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ONE LAST TIME.... Pine-O-Chio Experience :)

posted 10 Mar 2017, 06:39 by JAIN MONISHA ANANDRAJ

The business plan has been implemented as the way it was presented in the initial presentation.

Our Journey

We have come a long way, from the inception of our idea, to the forming of our team, it has been a whole 4 months and 28 days.

  • Excited with our idea : We started with rigorous research on the numerous wood manufacturers across Singapore and technique trials to figure out the best and effective one. Alongside we had to come to a consensus of the various sizes of pineochio’s and the prices we would be selling them at.

  • Our first business presentation was to the MIE group where we got a lot of ideas and suggestion to improve and expand our target audience.

  • Fixed the technique and after several visits to the industrial sites we stuck by Maxcon Enterprises and ordered our initial batch of wood - 48 - 5x7’s, 15 - 8x10’s, 4 - 11x14’s

  • First consultation was good and the mentors really saw a future in this if we know how to put our skills and resources to good use.

  • Had pre-sales and word-of-mouth sales while the website was being made simultaneously

  • Did photoshoots of the wood

  • Creation of website, Social marketing platforms like Facebook and instagram

  • First sales through website, ironing out bugs and troubleshoot website issues

  • Continue processing the wood, realised that inventory is on shortage due to spoilt wood

  • Learnt about the scraping technique, sent it for scraping to “recycle” the wood

  • Realised that we could have done it on our own using sand paper

  • Business presentation

Key Milestones

  • Liaising with supplier -> long and tedious process of searching and meetings, finally settled onto a manufacturer

  • Website is done!

  • First Sale and success

  • UFLEA -> 2 days “flea market” at NTU K canopy -> sales was good, good generation of interest

  • MAAD ->night market at Red Dot Design Museum -> good exposure to the art science -> generated interest but not much actual sales

  • Found an alternative technique of scraping wood

Lessons Learnt and Takeaway

  • Thorough initial research and trials is very important in order to master the technique and to avoid having to redo orders later on. Continual research is required to constantly improve the technique at every stage

  • The transfer technique was not as easy as it looked in the video. We had to be persistent and struggle our way through, trying new techniques every time, with team understanding and motivation. Thus team spirit is something without which we wouldn't survive.

  • Communication among the team members is very crucial. Minute communication gaps can cause delays, incur extra costs and waste inventory.

Problems and Solutions:

  1. Website

    No team member had the technical expertise needed and no background experience as well.

Solutions: - The team members learnt coding

- Looked for an easy domain to be used

- Sought help from friends

2. Stock out Issue

Ran out of the wood just before Chinese New Year period.

The issue worsened as our supplier is unresponsive -> moreover, all workers were on Chinese New Year Holiday.

Meanwhile we still have pending orders and upcoming events (U-Flea and MAAD)

Solutions: - Called up the supplier several times

- Negotiation led to subsidies and waiver of overtime fee

3. Spoiled Product During Production

Several re-do were required as products got over-scrubbed often

Printing and sticking errors also required us to redo products often

This incurred additional cost to scrap the spoiled wood

Situation worsened when the carpenter refused to scrap wood for us after a point

Solutions: - Found a method of scraping the wood using sand sponge which could be done by ourselves.

- Look for other wood vendors who would be willing to scrap the wood for us

- Get our own sanding machine

4. Miscommunication

Communication gaps incurred additional cost due printing of excessive copies and delays because of not printing pictures

Solutions: - Put the shared google drive into action

- Appointed in-charge to bridge communication gaps

5. Quality of Wood

Poor quality of wood delivered which affected the product delivery.

Also, the supplier has issues with timely replacement.

Solutions: - Negotiation which led to confirmation for 1-1 replacement of poor quality wood

  • Cut excess quantities of 8”x10” and 11”x14” into 5”x7” to fulfill the fresh orders.


This 5 month journey has been one to remember for each one of us. Even though we did not achieve our target of breaking even by January and we even suffered a slight monetary loss, each of us have gained much from this and this experience would be helpful for the rest of our future endeavours.

3rd party contacts

Wood manufacturers (Maxcom Enterprise): Number: 9697 0820

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Customer Reviews

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Below is the Official agreement we have signed with Sree Narayana Mission Home.

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It was one of the most amazing learning experiences for all of us, for an even brighter future. We would take this opportunity to thank every one who helped us in making Pine-o-Chio a great attempt :)