Dealing with Clients: A Makers Year 41

I got an e-mail from my client asking if it would be possible to bring the delivery date of two  cabinets back into December. I write this response at the start of November.

Hi ……….

In my experience, and that is a long time, delivery schedules only go one way. Backwards. I heard today that they have got the layups back from the marquetry specialist and, so far, all is well. The cabinets still have to be made and are due for delivery to me, end of this month, only if all goes well, which it may not. Chris was my apprentice twenty years ago he is a very careful and deliberate maker, and inclined to over run schedules. But they all want their bonuses as its Christmas. So my money is on it arriving on time.

But don’t get excited, I still have to fit the inside with cedar, and polish the whole job and fit the lids and closing mechanisms. This I estimate will take until we close for Christmas as I have other demands on my time. The polish will also have to dry and harden over the New Year break and be re-polished in the New Year and we need to get it photographed . So I would say no . Leave the carefully developed mechanism that I have created to do its job. Which is finish all pieces by end of January.

Getting new original pieces made to schedule by skilled makers like ourselves is, for me, a process of risk management. Pulling a delivery time back pretty well trebles my stress level. Which I am sure is not something  you want to happen. Bete Noir or no Bete Noir.



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