Today we like to share how we handled a recent quality problem that nearly could have cost us the business. What would you say, or how would you react if you find out that your product is made out of a different raw material by pure coincidence?
Exactly. We were like: "WHAAAAAT ?"
So here's the deal: Of course, we did a regular quality check on our first production batch before we started selling via our online store. The regular stuff. How does it feel? Does it have the right elasticity? Is the width and length correct? The basic stuff. It was all fine, so we decided to launch the shop.
After a week or so, we added a test that we never intended to do because we already tried it with another production batch. We wanted to find out what happens with the tape when washing it at 60 Degrees Celsius. The result was—at first glance—not as spectacular as we hoped. (Image: Länge)
The usual fraying occurred, and the tape was slightly shorter, although pulling a bit returned it to its original length. "Eagle Eye" Thomas then noticed that one of the fibers at the end of the tape looks different than the others. He quickly got hold of a lighter, burned the fiber, and realized it melted. Remember that modal is basically made out of wood? And what does wood do when you burn it? Exactly—it DOES NOT MELT. Turns out a polyester thread has smuggled itself in the product somewhere along the way.
We were shocked. So what now? A moment of panic followed by an ad hoc meeting to sort out what we have to do. In the end, we sorted it out by talking to our manufacturer, who quickly realized the error and acted immediately. The problem was in the machine with its over 200 different threads that go into our product. Mistakes happen. Lucky for us, he offered to replace the entire batch, including the raw material cost. Otherwise, we probably wouldn't have been able to afford another full batch. The introduction of new colors would have been delayed indefinitely.
After fixing everything and receiving the new batch, we offered a replacement Gripper to everyone who already had purchased and received a 'fake' Gripper.
What do we learn from this? Once again, it's proof that unexpected things can happen. But there is always a solution somewhere, and when you allow yourself to calm down and clear your thoughts first, you are more likely to find it.
Here is the way to our shop where you find our Griper made out of plant-based Tencel modal... this time for real, though. ;-)