Today I thought we should talk about what goes on behind the scenes vs. what you see on our storefront.
As most of you are very painfully aware there still seems to be a bug shortage with many vendors and you'll find Discoids or larger amounts of Superworms out of Stock. Some vendors have to shut down or will raise their prices to sometimes astronomical proportions. While in the earlier days we had to shut down for a while too here and there to enable our stock to catch up, we've since tried to adjust as we learn more about the breeding habits and when you can and absolutely can not speed up mother nature when it comes to breeding season. We've invested in a second barn a while back to start secondary backup breeding so that we would never have to shut down again. In order to keep everything running smoothly, we keep a close eye on our stock in the bins. As we've revealed prior, we do not separate our roaches and they are allowed to live together in huge colonies. In short, what's in the bins is in the bins and we kind of see whether bins run low on a particular size.
Considering that Luna Roaches literally consists of just Chris and I and everything involving the business is handled by us, we have to take into consideration the following when we run our Business:
How many Roaches can we sort/pick out and inspect on a daily basis?
How many can we pack up to ship before we miss the window of the Truck leaving to Orlando for that day?
How much time does it take each day to take care of the roaches? (Trust me it IS hard work and very time consuming!)
How much time is involved in ordering supplies, answering customer emails or messages, taping up boxes, creating the little cups of food and water crystals we send along, printing out the card that comes along, filling up bags with various sizes of foods and crystals for the add on orders, you know all that stuff that goes on behind the scenes here.
Is there time enough in the day for other things like our family, taking care of home life, and our pets and animals on our property, running errands, heck sometimes even dinner?
Add to that, that I also work a full-time job for a Technology company.
As you can imagine that the days for us are jam-packed and free time some days is a precious commodity. I know a lot of you are like us and wish you had 48 hours in the day to get everything done you need to do. So how do we balance? Taking everything into consideration we determined that we can take orders for about 2000 Discoids a day and most importantly to assure the balance of everything within our colonies, we determined we can safely remove a set amount of roaches of a specific size per day. This allows us to keep our breeding going, keep roaches of all sizes in stock, and hopefully assures we're not going to be in a position again where we too have to shut down for a while to let everything catch up. This also guarantees that we don't "break" Chris and that he is able to even move the next day LOL
(The above Jenga tower that Chris created last night of shipping boxes for Wednesday's shipments)
So what happens, when it's a "Large Discoids Roach heavy ordering day"? When we hit the number we determined we can safely remove per day for that size, I do one of two things:
I will either set them to "Out of Stock" or
I will hide the size from the store for that day.
The following day they will go back into the store (this does not apply for Breeder Kits as we have set a limit of selling 10 per week for the time being as we're still populating our second barn and we need them breeding for us). So in essence, we're not ever really out of stock but rather no more are available of that size for that particular day to keep our colonies balanced.
As with everything ever-changing, we had to make the choice recently to dedicate Mondays to only Subscription order shipping. Subscriptions have become so popular that they needed their own dedicated shipping day and since the majority of subscriptions are due to be shipped Mondays, it was the most logical choice.
We've also added a Banner on the bottom of our home page where you can see when the next available shipping day is. For example, this week we were so jam-packed that by Monday evening we had already sold enough Roaches to fill Tuesdays and Wednesdays shipping days as well. So always check that before ordering so that there are no surprises for you.
In the spirit of transparency and communication, we may down the line go to a subscription-only business model which would mean that we would only accept subscription orders or Breeder Kit orders. This is not set in stone at this point and we're still toying with the idea but it would be very advantageous for us as a business because not only would it be a steady income (we're in our early 50's and are not getting younger) but we would also know exactly how many roaches we needed to ship on any given day. Again, for the time being, this is just something we're mulling over but it could certainly become a reality, and let's face it, subscription orders do have the advantage that you never have to worry about something not being available. You'll get them come rain or shine and they will always be mailed to you on the same day.
Also, this week is a wrap as we're full-on shipments for Thursday and Friday as well and the next available shipping day for regular orders is not until Tuesday, July 27 so please keep this in mind if you need Roaches. We're hoping to not do pickup's this weekend since we're still recovering from a cold (no worries it's just a cold LOL) that is lingering like the summer heat in Florida! we could use a weekend of Rest & Relaxation!
In closing, if you haven't seen this AMAZING video that Justin Horn took. He captured a Discoids Roach giving live birth with all the details. We were certainly blown away because even after having raised hundreds of thousands of Roaches, we have never been able to witness this ourselves! It truly is a wonderous event to watch!
As always, we thank you for making our journey as small business owners an adventurous one! It's a magical ride for us!
Mel & Chris Adams