When we started Standout Designs back in 2006, we had just a couple of models and only a few wood/finish options. Keeping stock what people bought from us was a pretty simple proposition. Fast forward to today. We now offer 20+ "standard" models, most also available with optional extra depth, customizable width, and alternate shelf positions. All of those can be ordered in one of five wood/finish options, most recently in any combination for some really sharp two-tone creations. And we're open to custom finishes and installing the decorative hardware customers provide or specify.
So keeping inventory has become anything but simple. We have slowly come around to the reality that it makes sense only to build the model popular models and finishes "to stock." Until recently, our online store did not do a good job of communicating this to shoppers. Some shoppers were puzzled that we showed relatively little stock. Others took our efforts at stocking popular finishes the opposite way: because we had those on hand, those must NOT be popular.
As part of our 2018 online store redesign, we set out to more effectively convey availability to our shoppers. The result: right below where we indicate when the selected media console can ship, we display a message about how we look at stocking or not stocking that item. This way, shoppers have more information as they plan their purchase, often in the future.
Most of the time, a media console falls into one of these categories:
1. Often Stocked. You can often find this particular console (this particular style and wood/finish) ready to ship because it is pretty popular and we regularly make it. Because it is popular, it might also be out of stock at times, but with shorter wait times because we build it pretty frequently.
2. Not Often Stocked. You might find this console in stock. Why it might be made to stock now and then is more art than science and we will leave it there. In the case of Cherry consoles, you might see shorter wait times for a period of time because until we lock in the stain toward the end of the process, it can be made into any of our offerings.
3. Made Just for You. This designation applies to Walnut and a few models where the alternate configuration (e.g. all drawers) is not in huge demand but we are prepared to build it when required.
So here is the bottom line: if what you want falls into the second category, grab it if we have it or allow time for us to build it. if what you want is in the third category, allows leave time for us to make it. We often do better than our estimates and only rarely go longer. No matter what, it is worth the wait to get the fine furniture you seek for many years of enjoyment.