Sorry we’re out of stock on so many things. We’re trying to fix that. COVID delays didn’t help, but the long and short of it was a large increase in demand that we did not expect. We didn’t have the inventory on hand to support it, and it takes 6+ months to make more. We can’t just crack the whip and make it happen faster although we sure tried.
To decide what to build, we first start with an item-level forecast of how many units we expect to sell per month. If we’re ordering once every three months, we’ll buy three months of inventory at a time. To ensure we don’t sell out, we’ll also keep a ‘safety stock’ equal to ~3 months of demand. If we forecast too low, we dip into the safety stock and order more next time. If we forecast too high, we delay the reorder. It’s a simple way to manage inventory, and it usually works pretty well.
A big stack of Backcountry 35L panniers fresh off the production line, awaiting frame and wedge assembly.
The current shortage is a result of buying decisions made in Q4 2020. At that time we were feeling very uncertain about the future, which translated into a conservative forecast and a moderate Q1 build. By March 2021 our sales were up more than 100% vs 2020, and we immediately sold through all our inventory and safety stock. We’re even having trouble finding Mosko gear for our own trips.
Running out of inventory sucks. We want to stoke out riders, not cause frustration. In March we received what we thought was three months of inventory, and it was gone in two weeks. Now we’re ramping up to the maximum ‘responsible’ growth rate we think we can handle for 2021. Beyond that we would need more cash (i.e. loans) and more staff, which we might live to regret when demand returns to sustainable levels.
Pete + Ash with the design department and Ted during our last visit to Vietnam, winter 2019.
Checking out the newly redesigned Backcountry 40L duffle in the Vietnam prototype room.
Putting the finishing touches on one of our Nomax tank bags.
In July we have a decent size bag order landing, along with a large shipment of apparel. Shortly after that we’ll see a much larger bag order in August, and another even larger one before Black Friday. Relief is on the way. We’ll do everything we can to keep those orders on track, and whether we run out again depends on demand. Thank you for your patience in the meantime.
It’s awesome that so many people are out riding. We certainly are. If you are too, please come visit us this summer! Our office is located in White Salmon, WA and we have a free campground for moto travelers (aka the ‘Bates Mototel,’ contact us for more info!). Soon we’ll have our new showroom open as well, maybe even with some inventory in it.
See you out on the trail!
Love and Braaps,
Your Conservative-to-a-Fault Mosko Forecasting Team
(aka Ames, Beth, & Pete)
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Warranty and Crash Replacement
We never cut corners during development or manufacturing, so we stand behind our products. If one fails due to a problem with materials or workmanship, we’ll make it right.