While MDK is—in almost every true meaning of the term—a “small business,” the nature of what we sell and how we sell it is always getting bigger. Since each Field Guide stays in print in perpetuity (fingers crossed!), that means that we always stock yarn and sundries to pair with the projects in each one. When we add a new Field Guide, we add corresponding yarn for it, which means the amount of yarn at MDK Atlas HQ is never going to get smaller; it will expand forever, like the universe or me after I eat two bagels.
For a while, we’ve been riiiight on the edge of being able to keep up with all of it via our antiquated inventory and order-packing system: print the order, walk down the aisle, find the yarn, put it in a box, ship it, and at the end of the day just pray that we got it all right. When a box of yarn is empty, we go over to Ashley and tell her “zero [whatever]” and she looks it up on her Commodore 64 and sometimes that zero is … well … a surprise!
It’s a system ripe for error—even with double checking—because we’re, well, human, which means we are never really thinking about orders but instead why we feel so terrible after our two-bagel breakfast. But no matter how many ways we try to foolproof the current system, it turns out that approximately none of us seem to use the same system of Arabic numbers and we can each count things three times, pack them twice, and still get eleven different results.
But! Thanks to the mad skillz of Allison (who I hear is someone who works here), we’re about to switch over to some all-laser-beam, UPC-based beep-beep robots-from-the-sky system that is designed to cut down on the occasional inventory error, the even LESS occasional shipping error, and, of course, kill us in our sleep in their effort to take over the world.
You won’t notice the difference, other than perhaps to marvel about how exactly correct your order is … but you’ve probably been marveling about that all along, right? We’re hopeful that our new science-based overlords will cut down on the occasional oversell (that’s when we sell more than we have, and it’s always sad to send that email) and also keep us from accidentally sending you a dozen skeins of Big Wool when all you ordered was a measuring tape (IT’S HAPPENED).
It’ll be slower on our end for a few days, until the Skynet robots teach us how to not have emotions and stay focused on the task at hand WITHOUT CEASING but we’ll be up to speed in no time.
I might have mixed feelings about this.
Inspire … or make us shiver … about the sci-fi future. The prize? One ball each of Rowan Big Wool in Citron (new color!) and Smoky for your very own Rubble Hat or Stripey Hat by Jen Geigley from Field Guide No. 12: Big Joy.
How to enter?
Step 1: Sign up for our weekly newsletter, Snippets, right here. If you’re already subscribed, you’re set.
Step 2: Question: What’s your favorite futuristic/sci-fi book, movie, or show? Leave us your answer in the comments.
Deadline for entries: Sunday, September 5, 11:59 PM Central time. We’ll draw a random winner from the entries. Winner will be notified by email.