I have decided that it is time for me to make some substantial changes to the way I run the daily operations of TMD. DON’T WORRY! I am not going anywhere! I’m just trying to be realistic in the way I handle the changing demands on my time and thought I owed you an explanation. But I warn you, this one is long and boring, so you are welcome to skip it.
OK, most of what follows shouldn’t affect you very much. In fact, I’m only posting this because — after all these years of treating you as my friends — I can’t imagine not telling you about what is going on behind the scenes. So, with that said, here is what is going to happen:
1 — SHIPPING TIME IS GOING TO GET A LITTLE SLOWER
This has always been a sensitive topic for me. I’m impatient and want my own orders to arrive the day before I place them, so I just assume most of you are the same way. For that reason, I have always tried to ship your orders in 2 business days or less. Well, that’s not going to be very realistic anymore. I am getting too old and my life is getting too busy. So, TMD is going to start behaving like an ‘old timer’ (a.k.a. ‘geriatric TMD’).
There are several reason for the slow down. First, I have a new mail carrier, and he/she comes about the time I am getting to the shop every morning. It used to be I had the whole morning to get orders in the mail, but no more. After seeing how things have changed with the mail, I am going to have to accept that the orders that go in the mail box today will not get picked up until tomorrow. Consequently, I am going to invert my daily schedule. From now on, instead of working orders in the morning and everything else in the afternoon (like I have done for twenty years now), I will do whatever in the morning and work orders in the afternoon. The net result is, instead of shipping most orders in 24-48 hours, they will now ship in 48-72 hours.
2 — NEW RELEASES WILL CHANGE TO THE END OF THE MONTH
This is probably one of the areas I’ve struggled with them most over the years. Honestly, I never have figured out how best to handle this issue. Unfortunately, changes in my life and to our world have pretty much decided things for me. So, from now on, I will release all new products on the last Friday of the month. August will be a little different, as I have promised to release the rest of Karl’s newest masters as soon as possible (see #4 below). This means you will see some new items come out early in August, but this will be the last month this happens. Starting in September, new releases will come out the last Friday of every month.
Also, I am not going to have time to keep up the pace of new items I had going earlier this year. I will stay the course, but I will release fewer items every month. Hopefully, I will offset this by making sure everything I do release is as perfect as I can make it. I guess I just feel it is past time that I really focus my efforts on quality and value over volume and productivity.
3 — I NEED TO UPDATE AND PROMOTE THE ENTIRE LINE
This is a massive effort, and I keep putting it off because, if I am going back to update and clean-up products I have already released, I can’t work on making new stuff. Well, tough! I need to keep TMD as current as possible, and this means I need to go back and show some love to a lot of our older products. The only way I am going to do this is to take time away from making new stuff, and — for better or worse — that is exactly what I am going to start doing. In addition to that, I need to promote those older products. There are a lot of new detail items being made by other companies out there, and they are getting a lot of attention, but we have been making similar products for years. No one seems to know about them because I never promote the TMD line. That has to change, so I will try to dedicate more time to this, as well. By going back and taking a look at the older items in our product line, it should also give me a chance to re-evaluate my packaging and pricing. I might even try to find some new dealers to help me compensate for the skyrocketing cost of overseas shipping. I just need to do what needs to be done to keep TMD current and relative, so I will spend the time necessary to make that happen.
Hopefully, all of this will compensate for the slower release of new items. But, if it doesn’t, I’m not going to worry. I have always trusted the Lord to take care of me and, so far, He hasn’t let me down (so long as I do what I am supposed to do, that is). So, I am going to trust Him with these changes, as well.
A HIDDEN REASON FOR THE SLOW-DOWN
There is one more reason things are going to slow down around here. I am starting to realize that I am getting too old and have gotten too fat and out of shape to drive myself the way I have the last twenty years. That has to stop. I need to make time to start working out every day. Also, I have let things around the house slip a little too much. I still have repairs from the hurricane that need to be finished. October 10 will be the 2 year anniversary of that storm and I promised BB I’d be done by then. Finally, I do not want to burn out. If I keep putting all this pressure on myself, given my health and mental state, I’m likely to say to heck with it and quit. I do not want to do that, so I have to give myself permission to slow down. I just can’t do that unless all of you know I am doing it and why, so… 😉
4 — I NEED TO RE-DOUBLE MY EFFORTS TO BE MORE RESPONSIVE
[This is connected to my desire to slow down.]
I have been struggling with a lot of stuff lately, and I have been letting a lot of things slip through the cracks because I am too focused on the revenue side of operations. I’m tired of that rat race. You guys have always taken care of me well enough that I do not have to worry about TMD’s bills, which is why I cannot understand why I am always pushing myself to do so much in the way of producing new stuff. I want to focus more on people — on you! Therefore, I am going to re-double my efforts to answer your messages and emails, and to make time to talk when you call. It also means that I am going to work harder to keep my promises. As long as I am still alive and physically able to do the job, the modeling side of TMD will always be here, but I cannot say that about all of us. That’s why I want to focus my attention on you: on the people behind my orders.
5 — I NEED TO CLEAN HOUSE
[This is connected, as well.]
I have also realized that, like most of you, I have acquired w-a-y too much ‘stuff.’ Now, don’t get me wrong: I am not going to start a massive sell-off. But, at the same time, I am going to start going through the stash and culling the heard a bit. I still have some 150+ 1/48 aircraft decal sheets and my entire aircraft library I need to sell to a new home. But I also have some armor books that I bought which I doubt I will ever read, need or use. Add several dozen kits, a small pile of detail and PE sets and a slew of figures and I could hold a tidy sized yard sale. So, starting today (I hope), you’ll start seeing this stuff on the tigermodeldesigns Ebay store. Look for and save me as a favorite seller. A lot of this is going to start at ‘last hour of the model show’ prices. YOU will decide where things go from there. OH! And did I mention that a lot of this stuff is like, well, RARE?! 🙂
6 — I WANT TO PURSUE A NEW CHALLENGE
[This is connected to feeding a side of me I have kept from most of you.]
There is one more thing that you shouldn’t notice, but it is driving a lot of my motivation for the changes I just laid out for you. For some time now, I have been considering a new challenge for my life. Well, I have decided it is time I give it a try. It is connected to but different from the radio show I was doing the first Friday of every month. That took too much of my time for now reward. What I have in mind will actually take even more time, but, if it works, it will be immensely rewarding, and on many levels. I’m sorry, but what I am planning to do is going to stay private — at least for now. But, as I know some of you will sense there is more behind this post than just what I said above, I figured I’d just confess it now and get it out of the way. So, yes, Joe is going to be splitting his time between TMD and a new project that has absolutely nothing to do with modeling.
OK, I’M DONE BLABBERING NOW 🙂
OK, I think that’s about it. Like I said, most of this won’t affect you very much. In fact, if I didn’t tell you, most of you might never have noticed anything. You’d probably think the re-worked items were new products, and you would blame the global covid mess for the slower shipping. But there is a chance that some of you would have noticed things were different, so I figured it was best to just tell all of you why beforehand — so you expect it and don’t start thinking I am hiding anything. Now, if you have struggled through this post, you have got to be bored to tears. Go! Get out of here. Go do something that is really useful or, better yet, fun!
And stay safe!