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Hardware Hardships

Sales of hardware is currently on hold due to high demand, as odd as that may sound. Here’s why:

The cost of manufacturing a batch of hardware is basically driven by four (five) parameters: (programming machines, one time cost), machine setup, material cost, time in the machines and amount of human intervention/manual labor. If you are a Floyd-Rose or Ibanez, production runs of many thousands of units make it worth automating processes completely and having dedicated tooling and machines set up and ready to go. Optimizing all the steps and spreading the one time costs out over a large number of units cuts the cost and you as a customer can purchase a high quality unit at a decent price despite several points in the distribution chain having taken their cut.

The EGS hardware has the same costs of programming and the same setup cost for the machines for each batch but there are several differences, most notably that the costs are distributed across a much smaller number of units. The volume does not warrant complete automation, which means that there is manual labor going into the manufacturing process. By only selling direct with a low margin, costs are cut as much as possible. The batch sizes of manufacturing are kept as large as the business allows to minimize the setup cost per unit manufactured. Quality is never compromised though.

The situation today, at the end of November 2011, is that the stocks of guitar hardware are so low that the near term .strandberg* guitar backlog needs all that remains. There will be hardware available again, but it will some time before the business can bear the investment of another batch, especially considering that bass hardware is in the works. Note that if you are looking to order a large quantity, the situation changes completely – in this case, a new batch can be initiated more or less immediately.

Hopefully the reasons can be understood, and it will be worth the wait for you. Keep watching this space for announcements about availability.

1 Comment

  1. I understand about automation for these things. Have you thought of hiring a Chinese firm to get the hardware made for you. There are plenty of companies where you can get it done with the same quality but for much less cost. I recommend if you haven’t seen the book and are interested, The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. It speaks about how to completely automate your life and work, and with all you have going on Ola, I can imagine that something like this would be incredibly beneficial to your company.