Friday, 7 December 2012

07:56 – I see that Michigan has joined the ranks of the right-to-work states. Not surprisingly, the unions are crying foul. As of now, Michigan is one of the most heavily unionized states, with 17.5% of the workforce belonging to unions. I expect that to change quickly, now that paying union dues is voluntary. On the one hand, this is very good news for both employers and employees in Michigan. On the other, I’m kind of sorry to see Michigan join the ranks of free states because it puts them in competition with North Carolina for new manufacturing facilities.

Other than the subassemblies we plan to build this weekend, we’re in pretty good shape on kit inventory, so I’m going to take some time today to work on the LK01 Life Science Kit. I already have a pretty good idea of what will be in the kit, but I haven’t written the manual yet. As I do that, I’ll modify the kit contents to add stuff I didn’t yet realize I’d need and remove stuff that turns out not to be needed. In addition to providing what’s needed to do the lab sessions in the manual I’m writing, I’d also like the kit to be usable with other life science lab manuals and to provide the key components necessary to do a subset of the labs in the biology book. That means there’ll be a lot of juggling going on before the thing is finalized.

10:07 – Interesting. As of this morning, we’ve shipped more kits in the first week of this month than we shipped in all of December 2011, and early December is not a peak period. In November, a very slow month, we shipped about three times as many kits as we did in November 2011, and in October (which is the end of the first-semester rush) nearly eight times as many kits as we did in October 2011. Of course, in 2011 we had only the one chemistry kit and now we have several different kits. Still, we plan to introduce at least a couple more new kits in 2013, so I’m hoping those multipliers hold up or increase in 2013. If so, we’ll easily blow through our initial goal of 500 total kits in 2013.