August 26, 2014
Order 15 - All of the Details!
It's official! Order 15 will begin Thursday, September 4 at 10:00 a.m. PDT. We will be selling FLO 30s, 60s, 90s, DISCS, and FLO 30 rims.
Every wheel purchased within the first hour will receive a FREE Silca Valve Extender (FLO 60's and 90's) or a free continental tube (FLO 30s and DISCS). Please read the details below for "General Information" and FAQ about Order 15. We can't thank you enough for your support and patience.
- Order 15 begins September 4, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. PDT. Access the store here. You will need a store account to check out. We recommend creating your account here before the order starts to save time.
- On September 4, 2014 the "Store" page will feature a countdown timer. When it hits 00:00:00:00, refresh your page to begin shopping.
- 500 wheels will be available during Order 15.
- We will have FLO 30s, 60s, 90s, DISCS, and FLO 30 rims.
- Wheels are estimated to ship by September 15.
- There are currently 737 people signed up for Order 15.
- All sales are on a first-come-first-served basis. We are working hard to eventually have stock. For more information, please read this blog article.
- Orders tend to sell out quickly. All 2014 Orders have sold out in less than one hour and popular wheels can go in under five minutes. We suggest being online at 9:55 a.m. PDT if you are interested in buying wheels. Please know there is no pressure to buy, we just want to be honest.
- Order 16 is scheduled to take place in mid-October 2014 and is estimated to have approximately 700 wheels.
- You are not guaranteed a wheel when adding it to the cart. You must check out to confirm your order.
- International shipping rates to some countries are quoted very high in our shopping cart. This is because a bug exists in the USPS.com API. We are not able to change this. We recommend checking out and we will issue a refund after we process the order. Shipping rates never exceed $115 for two wheels though you may see rates as high as $700. Import tax/duty/VAT is the responsibility of the buyer. We are sorry for the trouble. If we could fix it, we would.
Questions About Order 15
Q1. How and where do I place my order?
A1. The store opens at 10:00 a.m. PDT. On the morning of the order, the store page will have a countdown timer on it. When the countdown timer hits 00:00:00:00, refresh your page to access the store and begin shopping!
Note* You will need to create an account to shop in our online store. We highly recommend creating an account before next Thursday to save time during Order 15. You can create your account here.
Q2. Do we have live up-to-date inventory on our site?
A2. That’s sort of a yes and no question. When you select the product you will see how many are available under the “Bearings or Bearing/Build” pulldown menus (The “Sticker Color” pulldown does not show how many wheels are in stock.). If there is one left and you add it to your cart, it does not mean you have secured the wheel. You must make it all the way through the cart before the wheel is yours. If someone else has bought the wheel in that amount of time, you will receive an out of stock warning when you hit the confirm order button.
Q3. My page is really slow. What should I do? (We hope this doesn’t happen!)
A3. We have done all we can to beef up the server to prevent crashing. That said, there are no guarantees. When you click to add a wheel to your cart it may take a second or two to load. Please do NOT hit the "Add to Cart" button multiple times. If you do, you will add more then one wheel to your shopping cart. If there are any technical difficulties during the sale, please be patient, we will be working to correct them as soon as humanly possible. If your page is slow after hitting “confirm order,” PLEASE DO NOT HIT REFRESH or your card may be charged twice. If you do hit refresh by mistake and are double charged, please let us know and we will be sure to refund your second order.
Q4. Can you tell me about the Silca Valve Extenders and Continental Tubes?
A4. A FREE Silca Valve extender will be given for each FLO 60 and 90 and a free tube will be given for each FLO 30 and FLO DISC. Please see the pictures below.
Q5. When will the wheels ship to me?
A5. Wheels are estimated to ship by September 15.
Q6. How much are ceramic bearings?
A6. Ceramic wheels are an additional $100 per wheel. Ceramic bearings support our Bike for a Kid Program and have excellent durability. Learn more about our Bike for a Kid Program.
Q7. Do you offer Shimano 11 speed hub bodies?
A7. All of our wheels ship with 9/10/11 speed compatible hub bodies. The wheels also ship with 10 speed spacers for people running 9 or 10 speed cassettes.
Q8. What payment methods do you accept?
A8. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. We do not accept PayPal.
We hope that this answers your questions about the upcoming pre-order. If we have left anything out, please let us know.
Thanks again for your patience and support.
