We recently read an ad for an embroidery company that promised a “quick” turn-around time of two weeks.
Two weeks! We usually do much better than that.
We can be very speedy, but there are several key variables in setting up turn-around times. Some of those involve the customer; some involve the provider (in this case, Creativity On!)
Product availability. Most embroidery companies order product from their suppliers when they get an order. If someone calls in and wants 72 lime green polo shirts, we have to check with our suppliers to see where those items can be found. If one warehouse in Portland has only 60 lime green polo shirts, we may have to order 12 more from the Reno warehouse to fill the order. It generally takes orders one or two more shipping days to come from Reno than from Portland.
Art approval. Sometimes a company or club will order embroidery or garment printing from us but will not yet have an OK from their own company on the finished art. Perhaps a certain committee responsible for making those decisions has not yet met or is slow deciding. So there is a delay. Following that, some time is needed to get graphics digitized for embroidery or prepared for printing. And beyond that, the committee or boss may want final approval on a sample stitch-out or print. This process can eat up the clock, too. Customers sometimes cause the delay by not finalizing and approving the artwork.
Work flow. On the other side, we are constantly juggling work flow depending on what customer needs what product when. We gear our priority on the date the order was placed and when it is needed by. We are dedicated to meeting due dates. During heavy work flow periods, we may not be able to provide a quick turnaround if the customer has not given us adequate lead time and we are already committed to doing other work.
Delivery. The final variable is the time it takes to ship or deliver the products to our customers.
Ironically, the best way to get the fastest turn-around time from us is to place an order as far ahead of the need-by date as possible. Doing that assures product availability. When the art is approved and prepared for embroidery or printing, you’ll get a sample. In the meantime, we’ll be able to plan our production schedule to make sure your order is done when it’s needed.
Yet having said all that, we are prepared to handle rush orders. It’s one of our niche specialties. All of the above still applies, but it never hurts to call us and see how quickly we can get your job done.
And this just in
Ironically, as I was writing this piece, one of our major suppliers had a huge computer failure that knocked their whole ordering and fulfillment system offline for several days. While this is a rare occurrence, it does happen. Every now and then something completely unforeseen will make a mess out of everyone’s best-laid plans. It could be a computer failure, a weather disaster, a labor strike, or whatever.
While we normally provide great turn-around times, the best way to assure that you get your order by your needed date is to order early.