I wanted to write a quick post to update our community, artists and friends in the industry about some developments on the production side of vinyl that’s affecting the global supply chain currently. Over the last eighteen months we’ve seen the pandemic causing significant manufacturing delays, post-Brexit import issues causing transport delays and now supply shortages in raw materials used during manufacture (a problem also facing other industries). This has sent production-times spiralling and most of the last two weeks has been spent on the phone with our friends problem-solving.
The last eighteen months have been logistically challenging but I believe as a community we’ve been responsible for some of the most exciting releases and creative projects out there and that will continue to be the case. The line-up of artists that we’re due to collaborate with over the next 6 months is mind-blowing. And fortunately we are well positioned to not be too exposed to these problems. There are some adjustments to the way that we make and sell records that I’m currently implementing:
- Advanced Manufacture:
Our system prior to the pandemic allowed us to sell releases on pre-order and then manufacture the records to order. With the current increase in lead-times I think it’s unfair to make our customers wait that long, so we have moved to a system whereby we manufacture ahead of the campaigns launching. This has of course meant limiting the runs more and most of our campaigns selling out in record time. During the summer we’re going to be aligning the campaign launches closer to the release dates so that new campaigns from herein will generally only be available a 2-3 months ahead of release.
- Production Updates:
Release dates are also becoming incredibly fluid with artists changing release dates for albums constantly and we of course must fit in with that on wider album campaigns. In response to this, on the bottom of each campaign page whilst a record is in production we’ve now added a ‘Production Update’ note. This will allow us to communicate any changes to release dates.
You may also have noticed that in the last couple of weeks we’ve made changes to our postage. Customers will receive alerts when their order ships, receive tracking information and allow us to time the records to land on release date. For international customers we’ll both provide tracking details for the records and also have moved to a new mailing service that offers a guarantee that no customs charges will be passed onto the customer as a result of new Brexit regulations.
Lastly, I want to say a massive thank-you for everyone’s support. It really feels like we’re through the worst of the pandemic and I desperately hope we’ll be back to bumping into each other at shows soon. As always dear friends if anyone wants to get in touch about any of the above, make any suggestions on how we can improve or simply shout about how terrible this pesky pandemic is, my DM’s are always open: Instagram. I’ll leave you with my favourite quote, which has felt incredibly relevant of late: “A constant battle, a ceaseless struggle in the face of adversity is the cost of all great achievements”.