I spoke at length with Lester Bruno today. I want to share some facts that can put the situation in perspective. Lester wants people to know that he and his staff are working as hard as possible. He has hired extra help and rented additional stockroom space, but he asks people to be patient and understand that "our business is facing an impossible situation... with an order increase of unprecedented magnitude." - Bruno's has been inundated with orders. Overall they are filling 400% more orders than ever before. That's right -- they are trying to deal with FOUR TIMES as many orders as ever before in history. - The demand for powder and products is an Order of Magnitude greater than ever before. So far in 2013, Bruno's has shipped TEN TIMES as much hazmat product as during the entire year of 2012. - Lester HAS hired new staffers and added a phone line. Nonetheless, he and his daughter Amy are now working 14 hours a day. Lester lost 15 pounds off his body last month because he was working so hard he wasn't eating. - One reason for delay is that the UPS truck, by UPS policies, is limited to 100 lbs. of hazmat material per truck. Sometimes UPS sends only one truck a day. This causes a back-log which is beyond Bruno's control. - The big demand is for powder and primers. However, the powder-makers are only delivering a small fraction of the product Bruno's has on order. To give you an idea of the demand, Lester has 200,000,000 (two hundred million) Federal primers on order. - Bruno's operation is filling orders as fast as it can, but product is not flowing in as needed. Bruno's has over $10,000,000 (ten million dollars) in product back-ordered. This includes everything. He's ordered $3.5 million in primers alone. - Inventory that would normally arrive on a regular basis has been choked off. For example, Sierra is 2.5 months behind in bullet deliveries. - One reason for an increase in primer prices is that the manufacturers are only delivering in small lot quantities (100 lbs vs. 2000 lbs). This means significantly higher hazmat and shipping fees per unit -- fees paid by Brunos on receipt of product. - There is a current backlog of 2500+ emails. If you consider it may easily take 10 minutes to review an order and answer an email, that backlog represents at least 416 man-hours of response time. That's 10.4 forty-hour weeks -- just to answer emails already in the queue. - A "crisis-response" decision was made to halt phone orders. The reason is simple... answering the phone made it impossible, even with the additional staff, to pull and fill existing orders. Remember that the overall volume of orders has increased 400% since last year. Lester offered three suggestions that can help Forum members: 1. If you wish to cancel an order, send an email with the word "Cancel" or "Cancellation" in the subject line. All such emails will be given priority. 2. Do not order small quantities of primers. Lester has been deluged with orders for 1000 or 2000 primers, but many customers don't realize that they will have to pay a full $27.50 hazmat charge (plus shipping) for this small quantity (1K or 2K). Bruno's staff communicates this to customers, who then often cancel the order. This wastes a lot of time, interfering with the processing of larger orders. 3. If you have an old powder back-order, that is aged many weeks, consider replacing that order with a newer order with substitute powders that may be more readily available. ------------------ I would add that if you comprehend that Bruno's is dealing with a 400% increase in total orders and a 1000% increase in hazmat orders, you can see that there is no easy solution here. It's not a simple matter of "hiring a temp to answer the phones". Experienced, knowledgeable personal still have to review orders, pull product, adjust inventory numbers, pack, and arrange for shipping. I suggested to Lester that he bring in additional help for the phones, and he is considering that. But the scale of the order backlog is so massive that there is no "easy fix".