (Short of adding weeks to get a first sample sent and then physically approved before finishing the run – something that exponentially increases the production costs as well as the opportunity costs in all the time spent in such delays to market).  In these particular cases there was a production over-run that was done. This was done for 1) Given the glass products have human intervention in the hand crafting – there will be variances to each and every product made. The range I set forth in my specs showed the upper control limit and lower control limits (The variation I would accept). 2) The manufacturer did not know what would fail my specs and took on the guess of how many to over-produce from the run. The final result and what has Wicked Daddy angry enough to order a bottle of J.R. Ewing Private Reserve Bourbon (Yes they make such a thing, and I shall drink it after the site is live).  Today – I found MY custom products already for sale – on Amazon no less – at prices that if I sold it for would barely cover my costs for all the customization. The sellers? no one in our industry or community – Nope – just wholesalers that buy up remaining manufacturing inventory for the quick buck. Yes they only have a mere handful of my product, and yes likely those that were the rejects from spec, but still – there they are. Sold by those who wholesale everything from Fidget Spinners to Catholic Prayer Candles, from Batteries to Radios, from Backscratchers to Iphone Cases. <I feel that vein throbbing at my temples right now as I type this>.  I already have a call tomorrow night with my manufacturer to express my….displeasure. I know I am a major buyer from this particular one and I need to set down the law, even if the end result is that I also buy up all the rejects from the over-runs ongoing. Following that? Well that is where “J.R.” comes in. I have spent 30 years in other industries with an often perceived as being cold and unfeeling approach while also being known as being driven and singularly focused to whatever has been defined as “success” from each and every effort. Honestly it took me 15 years to understand this enough to actually change my methods (slightly). In my own mind I was never ruthless (unless my math was challenged) and was never done with malicious intent. It was simply my Autistic brain doing everything based upon the math, analysis, and algorithms for success (Not doing it based upon humans and their emotional needs – again something that eludes most Autistics, regardless of their functional diagnosis). It made me professionally successful and earned the nick-names behind my back that frankly would have made Ol’ J.R. proud. And here we are – new factors and attributes to the model to be absorbed by my special brain – and new variations in business dealings to ensure better control over the entire ecosystem ongoing. The crew here had left me alone for a solid hour while I contemplated and calculated.

So “What Now?” asked by one of our production managers? Well – Wicked Daddy refuses to be undercut – even in these circumstances. At launch and until my “competitor” sells his 20 or 30 inventory (of MY custom products no less) – I will offer MY custom product below even this “competitors” posted wholesaler price. After that it goes back in price to where the viable costs will be covered.  I refuse to see any other way to do this “Right” and to my liking.  On the upside – this is one of the scenarios (kinda) in concept I was hoping to generate for all of our communities; Being a system that will force others to stop raping all of us on crap product at ridiculous prices. I just wish it wasn’t impacting what was already a quality product at a reasonable price, especially not ones I had put so much effort into making custom and to what I wanted for my consumers.  (Sigh)

Tracking says my bourbon won’t be here until Thursday (Double Sigh).