Product Update - Manufacturing & Development
What a crazy year and a half it’s been…
The world has been ravaged by a global pandemic. The whole infrastructure of the manufacturing system including materials shortage and lack of shipping vessels has had a tremendous impact on product availability on everything from cars to consumer electronics. We too have been massively impacted by these issues.
I would love to be able to tell you that the end is near, but all reports point towards the end of 2022 or even early 2023 before the markets have stabilized again. It doesn’t just impact production, but also product cost and new product development. Previously we were able to make frequent trips to our engineering office in Hong Kong, but that has not been possible since spring of last year which means that all samples have to be sent to the US for evaluation and back again for modifications over and over again. This has made it extremely difficult to develop new products at a reasonable pace, more specifically the Charlie Rudder Pedals but the good news is product completion is very close.
The bad news is that the price of microchips and other components has gone up significantly. As a result of that, both the Alpha and Bravo will increase in price per September 1st to $279.99 and Charlie will launch at $299.99.
It is not a decision we made lightly, as our mission has always been to provide excellent flight sim products at an affordable price, but with a microchips price increase of about x10 of pre-pandemic and shipping up 500%, it is impossible for us to remain profitable at the current margin structure. As a small Band-Aid, we have pulled a production of both the Alpha and Bravo that will be available on www.flyhoneycomb.com at the old price today and will ship the end of next week and all current orders from official retailers will not increase in price.
Our tech support has also been impacted due to the shortage and our ability to replace broken units was at one point unacceptable. We have brought on more members to the team and have made massive improvements. For those of you who may still have any outstanding issues please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am sincerely thankful for the patience and understanding of the flight sim community, but I also think that we could have handled things better and we are in the midst of implementing a plan of better customer communication.
From this point forward we want to be as transparent as possible about what's happening with our products. We will be posting when units leave port to our distributors and expected arrival dates - unfortunately, we can not say how many units will go to each store as this is the responsibility of the distributor but we hope to show that we are building and sending units out as fast as we can. We will also provide a monthly update on the status of products in development so that you have a timeline of when new products will be available. I’m sure there are still things we can do better, and we will try to adapt to the situation as it changes rapidly. In the meantime, thank you again for your loyalty and understanding.
Founder - Honeycomb