iPad Pro Leather Cases - The Lonely Road to Delivery
It has been a difficult start to the year for everyone here at MacCase. Late last year we tried something new. With the best intentions, we put our new iPad Pro leather cases on a pre-order and it didn't quote work out the way we wanted it to.
Usually Apple releases their newest iPad models or makes changes to an existing model in October of a given year. We tend not to get access to the actual product for another few weeks after that. Apple does sort of a pre-order thing themselves.
They'll reveal new product, get the media buzz going, get the pre-orders coming in, and then ship a month later. One of the problems for MacCase is that we need the Apple hardware before we can begin of design and development process. There is typically a large offset between our potential customers seeing the new iPad from Apple and we having an actual piece of hardware to design to. So, right from the start we are behind the eight ball trying to play catch up.
Most times we can make up for that in the super efficient way we develop our new models. When you have been designing for Apple portables as long as MacCase has, and we've been doing it longer than anyone, we created the market, you get pretty good at some things. Compressing the product development cycle while still delivering a world class product is one of them.
So it was with this confidence we marched with our heads held high into the world of designing and building not one, not two, not three but 4 new premium leather iPad Pro cases for the 12.9 model. Combined with the 3 nylon models we were also working on, our iPad Pro case program was the largest new product initiative in our nearly 20 year history.
Now this is all well and good if your designing a product made by machines or some other automated process. Once you have everything set up and turn on the assembly line, widgets spring forth ready for sale.
This is not the case with handmade leather goods. So many factors that are outside of one's control impact what you can and cannot do or what you can and cannot deliver in a timely manner. This was the case for our new iPad Pro leather cases.
The program of 4 new models in two different colors all being developed at the same time proved too much for our small family tannery to handle. Yes we added staff but just because someone says they can sew or says they know who to cut leather does not mean they can do it to the MacCase standard.
MacCase has created a strong reputation with professional iPad users around the world for making the best iPad cases available. Our goal was to present equally excellent, world class cases, sleeves bags for the new iPad Pro. The last thing we wanted to do it put our reputation for the highest quality in jeopardy by trying to rush things.
Human beings have been making things by hand since, well, since we've been waking upright. As the centuries have passed, we have gotten increasingly better at making things but one thing has not changed over those centuries: Making things by hand takes time. Wanting to make things faster was the reason for industrial revolution. When the folks who right history call something a revolution, it's usually a pretty big thing.
Many people feel it's quite romantic that we are making hand made leather goods to protect and transport post-industrial, digital age products. Producing the best quality pieces we can is something we take very seriously and great pride in. The MacCase Premium Leather Collection can stand toe to toe with the leather goods from any manufacturer on the planet. We are obsessed about quality and design.
This is especially true when it comes our iPad Pro leather cases. Designing and building products for the iPad takes a special sensitivity and understanding of scale. This is why so many iPad cases are made from plastic or silicone. Molding things is much safer to do when things get small and tedious. Sewing things well, really well, at a small scale takes a great eyes and even greater patience. Again, it's something that can't be rushed.
When we put our new leather iPad Pro cases up for pre-order we did so using drawings. This was a first for MacCase and something we were a bit uneasy about doing. Who would order a $200+ product from a drawing? Moreover, things change in development. What if the finished products didn't look anything like the drawings? That could get awkward. Well the orders starting coming in anyway. Especially for our new leather iPad Pro Folio and leather iPad Pro Briefcase.
Drawings gave way to the images of the final prototypes and production began. Slowly and then, more slowly. Everything just took longer. The stress of having to do 4 new models at the same time took it's toll. Since the largest number of orders were for the new iPad Pro Folio, we concentrated on getting those finished first.
Orders for the new models continued to arrive. More hides were ordered for the production of the Briefcase, Flight Jacket and Sleeves. We had to reject the Vintage for not meeting our specification. It was too green. This set us back another month or so while new hides were tanned to our correct vintage specification.
In the meantime, the Folios were finished and shipped only to run head long into what has been the second longest wait for product to clear customs in company history.
Throughout all of this, our insanely patient customers have been waiting. Everyone at MacCase is truly humbled and forever grateful for every single customer who placed their order with us and has waited. And waited. And waited some more. As a product company whose purpose it is to ship real products, not being able to do so undermines the purpose of our existence. It's an existential crisis for us.
We hope that in the coming days an email will go out to everyone who is waiting. This email will let them know product has arrived. Their long awaited iPad Pro leather cases are in stock and shipping. That will be a good day. Moreover, we plan on doing something very special to thank our Premium Leather customers who have stuck with us during this time. If you are one if them, everyone here sincerely thanks you.
"We put our new iPad Pro leather cases on a pre-order and it didn't quote work out the way we wanted it to"