Next round – Sample phase:
Thank you for the good news that we are through to the next round for the Acela – project. From all the samples we have sent, you have made a selection of three designs.
What you are now receiving is the complete selection of all available items in these three designs. The most specific items carry the Amtrak logo, in both laser and a stamped version. These samples are in the black cutlery case you are about to receive, or have already received in the meantime. A hard copy of a list which samples are which can be found enclosed with the samples.
Hereunder you can see images of the three selected designs. You can click on these and you can see further information on which samples you will receive and what the key features/options are.
Once you had a chance to go through all the samples and the options you have available, you might want to tweak the final design. This is the right moment to make these changes. Before the final production mould is made you can make any change you want. That can be putting the logo on the back for instance. You can change the thickness of the items to save weight/costs. Or you can add items to the final set, like smaller (tea)spoons for your service on-board. That is also why I deliberately added all the standard available items of these three designs.
Prices & lead times:
At the beginning of this project we sent you more than 18 different designs. Such a high number is what we normally do not send for projects like this. However, we developed many new designs recently that we did not want to miss this opportunity.
The prices you received in March were the prices for the dessert knife, – fork and – spoon. Now you also have the table size and a few additional options in your possession. The biggest and most difficult decision has already been made – that is: you have already narrowed it down to three designs. And I would like to propose the following:
Once you have come to the final one design, and when we finalized any changes we want to make – then we ask for the best price at our production facility. Changes can have an impact on price up- or downwards. The advantage will be that we will then be able to get the best price possible.
Due to COVID-19 main production of the regular cutlery and the airline/railway cutlery is at a minimum right now. It means that lead times are flexible. It still means we need to stay in close communication about any launch dates that will be planned in future. Due to this COVID-19 situation this is probably all a bit uncertain. But we would like to avoid surprises in production and shipping later on.
Warehousing and planning:
At this moment we are already your cutlery supplier. As I mentioned earlier in our first presentation, we also do business with American Airlines and United Airlines. JetBlue will be added soon. For all three we keep stock in the US. For Amtrak the situation is a bit different. We start production when we receive a PO. These goods are then shipped straight to Boston. When we come to business about one of these designs, we might want to consider having some stock in the US. How we can organize that, and how we can manage transport is something we can discuss later on. There are multiple options available.
At this moment there are no trade shows. Meetings do not take place. Digital meetings with or without webcam are not ideal, but will do for the time being. I want to let you know that you do have the option to make use of one of these techniques. Especially when we are going to talk about potentially tweaking the design here and there, it works much faster when we can actually see what is in front of us.
At a later stage, and we all prefer the sooner – the better, we can relax, sit-down together and meet face-to-face.
Thank you again and I look forward to your news.
Best regards – Hans Engels