Reading the forums while I wait for my MS to show up, its clear that Tesla is going through growing pains. The hardest thing for a start-up to do is to scale--what was working when you were moving 50 units a month suddenly breaks when you moving 250 units a month:
- On-boarding people is the hardest thing whether is for manufacturing, service, or customer care, its tough finding good people, getting them trained on process and, most importantly, getting them steeped in the culture, there are no short cuts, and in the interim, it can kinda suck for everyone involved (both employee and customer)
- Processes and workflow most certainly need to be re-worked as the company rapidly grows, everything from QA to legal to marketing which further complicates the the people training
- Logistics: For a given part that is produced, say a pano roof, how many should you hold for spares vs how many should you release to manufacturing--essentially how do you balance customer sat (having parts on hand) vs revenue (getting cars out the door), and where should you geographically store those parts anyway--now make that decision again for every part that goes into an MS. This is hard stuff and because Tesla operates unlike other car companies, its going to be a lot of trial and error
I am not looking to make excuses for Tesla. Far from it--we are the last critical step in the feedback loop that will help Tesla get better and we need to continue to let Tesla know what they are doing well and what they could be doing better. However, I also think for current and potential owners, its helpful to have reasonable expectations--they are a young company and they are not going to do everything perfect on the first try. I think George B's recent comments about slowing things down a bit are a move in the right direction by not blindly chasing revenue growth without the people, process infrastructure to support it.
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