BeYou February Update
Hi BeYou friends, we’re back today with another update. As you know from our previous update, everyone has been celebrating Lunar New Year the first half of February. We wanted to make sure we still have quite a bit of info to share with you, which is why it took a few extra days than usual to organize this update.
Throughout this update you’ll find details of our progress throughout the last month. As always, we please ask you to take the time and read it thoroughly. We only say this because we’re aware our updates are sometimes quite long and technical in some parts, so it’s simply an encouragement.
Final Tweaks Update
Since our partner factory has come back to work mid-February, we’ve been working on the few things we mentioned in the last update. They are the same things just because this is all that’s left to finalize, so in this case no new parts being mentioned is good news!
We have finished optimizing the chair and we’re currently in the process of building two new samples to test all of the optimizations and make final decisions. This is because the sample that has been tweaked so far has had too many changes and cannot be used for testing anymore.
Below are updated details on the status of those few parts mentioned in the last update:
Backrest Optimisations(1): A possible different way to adjust the backrest height.
This is still part of internal testing and a final decision will be made very soon, depending on the test results.
What we also wanted to mention here is that we’re very grateful to everyone who let us know their feedback about this. We know some of you have used chairs with this system, and we also know the usual shortcomings of this. That is why our engineers have improved on this mechanism in order to make it sturdier and more durable.
Backrest Optimisations(2): Possibly increasing the size of the backrest.
As part of the internal testing phase, our focus has been on the mechanisms for now. The backrest size can only be tested after the mechanisms are all set, so the factory will look at this very soon. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this as well over the past month!
Wings Optimisations: Testing the inside mechanisms of the wings.
We’ve made progress on this. You’ll see the new mechanism play out right at the start of the video (included further down in the update). The movement of the wings is now more fluid and streamlined, offering a better experience when you use the chair.
Assembly Time Optimisations: Optimizing the time required to assemble your BeYou.
This is the very last thing we’ll be testing, as it comes after everything else is finalized. It doesn’t have an impact on the final chair, so it can also be worked on while the official testing and certification phase is going on without causing any delays.
Wheels Details: Possibility of using different wheels than the ones provided.
Just to be clear, a decision hasn’t been made yet if we will be testing this or not. Only once the chair is finalized, we may be able to potentially test other wheels and see if they affect the stability of the chair. We’ll make sure to keep you updated on this one if anything changes.
Wheelbase Design and Look
We know that some of our backers expressed their enthusiasm in the wooden-looking aspect of the wheelbase. This is why we have already tested multiple options of mimicking/offering the wooden aspect. Some of those are: wooden or plywood inserts, faux wood covers, stickers/adhesives with a wooden print, and more. The trouble is, all options we have tested so far are very subpar compared to the quality we are aiming for with BeYou, the quality that is reflected in the rest of the chair.
We are still looking at this and we’re testing one last option to add wooden inserts into the base. As always, we’re prioritizing the stability and durability of the chair, which is something we also have to test with this possible new option. Because it’s still being looked at by our engineers and designers, we don’t have pictures to share yet. We'll let you know any updates once we know more.
New Images and Video
Below you can see a new video of the BeYou chair being tested in the factory as part of the internal pre-certification testing stage, as well as more pictures with the chair.
As you can see, we’ve come a long way with the chair, the movement is more fluid and streamlined, the backrest leans back seamlessly, can be locked in position or not and so on.
Very important: This might not be that obvious in the video, but of course the backrest cushion will have a horizontal position, like it always did. We just thought to mention this since it’s not that clear in the video.
China Under Temporary Lockdowns
China is currently battling a dramatic surge in covid cases, the worst outbreak since the start of the pandemic. At least 11 cities and counties nationwide have been locked down because of this, affecting about 37 million people.
This includes the tech hub of Shenzhen, home to as many as 17 million people according to the NY Times. All residential communities there have been placed under a lockdown. All buses and subways have been suspended and businesses were ordered to close or work from home. Foxconn, which assembles iPhones for Apple, announced it was among businesses suspending operations in Shenzhen.
At this time, the lockdown is scheduled to last until March 21st. This is subject to change from the Chinese government depending on the evolution of cases in the coming days. Every resident in Shenzhen will undergo three rounds of testing and will wait for the government to announce the next steps. We will keep everyone updated on the situation.
We are very sorry to say that the temporary lockdown has an impact on our project as well. This is very upsetting for our team, as we work every day to bring the BeYou to you as soon as possible at the high quality promised. We are also aware that the situation is very serious in mainland China and neighboring Hong Kong, so we’re sending our best wishes to all the members of our community from the affected areas.
After the lockdown ends, we are focusing on finishing the two new samples and the internal pre-certification stage. After that, golden samples will be sent to the official testing and certification center. We are very excited to get to this stage and get the final seal of approval.
Ample time is being spent for the pre-certification testing because the factory is using their experience and testing to determine how likely it is to obtain the official certification. Of course, this is not a guarantee, but this is why it’s such an important part of the process that requires attention and time.
While the official testing takes place in the dedicated center, our partner factory will work hard on getting the assembly line ready and optimizing the process as much as possible so we can kick off mass-production as soon as testing finishes.
The production capacity per month is not set in stone yet, because in the beginning, some extra time will be needed to master the process and for the assembly line to move as fast as it could. Once we have more details about this, we’ll be able to share more information with the community.
We will also start sharing more information about the fulfillment process and covering the shipping costs soon.
BeYou Rough Timeline Estimates*
- Until 21 March - Shenzhen lockdown dictated by the government in China. This date is unfortunately subject to change depending on the Chinese authorities.
- End of March - internal pre-certification testing. This will take about 10 days from the moment the lockdown ends.
- First half of April - have golden samples** completely finalized and sent to the testing center. Start of official testing and certification.
- May - expected kick-off of mass production.
- End of May - Start of June - packaging, dispatch to fulfillment warehouse and the start of fulfillment.
* As always, these are still rough estimates, and every stage of the process is subject to a QC audit. If any other challenges or delays come up along the way, we will inform you so that you are always aware of the progress we are making behind the scenes.
** Golden Samples are exactly the same as the final product, in every single way. The Golden Samples set the standard for mass production and are used by the factory and Quality Control (QC) agency to compare with products taken randomly from the production line to make sure they’re 100% identical to the standard we (and you) expect from the BeYou chair.
Getting in Touch
As you know already by now, the correspondence volume tends to increase after posting each update, so please bear with us as it might take us a bit to respond over the next few days. Please refrain from following up, as that will push your message to the end of the queue.
Submitting a question through the Contact Form on our website is currently the fastest way to get a response from us if you have any questions. We’ve redesigned it in order to serve our community better and it’s a great help to our small yet mighty Customer Happiness team for you to submit your message from there.
Of course, we cannot end an update without saying a massive thank you to our community. You are among the very first people in the world who believed in the BeYou chair and supported our project, so we’re beyond grateful to you for that.
We know it’s been tough dealing with the delays and it’s certainly been a very humbling experience for us. The pandemic has slowed things down much, much more than expected, which has caused quite a few challenges for our team.
In spite of it all, this community remains amazing, supportive and encouraging, so thank you from the bottom of our hearts. When we read your comments and messages cheering us on, it truly makes a difference for our team, from the engineers, to the customer happiness team, to the graphic designers, to the fulfillment specialists and so on. Thank you for putting the human touch in your messages and recognising we’re humans too. We’re part of a young start-up, but at the core we’re really a group of people working hard every day to change the world, by changing how people sit.
Thank you for joining us on this journey and being a part of this very important mission. Have a fantastic day ahead!
The BeYou Team