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Delays in shipping and communication

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It seems there has been slippage in delivery times again and UM is at about a month lead time. The Lead time indicator is calculated and shown but for orders placed a month ago and recently it jumped suddenly from 9 days to 14 days. I ordered my system with the expectation of around 2 weeks but after contacting UM, it will hopefully arrive at the end of next week making it almost a month. Yes, I know that is not the wait time that early adopters had, but what I’ve seen with posting even at the beginning of the year, UM was on the forums communicating what the status and holdups were. Another thing to note for new purchasers, UM only ship out on Wednesdays and Fridays, I don’t know if this is new or has always been the case. It might have been part of the shipping cost reduction.

 

I think that UM could be a bit (lot?) more proactive in communication with their customers. The initial build-up of processes/moving to a new headquarters/training new people/filling stock … things should be well on the way towards being sorted now. It’s time for UM to mature as a company and start posting or writing mails if there are delays in product, planned fixes coming out or whatever. Blog posts every few weeks are not the only component of good customer communication.

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Your delay could also be because you ordered extra PLA or other parts that where not in stock.

2 weeks lead time is insanely quick. At my current work place we have parts with 2 months of lead time. But then again, even with next-day-shipping people would complain. It's the nature of people.

(I do hope their new community manager gets active soon)

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Insanely quick is a bit of an exaggeration :p At my current job (for the next month or so when I'll be unemployed, yay!...) we ship the same day 99% of the time. At my previous job we had fixed times that said "order before x and it will ship before y", if we for some reason couldn't make the timeline we sent a cab with the part instead. My current job is a small company and my previous was a multi million thing.

Gotta give them credit for getting it down to two weeks instead of a couple of months though.

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I purposely did not order anything that was listed as 'out of stock' when ordering so that I would not have delays. If stock availability is not accurate … 0.0 I did add some to the order later, as it was indicated on the ordering page that I could, but wrote when updating that if it would cause any delays I would prefer not to have the extra PLA.

Not all lines and products are the same and really no way to compare except in the types of processes they should try to implement to be successful and one is good communication downstream ending with the customer. A 0-series is still going to have a lot of unknowns pop-up, no problem. But companies need to keep people updated on changes to the current status. A maturing production should be able to communicate a reason why there is a change in lead time jumping from 9 days to 14 to their customers. And when a current order is having a delivery time double of the delayed time, they should get notified, personally.

Daid, from what I see, you’re currently the public face of the Ultimaker on these forums right now, really. If you are not the first to post, you are usually the poster with the best info. I agree a Community Manager will be a great help if he/she has the info available to inform. At least it will give you some more free time ;)

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Hello UMGuy

Thank you for the explanation, it’s good to see you can handle a whinging customer and come back with what was asked for. I know you guys are busting trying to make things right, I’m just jealous of everybody else with extruder and feeder issues and all the fun their having. Just between you and I, I think Makerbot is claiming a 7 day turnaround for the replicator these days … but who believes ‘em? Thanks again, much appreciated

ps. One question, what is the name of the robot in your logo?

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Your delay could also be because you ordered extra PLA or other parts that where not in stock.

2 weeks lead time is insanely quick. At my current work place we have parts with 2 months of lead time. But then again, even with next-day-shipping people would complain. It's the nature of people.

(I do hope their new community manager gets active soon)

I would not complain about next-day shipping and very few people would complain. Next day shipping is the performance level any retail online sales business should strive to achieve. I don't know where you work, but two weeks is insanely SLOW, for a consumer item! I regularly purchase many similar items off Ebay, even from Asia, and my experiences have been very good there. Vendors that are slow to ship or don't meet their commitments receive negative feedback with notes to that effect.

The Ultimaker running average shipping estimator should be removed from the site. Even if the information is truthful, it's a running average and, as such, irrelevant when setting expectations for an individual customer's order and shipment, which is really all a customer cares about! Averages will begin a climb toward infinity, when shipping stops, due to a printer bill of materials item backorder for example. However, the running average estimator delays and obfuscates the disclosure of this sort of problem.

When I ordered, the running average said "4 days." Now it's up to 5 days and perhaps it's begun its climb "to infinity and beyond!" ;) :( I'm at 6 working days (10 calendar days) now and have no idea when when I can expect shipment. Certainly the running average estimator provides no insight, except that it's increasing and that can't be good!

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Certainly the running average estimator provides no insight, excepts that it's increasing and that can't be good!

I think they ship twice a week, so you can expect a few days of variation in the shipping because of that. But I know how annoying the wait can be. (I had exactly 6 weeks lead time)

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Certainly the running average estimator provides no insight, excepts that it's increasing and that can't be good!

I think they ship twice a week, so you can expect a few days of variation in the shipping because of that. But I know how annoying the wait can be. (I had exactly 6 weeks lead time)

Hopefully it will ship this week. I purchased it for my business (not a retail sales business) and I gave myself two months to come up to speed on 3D printing and deliver a custom product to my customer. Every day of shipping delay results in my additional discomfort in meeting MY delivery commitments! I know I have a steep learning curve ahead.

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I find communication with UM support is still slow. I'm still waiting for my replacement thermocouple, which hasn't even been shipped yet. If it was just an off-the-shelf part I could have a replacement at a fraction of the cost today by just going to my local RS Components outlet or at worst next-day delivery from Farnell or Mouser. Communication with support has pretty much been one email a day simplex... as in I send an email (at 9:00am CET) and don't get a response back until the afternoon the following day.

Cheers,

Troy.

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2 months from build to producing finished customer ready products.

possible but........ good luck.

we will try and help you as best as possible !

Ian :)

Thanks, Ian. I now see the moving average is up to 16 days. Yikes! Given the rapid increase and the approximate width of your moving average window, I suspect the arithmetic implication is you are not currently shipping product at all. This is an excellent example of how the "4 days" figure when I placed my order wasn't at all useful information, from a customer perspective. I regret that I considered the figure to be a pro-Ultimaker factor in my choice of a 3D printer. By definition, the web page supplied figure is 100% hindsight and, though I don't doubt its truthfulness, it is utterly worthless from the perspective of potential Ultimaker customers.

I have a few urethane molds on order, and we only need to print a small number of a couple of parts. The cost of urethane (or even worse, injection) molds is prohibitive for these small number of parts. Hence, the need for 3D printing. I've successfully created models in FreeCAD and imported/exported .stl files with Netfabb and Sketchup. I know I'll still have a very steep learning curve with the printer. I also have a PID controller and silicone heater mat ready to install on the printer. We must print with ABS, because we need parts that handle somewhat higher in-service temperatures than PLA can withstand. So given assembly, installation and debugging of a heated bed, and the steep 3D printing user learning curve, I'm very worried. This is our first customer sale and order and it's very important that we meet our commitment.

If I didn't have a business commitment myself, I'd be disappointed, but not out of pocket. Money is tight when personally funding a business startup. I"m sure you know! I may need to order another printer stateside, if you cannot ship the Ultimaker soon. I almost purchased a printer here in the US originally, but I was more comfortable with the Ultimaker track record of superior finish quality. Now I'd be far more comfortable with a high-confidence delivery date quote!

Thanks again for anything you can do to help or keep me informed.

-Cal

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