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Custom Order Status Page

Discussion in 'AA Forge Knives' started by AA Forge, Dec 26, 2017.

  1. Litu

    Litu Gold Member Gold Member

    21
    Oct 18, 2017
    Here's to desperately hoping for a positive update... based on my own poor experience with over 18 months of waiting and still no update on a custom knife order, I don't know if I'm dismayed or relieved to see that there are other people experiencing the same issues as me regarding custom model purchases.

    Adam, I don't know if you'll even listen to me, or if you'll just accuse me of 'stirring the pot' like some of the other folks here, but if you're looking for constructive criticism, then here's my two cents:

    Despite what you say about being transparent, my own experience with you is that often times either say you will do something and then done, such as these site updates of yours, or you provide excuses as to why something wasn't accomplished. If you want to re-establish your credibility, stop coming up with excuses like sickness, overwork, or trips. They don't do anything for the customers and they don't answer the actual question the customer is asking. Instead, take responsibility for your own actions and then show some incentive by attempting to repair the damaged relationships you've had with your customers. Make a list of updates that show what has been sent out vs what is still waiting, provide individual status updates for the people who have been left waiting while other randoms online swipe out your Friday models without worry. If you claim you don't have time for that, then fix it. Don't dismiss people's feedback as 'pointless' or 'useless' (weekly updates) and instead find someone who can do the administrative work for you. Too busy to send out completed knives? Ask your wife or your brother, who I know is also helping you, for assistance in sending out the packages. Have a company email that everyone involved has access to and who can update specific customers once the knives are complete and sent out.

    Above all though, respond to people. Be patient with your customers. Own up to your own faults. We placed a lot of trust in you with the old system of purchasing a full-priced knife. Many of us have been incredibly patient with you, the majority of the questions, at least on this forum, asking for simple status updates and to share their own experiences to see if others are in the same boat. We all want to know that our investment is happening, that we didn't just give up $200-$400 to a complete stranger without getting the product that was agreed upon. Getting defensive, accusing us of starting fights, and providing vague responses such as 'been busy', 'been out', 'been on a family trip', 'it's my birthday', or 'been sick', hurt your credibility in the eyes of the knife community. It makes you look dodgy, shady, and overall untrustworthy, which-if you want us to believe, that knife making is your only source of revenue-you can't afford.

    So here's my biggest piece of advice. Sit down with the folks who are helping you: your brother, your spouse, if she's involved, friends or family who might be helping out, co-workers who you might have hired, whoever, and figure this shit out. Discuss a game plan with them on what needs to happen in order to make the backlog of custom orders disappear, because right now this is going to be the biggest monkey on your back that you need to get rid of. Make lists, make notes, assign someone to manage your web page and your emails and sending out your completed custom orders-something to take the strain off yourself so that you can focus on finishing the custom models, sending them off, and then not worrying about a knife which will no longer bring you any profit since that profit was given to you over a year ago. You do that, you update us, you show that you give a fuck? You can start repairing your credibility with your market, so that the next messages that show up on this forum are more positive ones showing the knife that arrives and less about worried people like myself and some of the other regulars on this forum heckling you for knife status updates.
     
  2. AA Forge

    AA Forge Custom Knife Maker Moderator

    Apr 8, 2010
    @Litu The only time I accused anyone of stirring the pot is when they had no dog in the fight. I get frustrated at times because of the stress of the list, but I never mean to come off as attacking anyone.

    First off I actually want to thank you for your honest option and some very constructive criticism. In fact much of what you pointed out here we are actually trying to implement.

    My wife helps me with some of the communications and shipping but we have two little boys so her full-time job is raising them. She wants to help more with this and I am trying to get her more well-versed in the business so she can.

    Right now my brother is not quite working for me full-time but hopefully in the future it will be a solid full-time position. For the past few months we have been trying to learn how to spread the workload at the shop more and get my brother more involved. The difficulty of course is my knives are 100% handmade and there’s a lot of personal touch so it makes it hard for him to do it just like me, but we are working on it.