Jon and Chris
August 14, 2014
Not even three years ago, Jon and I were standing in our garage holding the very first production model FLO wheels ever made. Today, there are over 8,000 FLO wheels on the road, and this year alone we are on schedule to ship 5,000. Jon and I are still the only two employees at FLO and in all honesty, we were running out of time to get it all done. The two tasks that take up the majority of our time are customer service and shipping. We needed to make a change to help save ourselves some time, and we had a few options.
|The first FLO wheel ever made.|
Option #1: Hire Customer Service Reps
- Immense time savings not having to answer hundreds of emails and phone calls weekly.
- Jon and I aren't able to speak one-on-one with our customers.
- Time spent managing customer service reps.
Jon and I just didn't feel right losing contact with our customers. For the last three years, Jon and I have answered every phone call and email, and we want to keep it that way as long as possible.
Option #2: Buy a Warehouse and Hire Employees to Ship Our Products
- Having employees ship our products would save Jon and I time when processing orders.
- We still do not need full time employees. Hiring, training, and managing new temp labor every five to six weeks would be very time-intensive.
- Buying/leasing a warehouse requires a lot of capital. Paying a mortage/lease is easy when sales are good, but what happens if sales slow down?
The cost of the warehouse, coupled with the task of hiring, training, and managing employees just didn't feel right. While we may save time shipping, it would easily be eaten up by our new responsibilities.
|Roughly 700 wheels from a single FLO order on the warehouse floor. For a size comparison, you can see me standing on a four-foot table in the background. There will be a total of eight orders this size this year. We certainly needed help!|
What We Did
I’ve always seemed to work well under pressure. Our temporary warehouse, the one with the dirt floor and no air conditioning, was soon to be turned into a medical office building and we needed to get out. We had several real estate agents looking into warehouses, and we even went to look at a few. The whole time, something just didn’t feel right about purchasing our own place. For some reason I thought, "what if there was a company who could ship our wheels for us?"
We knew that order fulfillment existed, but our project was different. Most order fulfillment companies like ShipWire or Amazon Fulfillment want to simply put a label on a box and ship it out the door. Our project was much different. All of our wheels are inspected, have custom color stickers applied, have special give aways added to boxes, and are then repackaged and sent out the door. We started calling fulfillment companies and the message was pretty clear: “We don’t do that”. We kept hearing that message over and over again until we called a company called eFulfillment Service.
When I reached out to eFulfillment Service the message was instantly different. The first thing I heard was, “We have a department set up for special projects”. We began discussing the ins and outs of how FLO wheels are inspected/processed and I kept hearing, “We can definitely do that”. Another benefit was that we would only be charged for the storage space we used. So if sales slowed down, our storage fees would adjust accordingly. This was a big contrast to owning a warehouse and paying a mortgage that is always the same. The best part was eFulfillment Service encouraged us to visit their facility to help the special projects team process the first order. Wow! For two guys who were potentially handing their "baby" over to a company, this was a very welcoming offer. Long story short, after a trip to Michigan for a logistics meeting and a few weeks of emails back and forth, we hired eFulfillment Service to be our shipper.
Order 14 -- our last order -- was actually processed out of eFulfillment Services’s shipping facility in Traverse City, Michigan. Jon and I spent the week there, helping the team get everything out the door. In all honesty, they did most of the work, but being there was helpful, and let us rest a little easier. All in all, our time spent there left us with the ability to say that the team at eFulfillment Service is awesome. There’s really no better way to describe them. They are good people treating others how they would like to be treated, and they really made us feel at home. We feel very confident having them as our future shipping partner for FLO orders. With their help, FLO as a company will get orders in the mail quicker, and Jon and I will have more time to do the things we should be doing like, talking with customers, designing new products, and riding bikes ;).
I wanted to leave you with a few pictures from our week spent at eFulfillment Service in Traverse City, Michigan.
|Jon and I rented a small house for the week.|
|EFS has a dog-friendly office and cyclists!|
|Our wheels lined up in storage and ready to go!|
|Jon giving a wheel inspection/sticker demo|
|FLO freehub bodies with their new SKUs attached.|
|An order picked and ready to be assembled.|
|The special projects area.|
|The team hard at work.|
|Jon and I visited the Sleeping Bear Dunes which was an amazing place.|
|Going down was fun. Getting back up was a lot harder than you'd think.|
|450 vertical feet from Lake Michigan to the top. There is a warning sign at the top stating a rescue helicopter to get you to the top will cost $5,000.|
I hope you have enjoyed this blog article. In fact, I had time to write this article because I haven't had to ship products. It's working already ;)
We'd love to hear your comments or questions if you have them.
We'd love to hear your comments or questions if you have them.