Monday and Tuesday 11 & 12 June 2012
Monday - went to the manufacturing plant to finalise some issues and hand over final formulae and packaging vehicles to them for the thorough testing process that will begin on Thursday. Only a few things went awry that morning;
...or not as the case may be... 1.The testing was supposed to start on Tuesday but did not because the plant had not grown sufficient bacteria used for challenge testing and had to re do it. Another two day delay. 2 I had arranged for two packaging companies to courier samples of tubes and bottles (for testing purposes) to me at the plant as they would not reach me in time for this meeting. The tube supplier couriered tubes that cannot be labelled which was a tad frustrating as we have been talking with them about labelling all the way along! The Bottle supplier's package did not arrive pre noon and when we followed up, discovered he had put them in the post room for first class posting rather than courier. If that were not bad enough, they had not been posted and were still in his post room. 3. The manufacturer's company secretary/head of finance had not read through the amendments my lawyer.
Keeping on the right side of the law made to the contract and therefore I was handing over my materials for testing and beginning the process (that would now be difficult to move to another plant) with a leap of faith that we would not find ourselves with deal breakers when we finally discuss any issues they have with the changes. Risky. On the upside, they confirmed that they had most probably found a way to reduce the extra process to put a sample in each carton and that this would bring the cost down and make it feasible to do this. We finalised the Signature Essence Blend concentration option B and decided that the shiny silver pump would look good for the hand-wash and it is 16p cheaper per pump than the matt silver option. And finally they are aiming to deliver finished product to me by 5 October in time for the first of the press launches which is booked on Monday 8th October. I will go to the plant to see my first products coming off the line and I cannot wait. I came back to London and had a call with the formulator for the supplement that I am creating to support my Integrative approach to skincare. I had another call with a Website designer to discuss the ins and outs of her quote and all the extras that were listed underneath. I really like her and she gave me some good advice regardless of whether I use her. Apparently I need to get a merchant number from my bank super quick so that I can apply to Sage Pay or World Pay or Pay-pal to enable me to trade on line. They can take up to three months to process this. What is that about? Isn't everything to do with online supposed to be quick and easy by definition? Further discussions regarding lead times, costs, MOQ's, took place with the tube supplier, the cleansing accessory suppliers and packaging suppliers. Then a disturbing call with my lawyer who told me that the payment I made 4 weeks ago (on line with Metro Bank) had not gone through and that further work was no longer included in what I had agreed as the fee and would be subject to her hourly rate!
...and breathe!! I had a meeting with a friend who is well connected with various celebrities and organises some pretty high profile events for them. She is the loveliest person and had promised to hand out some product when the time comes. I also squeezed in a physiotherapy session for my back thought about lack of exercise recently - need to get back on track because it is a good energy booster and good for self.
I really do!
I managed to post a blog - really pleased about that as I had lost a bit of momentum while some glitches were being fixed. I have asked Natalie to make sure that when she is in on Thursday we link all the social platforms. It is time to really come out of the closet and for me to learn and develop a proficiency at communicating on these platforms. The day ended with a dinner at home with one of the consultants who helped me select from the vast array of anti-ageing active ingredients. He stayed until 1am and though I was suppressing yawns (having been up since 5am that morning) and trying really hard not to let my eyes close in mid sentence, I was loving every minute. He is incredibly knowledgeable and fascinating to listen to. I find I learn so much every time I see him and my husband likes him very much too (though he would have liked his bed a bit earlier). He is working on translating the scientific data into English for the packaging, website, press releases etc and will attend the press launches. I am sure the journalists with love him. I have also asked another PhD and ingredient scientist to attend also.
Time...it waits for no man... Lesson - build in a bit of time to allow for things to go awry because they will Lesson - check the wording on the brief scope with your lawyer and ensure that is allows for one more draft after the other side has seen your amendments Lesson - Get the contract sorted earlier in the process and certainly before you are at a point of no return with a supplier of services