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  We get one particular question all the time when it comes to promo.  “How long will it take for me to get my (fill in the blank)?”  It’s a great question.  It’s one that you should ask…and it’s tough to answer.  So many times, the answer is “It depends.”

Not what you (or any customer) wants to hear.  But let’s discuss why that is…and what you can do to improve it.

The first reason this is tough to answer is that each supplier is different.  Some specialize in low prices.  Some specialize in speedy delivery.  Some specialize in meticulous detail.  That’s all good.  But as I have said many times in sales calls, “You can have them:

1) right
2) fast or
3) cheap.

You get to pick 2 out of 3!

So we feel it’s the distributor’s job to guide the customer to a supplier that can best meet their needs.  That’s good for everyone!

The other reason production times can be confusing is the simple understanding of what “production time” really means.  Most of the time, “production time” means how long it will take to produce the item.  This sounds simple enough.  But the actual production does not start until:

1)  The supplier has “good” art.
2)  The proof has been approved.

Often these steps take the longest.  So if it takes 2 weeks to get these steps complete, then a 10 day production time starts.  So the order will take a month.

The final caveat in the delivery of goods has to do with shipping.  Most of the time there will be shipping involved in the delivery of your promotional products.  So where are the good shipping from?  That’s a huge factor in cost and in delivery.

So what can you do to help improve delivery?  Simple.

1)  Provide good clean “vector” art.  Most people don’t.
2)  Approve your proofs quickly.
3)  Be smart and order early!

That removes the stress from everyone!  Good luck!