Sunday, 17 February 2013

09:23 – Barbara and Frances called it quits last night. Frances stayed with their parents last night, but that was the final night. They’ve decided that their parents don’t need them there at night; their mom simply desperately wants them there 24 hours. Barbara and Frances are now convinced that their mom is simply acting out to make sure they won’t leave her alone with Dutch. Barbara’s friend Marcie cares for older people, and they’re hiring her to visit their parents as needed to help their parents during the day.

Even with everything that’s been going on, we’ve made progress on kit stuff. We now have everything needed to build another batch of 60 chemistry kits, and much of what we need for another batch of biology kits. Once we finish that, we’ll start labeling yet another batch of bottles for 60 chemistry kits, then bottles for biology kits again, and so on. My goal is to start the busy period in early July with components on hand that will allow us to quickly assemble at least 240 chemistry kits, 120 biology kits, 120 life science kits, and 60 forensics kits.

One thing I’d thought about but hadn’t fully realized the implications of is that our bin system is breaking down. It’s one thing to have bins, each with, say, 30 filled bottles of the chemical and another 30 labeled but unfilled bottles. It’s quite another to have to store, say, 120 filled bottles and another 120 unfilled. The current bins aren’t big enough, and there’s not enough shelf space to substitute bins four times the size. Same thing with storage for made-up solutions. Until now, I’ve been using a mixture of one- and two-liter bottles. I might, for example, have made up one liter of iodine solution, which is sufficient for about kit 30 bottles. Now I’m making the stuff up four liters at a time. And then there’s the matter of storing finished kits to await shipment. The current storage area has room for 60 kits, but certainly not four or five times that many.

That leaves two options, neither of which Barbara is crazy about. First, I could use the finished area downstairs. Second, I could park my Trooper outdoors, at the end of the drive, and build floor-to-ceiling shelves in the vacated area. On balance, given the level of sales I expect this year, I think we can make it through 2013 without any major changes. But if our growth rate continues, we’re probably going to have to rent space in 2014.