    We have been working on some plans and strategies on getting through the list because believe me, no one wants this list to be done more than me.

    This is my full-time job and my wife does not work which is a big part of the delay. I’m not trying to make excuses, I’m just trying to explain the delays which most people just seem to want to know when they ask me directly. The simple explanation is we are trying to balance the work as best we can. I need to make enough money to pay for my expenses, supplies, and overhead at the shop which also includes my brothers paycheck and make as many orders as we can around that.

    We finish and ship orders on a regular basis but I don’t always show pictures because quite often they are in grinds, models or features I just don’t offer anymore. We do plan to start showing more pictures of finished orders in the future.

    I completely agree that I have been very poor in the order list updates and my hope is to improve this over the next few weeks. Trying to go over the books and organize a good schedule this last week and I’m hoping to give a nice detailed update over the weekend but it might not come till next, but I will post one.

    Thank you again for the advice,
    Adam.
     
    Elgatodeacero likes this.
  3. Old_habits

    Old_habits

    1
    Jan 8, 2019
    I literally created this account recently to express my frustration with the whole process, it turns out I am not alone. I was very hesitant to say anything when I discovered this thread and do not want to stir the pot or have anything been seen as an attack.

    Adam, you are a wonderful craftsman, truly gifted and from my home state. There is not a knife I do not enjoy looking at on your IG. With that being said, I can only hope your business practices improves because it's been a terrible transaction on the customers end. You have been dealing with my better half, as she ordered the knife as an anniversary present to me Oct 2017. I have read every email and been involved with every response.

    There isn't really any advice I can give you that you do not already know, and being a new member, my credibility might not be seen as strong as others. I understand running a business is a challenge, but I do hope you improve for the sake of your other customers. Maybe when I get the knife my feelings will change from jaded to stoked and I can understand and appreciate the process. It sounds like you're making the steps to execute things a bit more proactively and efficiently, I wish you well.

    Take Care, there's a lot of people rooting for you.
     
  4. AA Forge

    AA Forge Custom Knife Maker Moderator

    Apr 8, 2010
    @Old_habits I apologize for how all this has been going, I can assure you I’m working as fast as I can to finish every order and I hope to have yours to you very soon.


    To everybody.
    I also want to apologize to everybody on here for my defensive and sometimes aggressive attitude. I’ve been a member of this forum for nine years and successfully in business for 10 years this June, 6 of which have been full time. In 10 years this is the first time that I have truly been behind and when I feel like I’m being called a crook and a thief because of having supply issues and being behind on the list I get frustrated. Maybe I take it more personal than I should, but it doesn’t help when I hear and see that some who in the past were faithful customers until I got behind on ONE of their orders are apparently actively working against me behind the scenes it gets a little frustrating. I have never failed to deliver an order and these will be no different, everyone of these will be finished.

    As for being more transparent. Those of you who want to see finished orders follow my Instagram feed because we will start posting pictures of every single order I finish. In the past we have not done this because most of these orders have features, grinds or are models that I no longer offer and I didn’t want to have to explain why to everybody who sees every picture, but that won’t be an issue anymore (more to come on this soon).

    Over the past year and a half I have finished and shipped out over 300 orders and have only a few left, but for whatever reason I only seem to see those who haven’t gotten theirs yet. We haven’t been taking pictures of many of them but I can take a picture of the stack of order receipts that have been completed if that would make you guys happier?

    And for the keyboard warriors out there who want to fight the good fight for others, here’s a thought. I would be more than happy to PM you my shop address so you can come by and help me get more order work accomplished so you can actually get something done. Just a thought if you really care. I can take constructive criticism, but this slash and run stuff isn’t productive at all.

    To sum this up I complettyl agree that I screwed up with the order system I chose, but I can’t fix that now, and I’m doing everything I can to make it right. I can promise you guys that I will never make this mistake again.
     
