From a business perspective there are a lot of reasons you should not suspend orders, imo.
- Demand changes all the time. You're merely losing visibility of demand by not allowing your backlog to continue to grow. If you lose visibility of how quickly your backlog is growing it becomes more difficult to make business decisions on how rapidly to grow and expand your business.
- All of the demand you're "suspending" is merely pent up, and will result in a flood of orders when you reopen ordering. Thus at some point you'll believe the company is "caught up" enough to reopen orders, and you'll immediately get behind again because of the flood of orders from pent up demand. The only real problem it addresses is customer expectations around delivery time, which can be solved with simple website communications at the time orders are placed.
- People who have made up their minds after researching which case to buy are likely willing to wait, if given a place in line. It really isn't within any businesses ability to gauge how long a consumer is willing to wait, since marginal utility is different from person to person. Demand curves work the same for fluctuations in wait time as well as they do with price... some will wait and some will not wait at any given wait period. As long as the wait time is communicated, ("8-9 weeks processing" etc...) or even ("seriously, this is going to take a while... for real... months") and that wait time is updated for new orders as the backlog increases... then if a buyer places an order it is understood that they are willing to wait.
- Order suspensions result in scenarios where for example User-X who would place an order today to "get in line" now, instead of at the same time as consumers who might make the decision to buy months from now. Imagine a scenario where in two months you reopen orders, and User-X who made the decision to buy on August 2nd misses the memo. A flood of orders come in as soon as you reopen (say October 1st) and you suspend once again. User-X missed the boat a second time. Being thrust to the back of the line again might be enough to dissuade User-X from buying.
- With Thermaltake knocking off your cases for cheaper, the goal ought to be to reduce order fulfillment time by scaling up production and to lower costs. Think about just two things that are certain for the future. Thermaltake will continue knocking off your products, and get better and better at doing it.... cheaper. More and more people will begin to prefer those "just as good" solutions (even if they're not really "just as good"). So, with time being the most important factor you'll want to adapt sooner rather than later and face the problem of increased demand head on, before that demand is soaked up by cheaper competitors.
- You could implement a fairly simple website feature for order cancellation: Allowing order cancellation up to the point that order fulfillment begins. IOW: If customers are just "waiting in line" allow them to get out of line (cancel their order) before you put any actual labor/material into building a custom order. As soon as any work begins on fulfilling the order, the option to cancel the order is removed.
Anyway, hope you all catch up. Next build might be with an SMA8.