Welcome to another DCC Edition of the SBS4DCC
Happy Father Day!
Well... belated by the time you get this...
My step-father introduced me to this hobby at a very young age. We spent a lot time together building Athearn blue-box kits and rebuilding our pike to make room for longer mainlines and bigger curves for our ever-expanding fleet of Con-Cor, IHC, Rivarossi, AHM, Mantua, and Athearn passenger cars. We also spent a lot of time touring the country by train and traveling to train shows and transportation museums.
Those were good times and great memories.
Life seems so much busier today than way back when. Don't forget to make time to be a Dad, share a hobby, make a memory.
Every year my life gets busier and busier too. I think I have mentioned my three children at least once. I juggle my time between family, church activities, a regular forty and this business. I do it all by choice, make no mistake. But as the kids and the business grow, I have to make choices about what I can accomplish because I cannot make more time.
One choice I will have to make is to temporarily cease quoting new decoder installation projects.
Please don't be alarmed if you see the notice on my website. All is well. My family and I are healthy. My day job seems stable once again. SBS4DCC
may actually stand on its own two legs this year thanks to all of you.
Please note this is temporary and I continue to work though my backlog of installs daily.
I am still averaging four installs a week but that is just not enough to keep up and keep everyone happy.
I have a lot going on right now with my family which must be my number one priority. I am a Dad first. My oldest starts High School this year and the youngest has found her "thing". Add a monkey in the middle and you would think I was chasing my tail.
I have been asked to take on some additional responsibilities at my church which will require just a bit more of my time. The Lord calls, ya know...
I have seen a lot of growth and increased demand for my custom products which just take a lot time to make. As it is stated, they are hand made... by me. I don't make enough off of it to support all of the expenses of adding an employee and I have yet to find someone interested in doing it anyway. So for now, its just me.
Finally, I have agreed to a project to convert an extensive collection of O Scale models to DCC and add light kits to a fleet of passenger cars for a local modeler. In addition I have a number of projects for other local folks that require my attention. We hope to have them all running in time for the 2016 convention here in our own backyard. Tick, tock...
The sum of this is all good. At the end of the day however, I am always out of time and always apologizing to someone for not having enough time. So, for the short term, I won't be quoting any new projects. I do hope you can understand.
I will continue all other operations as usual including production of the Backshop Flyer
as well as adding some really cool new content to the site I hope you will enjoy.
All other matter at the Backshop
are doing well.
You may have noticed some changes to my packaging for store shipments recently.
I continually look for ways to reduce cost, improve productivity, and provide better service.
One sensitive area is shipping and shipping costs. It matters to YOU AND it matters to ME. I review this line of the budget monthly because it is so important. It is my largest expense after inventory. I do not try to make money on shipping. I do try hard not to lose money on it however. I also try hard to provide fast service, accurate processing, and tracking information at the lowest price possible.
I can report to you that I have come within 5% of receipts to expenses for the past two years; one year up 5%, the other down 5%.
I am very excited about a BIG improvement I have made in this area recently. I have finally found a shipping solution that integrates directly into my e-commerce service.
The net result of this is improved order accuracy, tracking on all shipments (except maybe international... still sorting through that one), immediate posting of tracking information, and reduced shipping rates.
I have already lowered the base order handling rate based on the new cost projections.
I anticipate being able to reduce shipping charges even further as the year progresses.
This IS good news.
Be sure to check it out, no matter what scale you model. Links to all of the new content can be found in this newsletter.
It really is a great time to be a... Digital Model Railroader!
So with that... All Aboard!
All the best, Bryan