500+ Rewards Shipped!
I've been quiet on here lately and that's because I've been laser focused on developing our processes and procedures for shipping your rewards! We received our first batch of about 500 Konnected Alarm Panels and Add-on boards from the Mexico production facility early last week. Over the past 9 days or so, we've been working extremely hard to quickly and accurately pack and ship them to you. I'm very proud to announce today that as of today we've shipped rewards to over 500 Kickstarter backers. So far the feedback has been great, the product really works, and backers are really having a lot of fun with the installation. It feels fantastic to have reached this important milestone!
So Where's My Reward?
We're almost done shipping rewards for backers #1 through #600. If you're in this group and you haven't seen a shipping notification yet, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our next batch of production units is heading to manufacturing next week. We ran in to a few unfortunate speed bumps and delays along the way with this larger batch, as I explained in a previous update. We finally have the PCBs ready, and are just waiting on one more back-ordered part before these go down to Mexico for final assembly.
We're keeping this page updated frequently with shipping dates and estimates. Please check this page before emailing us about shipping status. I know that the delays are frustrating (I'm just as frustrated -- if not more -- than you are) but please know that we're doing our best to move as quickly as possible and be fair to the earliest adopters.
Bringing Fulfillment In-house
Originally I had planned to leverage MacroFab's help not only with manufacturing the Konnected devices, but also with shipping and fulfillment from their facility in Houston. For various reasons I've decided to pull back on that relationship and build up our fulfillment muscle in-house. Doing fulfillment in-house, at least initially, allows us to perfect and streamline the process and scale it in the best way for Konnected and our customers. We want to be able to offer a one-stop shop for your DIY home automation products and accessories and enable you to customize your kits. Using a third-party fulfillment partner would require us to give up a lot of that flexibility, and I don't think it's best for you, the customer, to limit your choices and options.
I'd like to extend a huge thank you to my wife, Lavinia, who has taken on the role of Fulfillment Manager and has contributed enormously to the process of getting you your rewards. Throughout this whole journey of growing Konnected from a late-night hack project, to a successful Kickstarter campaign, and now to a real fully fledged startup, my wife has been amazingly supportive. I'm thrilled that she's now assumed a direct role in the company's success. She's been packing your orders, flashing your WiFi modules, and ensuring that the process is running smoothly.
Thank you Lavinia, I love you and couldn't have done this without you! 😘
Together, we've been working on processes and procedures for packing and shipping orders at scale and it's working out great. We're confident that we can continue scale this process as Konnected grows, keeping the process local so we can adjust and adapt quickly, and creating jobs here in the central Florida area.
Of course, keeping everything in the family for now also has some perks like this miniature helper:
my youngest daughter carefully collating the shipping labels
The Battery Shipping Saga -- Final Chapter?
Well, we've come full circle on this. I've spent more time than I care to admit on trying to figure out a safe and reliable way to transport the lithium ion backup batteries to my overseas backers.
New rules announced last year that prohibit the transport of certain lithium ion batteries on passenger aircraft have caused a strict tightening of the rules and procedures that a shipper must follow to send batteries by air. We've done the required training, signed a dangerous goods contract with UPS, and purchased the necessary labels and supplies to make this possible. I really thought we were almost there, but today I received the final blow.
The labeling requirements to ship these batteries by air make it so that in order to be labeled properly, the package needs to be nearly 6 times larger than our typical packaging just to fit all the required stickers and declarations on the box. Of course, the larger box increases the shipping cost proportionally. Additionally, there are requirements for impact/vibration testing and charge levels that we can't confidently say are met.
To make a long story short, with much regret I've decided that we cannot send backup batteries to destinations that require shipping by air. If you're an overseas backer that did purchase a backup battery, we'll be sending you a refund for the battery add-on. I'm sorry.
Do not try this at home!
Going forward, batteries will only be available for purchase for customers in the continental United States and Canada. Your area must be serviced by UPS Ground.
Backup Batteries are available now for customers in the U.S. and Canada for only $33. Add one to your pre-order here. We also have backup batteries for your WiFi router, cable/DSL modem, or Raspberry Pi for a limited time for only $30 each.
Backer Success Stories
Thank you to the early backers who have shared their installation photos on our new Konnected Community Forum and on the Konnected Users Group on Facebook. I'm running an ongoing promotion giving away a free Konnected T-shirt every week to the best installation story posted here. Here are a few:
Posted by Michael Baggett (Kickstarter Backer #22)
posted by Kurt Jones (Kickstarter Backer #192)
posted by Todd Smith (Kickstarter Backer #61)
posted by Danny Ingram (Kickstarter Backer #41)