How To Get Your Promotional Clothing Orders On Time , 【Knowledge Guide and Tips】-

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How To Get Your Promotional Clothing Orders On Time

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Had an important concern about promotional products come in from one of our Promo With Purpose Today email subscribers: Getting promotional products orders in timeframe promised. That's a loaded issue! But we'll expose some secrets about promotional product and custom T shirt ordering so you can be in the know.
   Production Time
When you look at various promotional item descriptions, you'll often see a "Production Time" estimate listed. What does this mean? That is the actual time it takes for a clothing decorator to apply your imprint to your shirts. This is NOT the entire time it takes to complete the order. Typically, the "production time" clock doesn't start ticking until the order and artwork are received and approved by the decorating company doing the imprinting for your promotional product consultant. And usually, the production time begins the day AFTER the order is received by the decorator.
   Many decorators also have daily cutoff times for receipt of orders. For example, let's say a decorator has established a 2:00 p.m. Central Time cutoff for receipt of orders to be placed into production the FOLLOWING business day. Let's also say that in this example your promotional consultant sends your order to the decorator at 3:00 p.m. Central Time on a Monday. That order will not go into production until Wednesday. So if there is a 3-day production time on this example order, it would not normally ship until late Friday.
   On top of that, it may take your promotional consultant a day or two to check and prepare artwork and place the order. If you do not have “good artwork” (see the chapter on What is Good Artwork for Imprinting? for details), meaning it is not in a vector-based electronic file (a Encapsulated Postscript .eps or Adobe Illustrator .ai file are industry standard), it could take several additional days to prepare your imprint for production. Plus, your promotional product consultant may charge you to make your artwork production ready if it is not.
    And I need to emphasize that production and order processing time are BUSINESS days, not including weekends or holidays. Agreed, this is very confusing for customers. Unfortunately, published information fed to promotional shopping sites from manufacturers states only the in-house production time.
    TIP #1: Add at least 4 days to any published production time to complete your order if your artwork is production-ready; more if it is not. And don’t forget to add shipping time.
Production Exceptions
There are some special scenarios in regard to production time:
Rush Service. Many promotional consultants offer a rush promo service so you can get your promotional items fast. But there are caveats. First and foremost, you must be able to provide production-ready correctly-sized artwork for your consultant. If you do not have that, there will be additional time (and usually expense) required and rush service will not be available for your order. As well, watch for cutoff times. For example, we have a 9:00 a.m. Central Time cutoff. If not received by that time, it will be processed the following day. Shipping time needs to be added to this and will depend on the type of service you choose (ground, 2-day, overnight, etc.).
TIP #2: Watch for cutoff times on rush order service; add shipping time.
Peak Seasons. During peak seasons for T shirts, decorators are up to their eyeballs in orders, often doing double and weekend shifts to meet demand. They will attempt to meet published production times, but often physically cannot. Therefore, your production time could be extended by up to 5 to 7 working days during the peak seasons and express shipping may be required to meet any in-hand date you might have.
Peak seasons include: Start of School Year (August and September); Elections (usually spring and fall, especially during presidential election years); Sports (usually spring and fall sports are biggest); and, Special Events (again, usually spring and fall are busiest).
TIP #3: During peak seasons, particularly spring and fall, prepare for longer production times (add at least a week) and/or expedited shipping to meet your target dates.
Shipping Times
This is where it gets very confusing for customers. People often like to buy local and will place an order with a local promotional consultant. This may be a shock to many, but promotional product orders are rarely physically produced by the consultant you place the order with. Your consultant may be working with dozens or even hundreds of warehouses from coast to coast, or even overseas, depending on the item. Though some might, rarely do consultants or decorators have a huge inventory of blank stock on hand at their office or shop. So the product order you place with your local consultant in New York may actually be shipping from Florida… and then it has to go to the decorator to be imprinted. Luckily, many of the large T shirt and blank promotional apparel warehouses have locations throughout the country to reduce freight costs and shipping times. But if you have your heart set on a particular T shirt that’s only available from a warehouse in California, expect to wait longer for your order to get done. Your promotional product consultant can advise choices that are available closer to home.
For ground shipping, it could take up to 5 business days (in the continental U.S.) after the order is produced to ship via ground to you after it is decorated. Add to that the time it takes to ship the blank product to the decorator.
TIP #4: To allow for shipping within the United States, estimate at least 5 to 10 shipping days for domestic orders placed within the continental U.S. (more for Alaska or Hawaii).
Doing the Math
Okay, let's walk through an example… Time to process your order and artwork by your promotional product consultant and decorator: 2 to 4 business days, depending on condition of your artwork. Time to get blank T shirt stock: 1 to 5 business days. Time to imprint your T shirts: 5 to 7 business days. Time to ship/deliver your complete order: 1 to 5 business days, depending on your location. So to receive this item, you would need to place this order at least 11 to 20 business days prior to your target in-hand date, provided that your artwork is production-ready. That between 2 to 4 weeks! With that, I'll leave you with the best tip of all...
TIP #5: Plan ahead, it's later than you think.
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