In 2010, fighting and arcade game enthusiasts like you made FA a special part of your hobby. I'm incredibly thankful that to this day we're still able to serve you.
In those eight years, this is the first time that I'm announcing a vacation for a portion of our staff. For the rest of staff, however, the time serves as an opportunity to restructure our internal operations, and to better serve you.
Restructure: An Explanation
In the fall of 2017, we enlisted the help of a 3rd Party logistics service to manage order fulfillment and shipping. This was done with the intent to improve shipping times and accuracy, allow for steady expansion of our business as new products were added, and remove some of the performance bottlenecks that our previous staff created. Over the year, we assessed the strengths and weaknesses of this arrangement, and found that a 3PL was not well-suited for the unique business model we have. Most recently, the 3PL has underperformed towards the holiday season, leading to fulfillment issues that are not in line with our company's dedication to exceptional customer service.
This year, we decided to purchase a new warehouse and bring operations back under one roof. Next week, the transition to move those operations will finally start.
Temporarily Disabling Purchases After October 28
11:59pm EST, Sunday October 28 we will temporarily disable purchases at Focusattack.com. Our website will remain open. Customers can view products and categories, but cannot add products to the shopping cart or visit checkout. Keeping the site open, allows customers with outstanding orders to continue receiving order status updates.
During the period between Monday October 29 and November 8, you may see some products with odd updates or extra items added to the store's front page. We are testing a number of internal processes at this time.
We will re-open purchasing at 10am, Friday November 9. Due to the Veterans Day national holiday on November 12, some orders placed later in the afternoon on November 9 may not ship until Tuesday, November 13.
Our customer support site, support.focusattack.com, will remain open. Customer service staff are available address order related questions, or technical issues with a product.
Order Fulfillment After October 28
After October 28, we will continue to ship all outstanding custom and non-custom orders until all are cleared. Customers will continue to receive status updates for outstanding orders.
We will stop taking custom orders on
Monday October 22 to allow enough time for orders that also contain non-custom items to reach our 3PL warehouse, pack and ship to you.
Changes and Improvements to Order Fulfillment
Of the improvements we're planning, custom orders will see immediate changes to turnaround time under normal circumstances. Orders that contain both custom and non-custom items will not experience a "transport to warehouse" delay, as everything is now handled in-house.
We intend to continue shipping orders within 1-2 business days by investing in commercial inventory management systems, so staff have tools they need to more accurately pick items from location, more time to quality check, and securely pack your order. Additionally, backorder issues and mis-ships should decrease, and new inventory is checked in much faster than before.
Finally, we have implemented a number of inventory adjustments over the past few months. Targeted products are selected one at a time to receive a significant inventory purchase, then subsequently topped off so they remain in stock when you need them. It has worked in trials for Sanwa products such as pushbuttons. You will see more items with less "out of stock" issues in time, including core products you use to build your fightsticks either as an enthusiast, or as a professional.
You'll also see additional domestic shipping options, and in time better turnaround for international shipping as well.
Finishing Up: Taking Back Control of Our Future
Since starting this company, one of the fundamental values I've espoused to my staff is that customer service is most important above all else. That means timely responses to inquiries, being accessible and helpful, and most importantly, getting orders completed accurately and shipped promptly - that's the reason why you shop with us.
Internally, you hope that you can find hard-working, dedicated staff that share these values. If staff underperforms, then we must find another solution to meet the growing demand, and continue to serve you properly. We thought that the 3PL service could accomplish that.
Our staff has worked tirelessly to return fulfillment operations to FA over the past few months. If you've possibly wondered why FA's social presence has diminished somewhat, why some products were removed, or why initiatives on our site haven't progressed as far as you might expect, I hope this explanation might shed some light. This also counts for any recent order issues that didn't make the 1-2 day turnaround that we've advertised, plus any mis-ships and backorders.
I'm looking forward to taking back control of FA's daily operations. I've hired new staff to replace the ones that weren't performing. Myself and Jenni will teach the new staff what is fundamental to our business. Buying a warehouse rather than leasing one is a certain sign that we have no further intentions to distribute fulfillment elsewhere, nor dramatically change things unless absolutely warranted. We have space to grow in the new office, and I'm glad to bring it home.
Again, thanks to you for sticking with us, and I hope to see you on the other side.