We always look into how to further improve and innovate iStill. Both the products as well as the organization. This iStill Blog post is about some important changes and innovations to our product range and to the iStill Team!
Updated product range
The first important change we want to inform you about, is that we updated our product range. Like this:
- All iStills 500, 2000, and 5000 now always come with the robotized column;
- Only the iStill 100 can still be ordered without it;
- All iStills (100, 500, 2000, and 5000) now come with electric power only.
We feel that the robotization is a big part of what makes iStill great. That’s why from now on all units will be equipped with the robotized column. It gives you taste rich potstill settings, pure rectifying power, and anything in between. The column’s new design is such that it also facilitates mashing and fermenting, without any parts having to be removed or changed.
And let’s face it: even the units without the robot were already fully automated with PLC’s, automated programs, and automated cuts for heads, hearts, and tails …
Please also see: http://www.istill.eu/1
Electric vs. gas power
About 98% of the units ordered are electrically heated. Makes sense too, because with electric heating you get computer controlled in stead of manually controlled power management. Electric is a prerequisite for total control over vapor speeds in the column, and the taste profile you want to harvest into your final product.
Our manufacturing strategy is about batch production. We build iStills 500 in batches of four to six. We build iStills 2000 and 5000 in batches of two to four. The reason is that this allows us to keep production costs low. Specialization and buying in bigger quantities of steel help achieve that. There is just not enough demand for gas fired iStills to do batch production and that’s why we stop (batch) producing them. But not all is lost! If you are in for a gas fired still, please read the next paragraph.
We have a new department that we call “Special Operations”. It is where we do special units, special designs, that are often “one offs”. Special units are on demand and cannot be provided with fixed prices. That’s why they cannot be found in the iStill Online Design Center.So the good news is … you can still order gas fired units through the Special Operations Team.
But the main goal of SOT is to make our knowledge and skill available to larger scale operations, by helping design and build units up to 50,000 liters. The Special Operations Team, consisting of a project manager, an architect, and an iStill engineer, is at the service of more industrial customers that are in for boiler sizes of 20,000 liters and more, at an entrance fee (to start up the project and do a feasibility study) of EUR 20,000.-.
iStill Team Upgrades
From the feedback we got from our customers, we learned that we could improve upon our Support. Support? After Sales, others may call it. We also learned that Odin’s workload was … a bit too high, to put it mildly. Innovation, Marketing, and Support is too much for one person to handle effectively, given the size iStill has grown into.
That’s why the iStill MT has decided to move the Support portfolio to William from June 1st onward. William is already part of the iStill Team for a year now. He manages the Assembly Hall and is – as such – responsible for final product quality, so to make him responsible for Support as well makes perfect sense.
Given our size, and that we have a financial staff of four, the iStill Team felt more changes were needed. That’s why we asked Veronika to join us from September 1st onwards. She’ll deal with the Finance and become the iStill CFO.
With these changes, Odin’s focus will shift to general management as well as innovation. A better division of labor, tasks, and responsibilities that we feel will help iStill to further its growth.
William helps building up a distillery in cold Scotland …
While Veronika enjoys sunny Sevilla …