Tuesday, December 16, 2014

How To Avoid Problems With Quick Turn Orders

This time of year, the goal is to stay off the “naughty list”.  In fact, many of you are working to strength and acknowledge your relationships by giving gifts to all the people on your “nice list”. 

Where to begin the search? How to maximize your time?
·         Avoid assumptions– an e– store like the one on our website is great for reference, but pricing may not be accurate as suppliers are responsible for loading data. In fact, all of the products we offer are not on the website! 

·         Call! Often instead of calling or e-mailing your needs we will hear, “well I was looking on your website, but I can’t find” …..” I did not want to bother you till I knew more about what I wanted”.
Contact us, that’s what we are here for, it’s not a bother! 

The perk of working with our company is the human collaboration. We make orders go smoothly like elves at the pole. Once you say go our team researches all the products, suppliers and choices available to make your order arrive on time, as expected to your destination!

What are some of the variables we consider?

·         Packaging– Do you need items kitted together prior to arriving? Do you need individual orders drop shipped to your destination? Would you like to insert cards or letters? Do you need gift boxes or wrapping? These are options with our fulfillment programs, just ask.  The less you have to “touch” the project at a busy time the more time for your hands to do other things, perhaps sampling cookies from the office cookie exchange? 

·         Will you be re- packing to ship or hand deliver? Have you allotted time? Even the best suppliers and shippers can have issues beyond our control. At the holidays lead times increase as production levels. Suppliers are processing more like 1,500- 2,000 orders a day rather than 1,000 orders a day. Mistakes can happen. We strongly suggest you build in time to processing your order; especially if you are the one packing the kits for hand distribution once they arrive. 

·         Shipping on your own? Make sure you follow the guidelines for the carrier. Often there is a max on the amount of information that can be put on a shipping label, no PO boxes, double check addresses as accurate no to receive back your shipment. Shipping food, you may have to upgrade the method, package differently or insert cooling packs. Our suppliers are accustom to shipping all over the country; even overseas. Ask us about drop shipments to your destinations.

·         Delivery- ground with UPS, FedX or even a trucking company is up to 5:00 pm for business. Routes are longer at the holidays with more stops and more packages on the route. Weather can be a factor in some areas of the country so take these factors into account when planning. 

·         Turn around time– Is this a rush project? Let us know the deadline from the start, along with your budget to receive accurate information. If a project is a rush, there are options, but that might limit your ability to purchase at a “special” or “discount” price. In a rush? We like to check stock for color and other variables that can slow the process down later, adding unwanted surprises.

·         Art– Thank heavens for graphic design- we can design your art in house if you don't have vectored files or need more extensive add on materials; such as a special tag from Santa! Keep in mind that even with your vectored files or re-orders, even the smallest change like an updated number or changing your tagline requires a new plate, screen - aka a set up fee. 

What does happen behind the scenes to make orders "happen"? 

Like a team of elves, we work together to write up or key in your order for the supplier. We sent electronic files for the art you want produced on your products and then the follow up. We call suppliers to check to make sure they receive our fax and emails. We look for order confirmations and proofs to check with you. Once those arrive, we compare against order details for discrepancies before sharing proofs with you. 

 A quick turn order can often take 15 to 30 minutes to process from the time you say “GO” and often requires adhering to firm submission windows of time on the end of our supplier. For example, some supplier require rush project in by 12:00 pm each day, or have a completely different submission process for a quick turn project. We look for partners in suppliers that make it easy to avoid potential issues with a rush as well as suppliers that know how to "fix" the occasional error without a fuss. 

Communication is how we keep our clients from being disappointed, we want to stay on your nice list and make magic happen all year long when you need a quick delivery.

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