As you may remember, Stenograph acquired Xscribe in July of 1996. We continued to sell the writing machines Xscribe had manufactured prior to the sale of the company. These machines were the StenoRam Ultra and the Vision, which were the most current machines in their product offering at the time. Stenograph also brought an extensive line of Xscribe machine supplies into our product line to be able to service the users of Xscribe machines.
The StenoRam Vision and Ultra were last manufactured in 1996, and the StenoRam III+ in 1992. With each passing year, and the introduction of the Stentura, Stentura LX, élan Cybra and élan Mira, there have been steadily decreasing demands for Xscribe machine supplies. Therefore, over the past few years, most of those supplies have been discontinued due to decreasing sales and a shortage of manufacturing parts. Decreasing quantities, especially those of older parts, almost always results in increased manufacturing costs.
This is now true of the Xscribe ribbon cartridge as well. The manufacturer is now requiring Stenograph to purchase Xscribe ribbon cartridges in larger quantities than we have in the past. Given this and the decreased usage, we would have a large volume of cartridges that would sit in our warehouse for so long that they would exceed their actual shelf life.
As a result of these conditions, we have been put in the position of having to phase out the Xscribe ribbon cartridge from our product line. This cartridge is used with the Vision, the Ultra, and the StenoRam 3+ machines. This phase-out will not happen immediately. We currently have approximately a 12-month supply of cartridges available. This anticipated demand is based on how many we have actually sold in the previous 12 months.
We want to be fair and equitable to those customers who currently use these cartridges. To that end, we have established as fair a system as possible to ensure that all customers who need these cartridges will receive the quantity they need to last them another year. The quantity of Xscribe ribbon cartridges that each customer purchases from Stenograph from this point forward cannot exceed the total quantity they purchased from Stenograph between November 1, 2002 and October 30, 2003. This quantity should be equivalent to your personal 12-month supply of cartridges. You may buy them all at once, or spread them out whichever is more convenient for you.
Our intention with this system is to try to assure our current customers that these cartridges will be available and last for another year. Since unanticipated situations may occur, Stenograph cannot absolutely guarantee availability of cartridges. We can only continue to ship as long as quantities are still available. We will do everything we can to make this a smooth transition for everyone.