What interesting times to be in business. We're currently in the middle of a never before seen online buying surge of home goods, most notably outdoor home goods. With people skipping the vacations and public excursions this summer, the focus seems to be on staying in and entertaining small groups of family and friends at home. After being cooped up inside because of quarantine earlier this season, everyone wants to get outside and enjoy finally getting out of the house. We've seen such demand for our products, that not only is it very flattering, it has also been challenging keeping enough material coming in through our supply chains. As the direct manufacturer of our American Made Fire Pits, we've committed to putting close to 80 Tons of flat rolled steel, along with another 100+ Tons in revolving inventory of formed steel in inventory. We're doing our best to stay ahead of the demand and to minimize lead times the best we can. We are still formally announcing lead times of 1 - 2 weeks for most Fire Pit orders, and around 3 weeks for Artisan Fire Pit orders.
Again, we are a very small business. We have only a handful of employees, and they are working long hours to try to keep up with the demand. All of our Fire Pits and accessories (other than our Fire Tools) are 100% make to order. These are not products that we have large pre-made inventories that are just awaiting shipment. Your Fire Pit is made when your order is placed online. Our website processes your order and your payment, and your order is then scheduled for production. After your order is made, it is packaged and prepared for carrier pick up. We are currently filling multiple FedEx and UPS trucks on a daily basis, so just because the order is ready to ship does not mean that it is physically able to fit on the truck the day that it is supposed to pick up. For this reason we are not quoting estimated ship/delivery dates. We are in daily talks with both our UPS and FedEx reps to discuss the challenges we and they are facing in shipping out such large volumes of product. Because of the extremely large volume of shipments nationwide, hubs and distributions centers are getting flooded with shipments. This has affected their quoted delivery times. If you notice that your order is being delayed while in transit, please contact us and we will reach out to our reps for some assistance.
To address how we fulfill orders: Orders are fulfilled in the order that they are placed and based on the material/inventory we have on hand at the time of order. For multi-piece shipments, we will be shipping items that are available first, and the remainder of the order as it becomes available. Tracking information is assigned to the order when it is placed. Orders may show that they are ready to ship, but tracking information will not show movement until the order is actually picked up by the carrier.
The good news is that we are finally starting to turn the corner, and we're about 80% caught up. We sincerely appreciate everyone's support and patience during these crazy times. We are expecting demand in July and August to begin to stabilize (not quite to normal levels, but to more manageable levels). We are going to take those months to prepare for another expected bump in the upcoming Autumn months. If you're not in the market now, but expect to be this Fall, we highly recommend getting an order in sooner than later. We're also expecting that online retail this Holiday season will be record-breaking, so again, please don't wait too late to place an order. Thank you again, everyone! Wishing everyone a great Independence Day Holiday! Please stay safe out there!
President & CEO, Ohio Flame Inc.