Note on Product Availability
At JMI we generally make the decision to design and
a product because it is not available anywhere else or we think we can greatly
improve on what is currently available. A great portion of our products
are aftermarket accessories and we have to be able to adapt to hundreds of
different telescope models. Combine that with the fact that
manufacturers often make changes in the design of their equipment and you have
an almost unbelievable array of differences that must be accounted for.
Therefore, much of our manufacturing could be considered customized work.
It becomes impractical to build and stock many of these items so we build them
when the order is received. If a manufacturer makes a change to their
equipment or comes out with a new model, we often get that information from our
customers and we work with the customer to modify our products to fit the new
design. In this environment, there is often an extra time lag as we check
to see if our equipment can be modified to fit.
The bottom line is that these types of orders can take extra time to
fulfill. Of course, there are always situations where our suppliers cannot
fill our orders in the normal amount of time and that impacts our turnaround
time also. If you have any questions about the timeframe on your order,
ask us to give you an estimate on the shipping date.
By the way, the above comments also explain why some of our products may not
have a slick mass-produced look. But you can rest assured that every one
is hand assembled and tested with great pride and care. And where else can
you get product support from the person who built it?
There is one more thing that we would like to mention regarding International
shipments. In the past, we shipped all orders via the United States Postal
System (USPS). Later, we shipped only small orders via USPS. Our shipments
would take weeks and even months to arrive at the customer's location. During
that time we were unable to track any packages and if a package was lost it
would take up to a year for the Post Office to verify and another six months to
get reimbursed for the lost package.
A few years ago we moved to a special shipping method (FIMS) through FedEx which
deposits the packages directly into the destination countries postal system and
can be tracked up to that point. This also allows us to get the product to the
customer much quicker than before. However, it does require us to take up to
two weeks to get the package into the FedEx system. Overall it is a much better
deal for all concerned. We have also reduced customer inquiries and complaints
by using this method.
We are always trying to find better and cheaper ways to deliver our product to
our customers and, unlike many other businesses, we never use
shipping as a profit center for generating more revenue.
May 2014 Update
> Shipping costs continue to skyrocket via hidden fees and changes in the
methods used to calculate package weights. Therefore, we have begun using
another shipping method for small domestic packages. Federal Express
(FedEx) provides a service called SmartPost which inserts packages into the
United States Postal System (USPS) for final delivery. It is cheaper but
takes a little longer. This will be even more critical when FedEx removes
the minimum size for Dimensional Weight Calculations on Ground shipments in
2015. With this change, the cost of shipping some of our small
light-weight packages will go up by more than three times! SmartPost
shipments are not supposed to be priced using Dimensional Weight so they will be
much more affordable. This will help us keep your costs for our products
as low as possible.
The JMI Team