  5. Hunam

    Hunam

    22
    Jan 9, 2019
    So, you're just on custom orders right now? I just wanted to know when you'll have something to sell.
     
  6. AA Forge

    AA Forge Custom Knife Maker Moderator

    Apr 8, 2010

    Hiddenwoodsman will have some on Friday.
     
  7. mgray34

    mgray34 Gold Member Gold Member

    181
    Feb 5, 2014
    Latest update from the AA Forge website:

    2/2/19- I'm hoping to lay out a full list of all the current orders some time soon, but we are moving really fast through them right now so it may be a little hard keeping up with it. This is a basic run down of the orders, but if you would like to know where your individual order stands the best way would be to give me a quick call so I can give you my best estaminet.

    All orders up to Dec 1st 2017 are on track to be finished around March to April.

    Jan. 2018 orders should start being finished this month with all of them down by spring.

    Nomadic Bushcrafter orders are planned to start production this summer. More to follow as we get closer, but I will soon have a specs page on the site for everyone on the list to be sure of they're order.
     
  8. AA Forge

    AA Forge Custom Knife Maker Moderator

    Apr 8, 2010
    Thank you for posting this for me!
     
  9. AA Forge

    AA Forge Custom Knife Maker Moderator

    Apr 8, 2010
    We had a slight low in finishing customs due to some issues with the hiddenwoodsman batch, but we are back on track and have quite a few finishing over the next week.
     
    Elgatodeacero likes this.
  10. cbach8tw

    cbach8tw Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 9, 2006
    Keep up the good work and hang in there!!!!!
     
  11. AA Forge

    AA Forge Custom Knife Maker Moderator

    Apr 8, 2010
    Five finished today and about to go in the mail, hopefully five more coming this week. I'm going to start posting pictures here when I finish them. My wife forgot to wipe the oil off the blades before taking the pictures, please don't mind it.

    [​IMG]Feb 26-1 by Adam, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Feb 26-2 by Adam, on Flickr
     
    Apocryphiliac, cbach8tw and Zippo2 like this.
  12. The Shatz

    The Shatz Gold Member Gold Member

    947
    Oct 1, 2017
    Beautiful work good idea Adam!!
     
  13. AA Forge

    AA Forge Custom Knife Maker Moderator

    Apr 8, 2010
    Unfortunately we had the flu come through the shop last week, so we didn’t get all five done, but these three are ready to ship. Had them done last week, just didn’t get the pictures up. More coming on Monday!

    [​IMG]Mar 6-7 by Adam, on Flickr
     
  14. AA Forge

    AA Forge Custom Knife Maker Moderator

    Apr 8, 2010
    In my haste to post up an update last month on the site I accidentally deleted all of the older updates on the order list which explained why I’m even behind in the first place, so I am planning on putting up a full explanation very soon. For those who didnt see it before and so it all is laid out by timeline and makes more sense.
     
  15. mjbine

    mjbine

    325
    Jan 12, 2011
    Thank you for the update!
     
  16. Silas

    Silas

    Jul 22, 2004
    Awesome. The pictures of the custom orders being fulfilled and shipped is very helpful.
     
  17. mjbine

    mjbine

    325
    Jan 12, 2011
    My long wait has come to an end.
     
    Comprehensivist and DirtyPhill like this.
  18. Zippo2

    Zippo2 Gold Member Gold Member

    43
    Aug 21, 2018
    Let us see some pics. You deserve to show off a little.
     
  19. Hunam

    Hunam

    22
    Jan 9, 2019
    Pics or didn't happen.
     
  20. AA Forge

    AA Forge Custom Knife Maker Moderator

    Apr 8, 2010
    More still need to get pictures before shipping, but this one shipped last week.

    [​IMG]Mar 14-12 by Adam, on Flickr
     
    Zippo2 and ajvail18 like this.

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