“Hey man, how’s The Passport Protector thing going??”
“Hey man, we’re crushing it.”
That’s what I wish I could say when I get asked twice a week. The truth is I’m not crushing it. Manufacturing is crushing me. Since the first found of production, it’s been nothing but setbacks.
After talking to +25 plus companies who said they could handle making the product, we picked a great firm in Ohio. We made the big steel injection mold overseas, as well as the first 400 units, then we’d ship the steel tool back to resume manufacturing in Ohio. That’s where things have been a struggle…
Our initial samples from manufacturing seemed great and we were excited to ship to crowdfunding customers. Most people who got the product were excited and pleased overall. But 8-10 people of our Indiegogo backers said their case broke after using it. 10 out of 400 is way too many. I was frustrated but not too worried because we would soon have the big steel mold and be able to make improvements….
So I thought. At the same time the injection mold was en route to Ohio, there was a labor strike on the ports of California. So, our precious cargo sat there with many other companies for 3 months. Tic, tock. During that time, I had large buyers, travel companies and independent stores telling me they wanted to place an initial order. But we didn’t have enough product to fulfill any purchase orders.
Finally the tool arrived in Ohio at our manufacturer. I was hoping we’d strengthen the lid some customers had issues with and get back to making product and marketing. Instead it’s been months of waiting and wishing. When you make a steel injection mold, you better be 99% accurate, otherwise it’s very hard to make adjustments without needing an entirely new tool.
So, as it stands today, I‘m waiting to see if the next manufacturing samples are great. If they’re not or we can’t make proper improvements, The Passport Protector will be put on pause. Changing the design and/or making a new steel injection mold could cost $20,000-30,000 and take months to be production ready.
We’re at a pivotal crossroads as a business – get over another hurdle or possibly shut it down. Thus far it’s been a wild ride coming up with the idea to solve our own travel nightmare, tackling design and crowdfunding, then shipping the finished product. Hopefully we keep improving and get back to marketing.
Thanks for all the support and encouragement through the whole process!