We have made a lot of progress here in the past several months. We have close to four hundred thousand dollars in pre-sales and are making steady progress toward getting those orders fulfilled. We’re following the steps to-a-t that we planned in our business plan about a year and a half ago.
You may or may not know that we were awarded a grant from the Office of Economic Development and International Trade, OEDIT, for short in late November. 100 companies across Colorado applied and 24 were funded and QuikrStuff was the sole recipient for rural Colorado of this grant, so we’re quite humbled by that. The award was a clear message that our company has great potential and that we should and we can proceed.
So how are we proceeding? The grant award led to additional interest and financing, and with this money, we purchased a live tool cnc lathe, also known as a mill turn, and a horizontal machine center. These are exactly what our manufacturer JT needed to efficiently produce these parts and these bike racks. The fact that we now have these here in Grand Junction finally and making parts as we speak, is huge, it’s huge. It’s nine o’clock or nine thirty at night here in Colorado as I’m recording this. It’s been a long day, I guess some other good news is that I haven’t had a heart attack yet!
So now, the not so good Stuff.
Though we have not deviated from that plan; you know test the rack, make improvements, make the first hundred, sell those, get feedback from our customers, offer pre-sales to everybody on the waitlist, apply for the grant funding, purchase new machines, and create jobs on the Western Slope, and finally start producing these racks en mass.
Yes, we have fallen behind schedule. First the machines were over a month late from California. Once they were here, of course they had to be offloaded, and calibrated, and installed, and electricity, and compressed air etc. Then they’re programmed and that’s a delicate process. But once that was done we started producing parts en mass last week.
Now we’re having, like everybody, disruption in our supply chain with aluminum due to distancing, due to the tariffs. Every vendor is doing distancing, we’re doing distancing, so capacity is down at a lot of these factories, including ours, and luckily for us we had a stash to get started with before all this.
And of course you know what can we say with COVID, right? Financing took longer, supply chains were disrupted, distancing. What’s amazing is this startup which was officially born one month before COVID is still going, it’s still moving forward and proceeding.
So I know we promised many of you that pre-ordered that you would have your rack March one, that’s in about two weeks. Well I’m sorry and embarrassed to say that’s not going to happen. We’re sick to our stomachs about it. And we know March is the beginning of bike season here on the Western Slope, and where many of you live, and you know, we wanted to get those bike racks in people’s hands so they can enjoy them and get out there and get healthy and ride.
And I know some of you are saying, “you know, hey, we understand and we don’t need the rack right away” and we thank you for your patience. But also, we know others are saying, “You know what you made a promise, you’re late, I want my money back,” and we get that too. So if you need a refund, just contact us.
We’ll get your refund. We understand completely, we don’t blame you. We’ve got plenty of people luckily waiting for these racks so we want to take care of the waitlist pre-sales people first and then we’ll open up the sales again to the general public. We just want to focus on the existing customers and that’s it right now. So we’re estimating a May delivery, but at this point we are not making any promises and we’re just going to keep you up to date every two weeks.
We’re shutting down all the pre-sales as I said, so we can focus on everybody who’s already placed an order and alleviate stress on you, alleviate stress on us, because right now, quite honestly, we need it.
So thank you for your continued support. I want to thank all of you that I was able to talk to on the phone and on zoom. I think that’s one of the best things that has come out of COVID for me and our team is we’ve been able to talk to a lot of customers and listen to their feedback their criticism and just just talk because you know so much positivity has come from all of you who’ve put up your money and you’ve been waiting patiently and I just want to thank you all.
So you know, just stay healthy, get out there and ride and thanks again.