Order: Indian Scout Bobber Black Smoke (no factory upgrades or additions)
Order Date: May 17, '22
Confirmed Date: May 19, '22
Scheduled Date: May 19, '22
Anticipated Ship Date: July 10 - 31st
I was hesitant today to give Indian Motorcycle a call; I don't like pestering people who are already under enough stress. However, I wanted to get some clarity on what's happening. Meaning, that my portal dates hadn't changed at all and I'd rather receive 'bad' news than no news at all; setting my expectations.
When I called I got Jonathan on the phone; have to say he's a pretty cool dude. He gave me the rundown that many bikes are near complete, but they're waiting on smaller parts here and there to completely finish them; nothing new, we're aware of that. The information that was really interesting was that when we discussed logistics and supply chain items, he informed me that there are certain distributors that present a challenge that's almost comical (from my perspective). So the distributors will haggle with the amount of parts shipped to Indian, because they're trying to fulfill orders for other businesses etc. After an amount of parts is decided, they'll ship those parts to Indian, but far fewer parts actually arrive in the box that they're receiving. From my understanding this is a game the distributors play in order to keep clients in-tow and deal with their own supply problems.
This makes sense, and also describes the challenges that Indian has with shipping the bikes and updating the portals for pending clients; how it almost seems "last minute" or haphazard. When these widgets arrive, the technicians at the plant run over to the bikes, quickly fit the last bits then run the bike thru quality control. Then shipping logistics steps in quickly and has to go to the shipping "job boards" (if you've ever shipped a vehicle you understand these boards) and figure out which truckers are going where, and how many bikes they can take to various locations. In summary, and again, most of our bikes are built from the standpoint of the vast amount of work of mating engine to frame, and other larger items. He also told me that some of this is electronics, but there are other items (little items) that are holding up the process. Jonathan got a kick out of me saying "if you're waiting on black paint, I'll rattle can the bike"... I was joking but it loosened the conversation up a bit where he could relax and didn't have to worry about an angry customer.
The good news, is that those of us with a July 10 - 31st date... well, they're still trying to make that happen; I was shocked and told him how amazing that was, but understood if the bike is delayed. He told me they're trying to stick to those portal dates, and for all rational purposes they think they can meet those, even if these parts come in at the last minute next week. I won't be surprised if the bikes are delayed until Mid/Late August, but from how he explained their logistics, they're pretty darn efficient at this time. Now, a case could be made for going to other mfg/distributors for these missing parts, but if these other firms are also located in China, then its a moot point. Of note is that this type of behavior from distributors in China of agreeing to one amount of product and shipping another isn't unheard of; actually it's common place. I would not want to be in their receiving department, because ordering a certain amount of parts, then receiving only a portion of those would create nightmares of there own in tracking and inventory (ugh!).
I tip my hat to Jonathan, and those that are at the plant in Iowa... I'm pretty sure they're just as frustrated as those of us who want our bikes; and they're handling it pretty well, Jonathan was apologetic and again... a pretty cool dude!