Shenzhen day 1: Visit to Seeed Studio

in #liveupdates by Ian | 24 comments

Today we met up with Seeed Studio to see the latest developments at thier office in Shenzhen. Even since our visit last April things have changed a lot.

Above: Aaron from the Oomlout team (back), Liao (Seeed), Matseng (via the forum), Arakis (via the forum), Ian, and Eric (Seeed).

Ian, Matseng, and Arakis outside Seeed Studio’s office in Nanshan district of Shenzhen. Last time a lot of people wanted to see the outside of the building – this is it.

Supply chain and project managers in Seeed’s main office area. Since April the supply chain department has become the biggest at Seeed.

Here’s where parts are stored. This has easily doubled since April. Ian is especially jealous of the SMD reel holders.

Packing up boxes. Maybe one of these is yours?

Storage of projects before they ship. Seeed has nearly 1000 different stock items now.

Various Sick of Beige cases.

Boxes of parts and PCBs waiting to assembly. In back is a library of solder paste stencils.

Various test rigs. We plan to pick up a few in SEG market tomorrow.

A huge thanks to Seeed for having us by!

This entry was posted in #liveupdates.

Comments

  1. Arup Basak says:

    Why Aaron so serious in the first image? He is a smiling guy as I figured earlier.

  2. Awesome, thanks for sharing these nice photos!

    BTW – I just realized that you don’t have a button to share your articles on twitter!

  3. Carl says:

    Cool nice to see inside seeed and to see Oomlout involved.

    Went to Shenzhen a few years ago touring factorys that place is massive.

    On a side note did Seeed mention anything about their PCB service, it seems to have had a hiccup over the last few months, there website says it’s to do with a key member of staff leaving. Are they back up and running at full speed now?

    • Ian says:

      Yes. Matseng ask about this and PCB service is back to normal now. I understand from Mitch at hackvana that Seeed has a new web PCB submission page too.

      • ewertz says:

        Not back to normal yet. Except for my one outlier in October of 25 days, all of my other PCB orders (maybe 7) this year shipped in 5-8 days. My current order is 10 days in and it hasn’t shipped yet. So don’t count on normal processing times just yet — hopefully soon though.

      • Hao says:

        Hello Ewertz, this is Hao from Seeed. We’re so sorry for the delay. Could you give me your order number? We will see whether the production was finished yet.

      • ewertz says:

        Hao, actually I did send an email on Day 14 and got a response back the following day. My order (63395) was completely lost and I was just told that hopefully it will be finished next week. So after 15-16 days I’m back to where I started.

        So everyone with PCB orders — if you don’t see a status change on your order in ~8 days, start asking about it. I thought that I would be patient, expecting some delays while the new folks were getting broken-in. In hindsight, not the best strategy.

      • Hao says:

        Hello Ewertz, your order (63395) can be shipped on tomorrow 26 November. We are so sorry for the delay, since it has 4 designs in this order, we have to wait until they were all finished then can ship them to you together. You may consider place separate orders for different designs next time. And we will also keep improving the PCB service, will do better next time:)

      • Hao says:

        Oh, my mistake. Tomorrow is 27 November:)

      • ewertz says:

        Actually, 40 boards — one design. Glad to hear that they are now on their way.

        As I said in my previous comment, I understand that things will slow down for some time until the replacement employee(s) get used to processing PCB orders, and that’s somewhat understandable.

        I just wanted to let everyone else here know that things are still not yet back to normal (contrary to Ian’s comment) if their timing was critical. Fortunately my previous order that took 25 days to ship was not urgent at all — I didn’t even realize that I had not received it until it arrived. This one I timed specifically to have it shipped before the holiday peak shipping slowdown began.

        Thank you for following up, Hao.

      • I think that nothing is lost but they don’t have time to tell every customer about their orders if you don’t ask specifically :)

        I like how they have the correct information, and how they’re not afraid to give details, even in a comment thread.

        They may have a lot of orders from the transition period to manage while new orders are still arriving daily… I feel the “back to normal” status only applies to new orders :)

      • ewertz says:

        I feel exactly the opposite as you. I don’t care to have my customer service done in a forum thread, nor was it my intention.

        You’re welcome to think that nothing was “lost”, when in fact that’s basically what I was told in email, and that the order would be put through again. I’m unsure why you think that you know more about my order than I do.

        My intent was only to supplement the comment that Ian made to the DP community — that things were still not yet back to normal but that they would hopefully return to normal soon. It was not to have a public support conversation, it was a simple, timely statement of fact.

        I also disagree that it’s my obligation to have to chase down my own order when the webpage says that orders take about 6 (or whatever) days to fill and they’re clearly not. Everyone is better off to have more recent correct information posted on a seller’s website when the situation has substantially changed. This both manages the expectations of customers and greatly lessens the need to support questions from every customer asking out their orders. Had I known that there were a problem, I could have placed my order earlier, or paid for a faster shipping option if I felt that it was necessary.

        I’ve been pretty happy with Seeed and the PCB service over the last 3-4 years. I’m always very happy to recommend them to others that I know when it’s good fit for them.

      • that was probably due to my too-optimistic side.

        >I also disagree that it’s my obligation to have to chase down my own order when the webpage says that orders take about 6 (or whatever) days to fill and they’re clearly not.

        I did not say that customers shall require information themselves, and I agree with you that they shouldn’t have to.

        Well, let’s hope things will improve…

      • Hao says:

        Thank you so much for the comments. Yes, you’re right. We should do much better next time, timely information is critical in such a situation. Also, what we’re doing now is to prepare a PCB production tracking system. We think “In production” is too general for informing a PCB order status. We want to provide more detailed and timely information during a production time. Hope it can be ready soon.

      • ewertz says:

        Hao, I don’t mind the status system the way it is, except for maybe one small improvement. Having two statuses — “pending PCB review” and “in production”, might be a little bit better.

        The other problem is if an order contains both off-the-shelf items combined with a PCB order, then two independent status indications might be useful/necessary (“backordered” and “in production” might both be valid at the same time).

        SeeedStudio provides an excellent combination of speed and price for many people, but it’s not realistic to think that everyone is a good customer for Fusion every time. *Maybe* this time I would have tried Itead (or paid for DHL again) if I knew my order would take two extra weeks.

        You might lose a few orders to another shop, but I don’t think that you’re going to lose any customers as long as they know what to expect.

  4. Kevin says:

    Dear Ewertz,
    Sorry for the inconvenience!Could you let me know your order number?I will follow-up your issue.
    Cheers,
    Kevin

  5. Ian says:

    I’m really sorry didn’t mean to mislead and couldn’t reply until now due to internet difficulties the last week. Anyone waiting should best contact Seeed for a followup if desired.

    Thanks also to Hao for responding here. We didn’t get to meet up in shenzhen because he was (and may still be) on a his vacation.

    BTW: hi Hao, missed you this time but see you soon! And congradulations!

  6. systemstech says:

    Hao, you should come up with a submission page similar to http://oshpark.com/ this would cut down on the mistakes, turn around times to.

    • Hao says:

      Thanks for your suggestion. I think our order steps are more or less the same. Currently, we would prefer keeping the PCB order system within our online store instead of providing a whole new website.

      • Arup Basak says:

        Do Seeedstudio have warehouse in SG as well ?
        This is the first time I saw my order with a SG post tracking number.

      • ewertz says:

        When items are delivered into the buyer’s country then get passed from HKPost to the buyer’s national postal system. In your case I guess this would be SGPost.

  7. ewertz says:

    Another throughput update: PCB order(s) from Nov21 haven’t shipped yet — so 12+ days still.

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