FIRST Choice Issue, Part II

Blog Date: 
Monday, December 10, 2012 - 18:04

FIRST Choice Issue, Part II

I apologize once again to teams that experienced issues with FIRST Choice today. 

Teams with team numbers less than 1000 experienced issues logging on to the system when it opened.  This was corrected fairly quickly, but AndyMark later discovered an issue with their inventory management system that made it appear as if certain items were in stock when the stock had actually been depleted.  The system was tested before being put in use, but the tests did not include team numbers under 1000 or placing orders at the rate actually experienced when the system went live at Noon today.  Our lesson here can be useful to all:  test systems under a wide variety of circumstances, and test them hard!

FIRST Choice will reopen at Noon EST, Tuesday, 12/11.  Teams that ordered items that were actually out of stock will have their credits refunded to their accounts for those items.  All existing orders will be adjusted by 8AM EST Tuesday, and  AndyMark will be emailing all of the teams with orders which had to be changed due to this system issue by that time as well.  This email will clarify what is actually on their team's FIRST Choice order.  Teams will also be able to go in to their AndyMark order themselves at that time to see which items will be fulfilled.

Thanks for your patience as we work through these issues.



Year 3 and the whole system is still all screwed up and fundamentally causes probels and discrepencies for teams. I get that it feels good on your end, but all it does on this end is increase the feeling that FRC is fundamentally unfair toward smaller teams. Why not just reduce the cost of the kit by x dollars and leave it at that or provide vouchers. If a company can't bring enough materials to donate equally to everyone they should be respectully declined as a material donor. This whole system isn't working!

Again, thanks FIRST team will get nothing worth having. Thanks glad you could help us out with this incredibly arbitrary system that doesn't work. Tried to login with team number and PW from TIMS...Nothing. System doesn't work...skunked once again by someone's idea of "fairness." Just figure an equitable price, share whatever discount the vendors can afford evenly amongst and step out of the way. Stop trying to fix what can't be fixed. Look at your stats...the good parts are not spreading out evenly.

Item 5 in the ordering rules says "You must have an order placed to be guaranteed the parts."

We did our part, FIRST and Andymark should honor whatever guarantee they made in item 5 or the rules.

Our team has been trying for 3 years to order batteries, this year we finally got them ordered only to later learn the order had been cancelled even though it was successfully placed.

I would hope FIRST and Andymark would find their way to do the right thing for the teams affected.

- Bob Headrick, FRC 956 mentor since 2003

All of the talons, batteries, and drills were purchased immediately and many will not be able to purchase them. Clearly there are not enough high value items for all of the teams. Rather than using the current system that rewards those that are first to make a purchase, how about releasing the "credits" over time. Say 20 the first day and 20 more the third day etc. Spread the days out so people that have classes, work, and travel and cannot be on the system at the opening are not at a disadvantage. Then ship everything together after a week.

We understand the difficulties that occurred. We are willing to be patient and for FIRST to make it right for all the teams involved. We all payed the same registration fee, we should all be provided the same opportunity.
Will the stock of parts that most teams are after be replenished before Kickoff? If so, no harm, no foul. If not..... what options will we have to level the playing field?

"Spread the days out so people that have classes, work, and travel and cannot be on the system at the opening are not at a disadvantage."
Our entire team was either in class or at work at opening time. We had to run out of a class to find our mentor to grab anything worth something to us. Lucky for us that we were allowed to.

Team 4302 Member

No has brought this up yet but with the way the current system works it requires a certain “survivalist” methodology in order to get the high in demand items that a team knows would be useful even before kickoff.

So my question is.

Is this really a mind set we want to teach the kids and does this really embrace the core values of FIRST?

Moving forward, what can we do to improve the system?

Just one idea to get the ball rolling;
When there are limited parts only allow first year teams a week to select then for anything that is left open the system up to everyone else.

our team is not in the listing on First choice

My $.02... Maybe increase the "cost" of the more desireable items, so teams have to decide what is the most important. Maybe a battery is 50 credits and the drills are 75...just a thought. Maybe that would level the playing field so that more teams are able to get some of the "better items.

This is our rookie year in FRC and we have been excited and encouraged up to this point. So much that doesn't work with the system, so much negativity. I really hope that the rest of the season isn't like this :(

We still have issues. Maybe we ordered out of stock parts and maybe we didn't...who knows. We haven't received an email and we haven't received the parts. The system was overwhelmed and we were booted out repeatedly. Who has time for this? I will spend more time tomorrow trying to sort through it and then trying to come up with funding for the items we probably didn't get, when we should be coaching the team and getting ready and excited about Jan. 5.

The most direct way for you to get answers to your questions regarding your order status with AndyMark is to send an email to Please be sure to include your team number.


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