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Puget Custom Computers August 2002 Newsletter

Posted on October 25, 2004 by Jon Bach

Its time for a newsletter!  There have been a lot of things going on here at Puget Custom Computers in the last months, and there is a lot of news to get out!  But first things first.  From now on, our newsletters will be sent only to a subscribed email list.  To join this email list, please visit https://www.pugetsystems.com/subscribe.php .  Currently we are sending these emails to our entire client database.  We realize that many of you simply received a quote from us and no longer have any interest.  If you do not subscribe to our newsletter email list, then this is the last newsletter you will receive and I apologize for this intrusion.
If you're still reading, then thank you for your interest in Puget Custom Computers!  Whether you ordered a system and have stayed in close touch (there are many of you!), or just received a quote and we never heard from you again, I truly hope that your experience with us has been nothing but positive!  I continue to strongly call for your reviews of our company at http://www.resellerratings.com/seller1537.html .  We're only three ratings away from having enough data to have a statistical score...then only another 80 reviews before you'll see us on the top ten list :)
Overwhelming support from many of you has given us the opportunity to grow in many ways, and its time to tell you about it!  The greatest thing about being part of a small company is the opportunity to work closely with each of you.  That highly personal relationship is something I believe to be very unique.  This newsletter is designed to give detailed information to those of you who take a personal interest in Puget Custom Computers.
Company Van
Local deliveries are not the only things that require cargo space.  Our daily supply and outgoing shipments from UPS were really starting to tax my little Jeep :)  After a few months of having to fill up the back on a daily basis and even make two trips from time to time, we took the plunge and invested in a company van!  A relationship with a local printing company (http://www.suddenprinting.com) gave me fast and free access to vinyl signage, so it's our new driving billboard!  Take a look at a picture of the van at https://www.pugetsystems.com/dpic.php?pic=van.jpg .  In addition to the obvious vast increase in cargo space, it is my hope that this van will go a long way to spreading the word about PSS right here in Seattle.
New Location
At the same time, our lease was just about up for our place in Redmond.  When we first moved to Redmond, we did so because of our need to be physically close to our suppliers, who were almost all in that general area.  Since that time, we have grown and now fly our parts in from California, where our quantity orders have cut our costs by as much as 30% in some cases!  OUR pricing is always a direct reflection of our costs...so while that decrease in cost does not increase our margins, it does allow us to be much more competitive with our pricing.  So, with our need to be close to the local distributors no longer a factor, we are able to move to a much more convenient location in Seatac.  This also puts us in a great position to make a small jump over to Tukwila when we grow further and require warehouse space!  Our new house in Seatac is much larger, and we are able to devote nearly the entire first floor to the business.  It also puts us within 5 minutes of all the temporary labor we can use.  This approximately triples our capacity, and we can now produce up to 20 machines a day with no problems (aside from a little stress!).  See our new house at https://www.pugetsystems.com/dpic.php?pic=house.jpg .  It was tough to make this move and keep up with our orders, so I cannot tell you how much I have appreciated your patience with us over the last week!  We're nearly fully settled now, and ready to go!
New Production Schedule
I have been thinking about implementing a change in our production schedule for a long time.  As our sales levels grew, the daily tasks were consuming more and more of my time, and were starting to hinder me from being available for you!  I found myself driving to do supply pickups and deliveries about 3 hours a day, and it was only getting worse.  It was most inefficient because I would be driving to one place to pickup one set of speakers, then another place to pickup a monitor, etc.  Our new plan is to produce machines every Saturday.  This means that instead of making the three hour rounds to pickup and handful of items daily...I can now make one trip on Friday and pickup a van full of equipment!  The bulk of our supplies are still flown in overnight from California on Friday.  Not only is this a more efficient use of our suppliers, but it also frees up TONS of time during the week to do what we do best - work with you!  We have plenty of qualified and eager help to come in on Saturdays to handle our huge production load on that day, so I'm very encouraged by the growth potential under this new schedule.  And if we start to get regularly overwhelmed on Saturdays, we'll just add another production day (Wednesday) to our week!  Over time, we'll be back to a daily production schedule...only we'll be seven times bigger :)
Website Improvements
We have also made some important additions to our website recently, mainly on the backend.  Quite a long time ago, our sales levels demanded a full inventory and supply management system, and we took the next step to tie that system directly into our order status pages.  That allows you to see exactly what is going on with your order...whether we have the part in stock, are having it flown in, etc.  We have heard your strong (and not surprising) message that when it comes to the status of orders, there is no such thing as too much information!  We are always looking for steps to make this even better, so let me know if there is something you'd like to see added.
We also tied our supply management system straight into our pricing database.  All this means is that every time we place an order with our suppliers, our system checks OUR cost and automatically modifies our price to match.  Low demand items are still in need of a manual update once every few weeks, but high demand item pricing is now updated on a daily basis.  In a fast moving market where pricing (especially high end processor pricing) is constantly changing, this system will ensure that we are utterly up to date in our pricing, so if we see a price cut, you see it immediately!
New Hardware
There's a lot of new hardware out there!  New video cards, namely the Matrox Parhelia and Radeon 9700 are now available, and the new AMD 2400+ and 2600+ chips are right around the corner.  We work very hard to get access to the newest hardware, so if there is something you think we should offer, let me know!
There is always a lot to do!  One nice aspect of our new production schedule is that it frees up more time during the week for me to hack away at some plans I've had for a long time!
New Website Divisions
There are two major markets that we recognize deserve special treatment - enthusiast gaming and corporate servers.  Both those markets are somewhat supported by our current website, but what we really need to do is make subdomains with those specific markets in mind.  So be on the lookout for a few new website divisions!
Hardware Articles
I really enjoy writing hardware articles, but they're very time consuming!  There is one article in particular that I've been needing to write for months now, which would compare all the current system configurations and do a cost / benefit analysis.  Pentium4, AMD, DDR, RDRAM....there are so many combinations that there is a lot of confusion out there!  Keep looking for this article, it will come soon!
On that note, if you are qualified and would like to give writing a try, I encourage you to write an article and submit it!  I can't guarantee we'll use it, but I would be delighted to give it consideration.
If you are reading down this far, then I admire your patience :)  I'm done!  There are so many of you who are taking a personal interest in Puget Custom Computers, and it is very encouraging to me.  If you have comments, feedback or complaints...the best thing to do is let me know!  I can guarantee that any feedback you provide will be given very serious attention.  Sometimes I feel like I'm just taking guesses when I take steps that will shape our growth, and the surprising answers to our last email survey has shown my that my anticipations are not always right!
Thank you,
Jon Bach
Puget Custom Computers
(425) 885-7014 voice / fax