The chart shows how it all might work: On the vertical scale are units per week. I prefer to have that as a measurement because it works well with production assemblers, who may work part of the week, or have a certain quota to meet. If week 7 fell a little short, for instance, then the assemblers still have week 8 to look forward to. This is better than waiting a month to find out if production targets are being met. So in our case we will call start of production "week 1", which starts out as zero.
The steady sales demand estimate is pegged at 1000 units per week. This number surprises some people as rather small, but it represents the point where in steady amounts the product nears break even which is the term for "not losing money, not making money".
Since nobody imagines that the Kickstarter "demand" of some 20,000 units can all be built and shipped at once (nor could they be unless we hired a lot of people and then had a big layoff after the first 20,000 are shipped, which would be very wrong!) a scale-up ramp that within a reasonable time achieves the steady state demand is used and the shipping schedule is established to fit it.
Early "orders" get filled first and in the sequence they came in, which means that a trickle will go to the first few supporters and from then a stream will build up until all have been shipped. This kind of "first in, first out" method is very common, and along with a scale-up ramp, allows a small number of people to be employed on a steady basis through the demand. It also has the advantage, the very big advantage, of allowing us to fine tune the process, which will naturally get better over time if there is no "panic". Steady, sustained, even and smooth are the words you want to hear.
The big risk is what happens after the demand is filled. A sharp drop off in orders would be bad. More orders than expected would be good. 1000 units per week (that means 200 boxes of 5 sheets) comes to 25 units per hour in the normal week. That's a good and sane starting pace that is fair to the assemblers and achieves - we hope - a new instant film product that can be made for many years. Time will tell.
|There is also a low side estimate within statistical possibility|