Why we went dark - getting screwed by our sourcing agent.

Over at the OpenBeam blog, I've blogged about our experience  with Tully Gehan's FactoryForAll.com.  What happened bordered on fraud and extortion, and I am happy to report that after half a *year*, we finally managed to collect on the goods that we've wired money for back in July, 2015.  We didn't go public with this earlier because, long story short, these folks were essentially holding $40,000 of goods hostage (in fact, they outright refused to release the cargo until we ponied up thousands of dollars of bullshit "handling" charges that we never agreed to).  The last thing we need was to go public with the situation and give them any excuse to disappear / stop communicating while holding our goods hostage.

ZT Automations have been hard at work, getting our Amazon web store restocked, getting OpenBeam products stocked to take over distribution of OpenBeam in the US, and getting the last of the Kossel Pro units built and tuned.  Our first focus is on revenue generation - we've skated way too close to the thin red line and need to get some buffer back.  Our FCS unit went out last week and will be delivered to our customer on Monday.  After which, we'll take a look to see if there's any shipping damage.  Already, the next machine is going through burn in testing, and the rest of the machines should be able to follow soon.  

On the development front, we have stepped back up our game on much needed support and documentation.  We've installed a ticketing system (zendesk) and brought on additional help.  Our next step is improving our documentation (at ztautomations.dozuki.com) and also doing a better job at releasing source CAD files.  Finally, we have some new parts development in the works, and we'll be sharing that on the blog soon.  

It's been an incredibly difficult journey, and the last few months in particular have been soul crushing, dealing with all the shipment issues and getting our goods delivered.  We are emerging out of this as a much stronger company.  In the mean time, it feels good to be able to focus on design work again.

-=- Terence