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Do you ever bump customers on your schedule for other jobs?

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by equippaint, Aug 7, 2019.

  1. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    When you are slammed and get a decent sized well paying rush job,, do you keep your schedule rigid and pass or take it all and deal with the consequences?
     
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  2. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    If I can make it happen I'll take it on.. but if my schedule is 100% then I pass because I don't want to work till 9 or 10 at night.

    Previous sign shop I worked at was horrible with promised deadlines being missed. I almost NEVER go past the install deadline that I set. Most of the time that deadline is a few days later then I actually expect to be finished, so I always have some buffer in case of bad weather or jobs that come in that I can knock out... but if I'm heavy that week and I have NO room then I just have to decline the work.

    There is probably a lot of people here that don't mind pushing deadlines out and can come up with a ton of reasons and excuses why... and customers may or may not care...and I'm probably too strict on keeping my word, but that's how I am and it's been working fine for years.
     
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  3. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    One of the biggest complaints I hear from clients is that some other shop has missed their deadline and isn't returning their calls.

    Had hospital client we were doing some wall graphics for, asked me if I knew any installers who could hang 3 very large banners on the side of their building, they had a company lined up for a certain day and time, they had to divert the ambulances to the emergency room for a day for the install, 2 hours after they were supposed to start, they get a call saying they cant do the install, "something else came up", they were pissed, it takes about a week of back and fourth internally to organize all the various diversions and shut downs to do the install, so that whole process had to be started again.

    I have found if you can stick to your promises and do what you say you will, when say say you will, you are already doing better than 75% of the shops out there.
     
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  4. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    We promise a 7 day turn around once something is approved. Including simple print edsigns... That gives us some leisure room.

    If the customer needs it right away... It goes to the front, whether it's a single coro real estate sign or something else. If we have to put overtime to make it happen... We reflect that in the price.

    Yes... We occasionally bump simple signs or something if we're busy, but only if it's not a rush order. 90% of our stuff gets out within 48 hours after approval unless we're super busy.... The one week production is just so people dont get disappointed,and usually the people who need it quicker will ask..and we have no problem rushing it out.

    It also of course depends on what's printing. If I have 40 signs to print on the same reflective, one due today the others not due for a week... I'll print all 40 signs rather than constantly reload and waste material. We group things up for quickness, sometime that bumps people for others... Occasionally it makes a few things late, but anything important we make sure to get out.

    Would I bump a scheduled install for another client?... If they were in a jam and asked, I'd call the first client and see if rescheduling is ok, or if itd be an inconvenience. Usually most people don't mind waiting an extra day for their Wall graphics to go up... Sometimes like above people rearranged their day to get it done, in that instance there's no way we'd bump them for anything less than an equipment/manufacturing error that prevented us from completing the install.
     
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  5. dypinc

    dypinc Very Active Member

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    The the late paying clients are are on my push back list. Otherwise I try to do everything in order except for a rush job once in a while, and guess who goes to the end of the list.
     
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  6. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

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    Deal with the consequences. Do the decent well paying job and push back the others.
     
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  7. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    This^^^^^

    Several clients have told me I'm not the cheapest in town, but they keep coming back. When asked why they all said the same thing, I never lied to them about anything.
     
  8. ddarlak

    ddarlak Trump Hater

    I'm a one man shop with basically 90% of my work coming from 3 clients. When they say they need something they get it when they want it, anyone else gets it when i'm available or I pass.
     
  9. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    When we make a commitment to a deadline we do very thing in our power to keep it...other than that our schedule is fluid, adjusting as needed.
    We have a lot of repeat customers and they get taken care of.
     
  10. Stacey K

    Stacey K I like making signs

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    I make sure to get jobs done when there is a drop dead date or for repeat customers. There are some weeks that are so busy and so many people walk in the door that production gets behind. I explain to customers that I am a one person shop and I do whatever I can to make sure I meet the deadlines. Most people are OK with that and continue to come back. Most companies in my area are really slammed with work so people do understand if a sign or some shirts are a day late. Sometimes things happen and there isn't much you can do. Estimating is where I get behind, production is usually on schedule.
     
  11. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    So if you have a good customer that comes in and has a job that they legitimately need ASAP, most everyone would say no? Knowing that you are running tight as it is, do you take into consideration what jobs you have going and what is not going to hurt anything by blowing your own pre-set deadline? I'm not proposing screwing someone else that absolutely needs something on time or missing scheduled install appointments but you know that many jobs aren't actually critical.
     
  12. Stacey K

    Stacey K I like making signs

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    I would fit it in if it's legitimate, yes. Everyone knows which jobs are critical and which jobs are not. I had a guy email me last week to do his trailer this week because he will be on vacation and it would be a good time to letter it. I explained I MIGHT be able to squeeze it in depending on my schedule and the artwork. Once he got here he said he's had the trailer for over a year and never lettered it. I'm not going to push off any jobs to get that trailer in this week. If he waited this long, he can wait until next week - and he was fine with that. I explained I have a very busy week with the upcoming city parade and picnic and if he wouldn't mind waiting until next week so we have a little more time to go things so it's done RIGHT I would appreciate it. He was fine with it. So - I pushed off a $1,100 job to do a bunch of little jobs. Maybe that was stupid but most other shops are not going to drop what they are doing just because he is going on vacation. I had another customer ask me for 12 shirts this week for the parade...I am squeezing them in even though I don't really have time. I fell behind on estimates this week but production had to come first or I would not meet my deadlines...back to work now so I can meet my deadlines! LOL
     
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  13. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Me personally, nothing pisses me off more then this. I used to think that this was a generational thing as at the time, I was experiencing this more with younger people then I was with older, but that's just not the case. I can actually handle someone calling me up and saying something came up and we can't do it if it's before (well before preferred, but there are things that come up last minute and I can understand that).

    However, to just say "something else came up" and calling 2 hrs later from which "you" were supposed to be here. That **** don't fly with me.

    I'm the type of person that if I can't make a deadline (whatever that deadline may be), whomever that effects is the first to know right after I find out about it. Especially if it's something that alternatives have to be arranged for.

    Actually that does "hurt something" by blowing your own pre-set deadline. That "hurts" the perception that customers have that you have the ability to deliver what you say that you'll deliver when you say you will deliver it.

    Now, I will take on a rush job if it won't interfere with with my completing a deadline for the current job, but the rush fee is directly proportionally to how much time I'm going to have to complete my regular project after the rush job is finished. More complex, involved rush job that consumes a lot of time, higher the rush fee. I also find it ironically that mentioning the rush fee about 95% of the time does away with the sense of urgency. Have to also keep in mind, the majority of what this would affect, these are goods that are expected to be turned around in 24-48 hrs normally. Rushes are usually those that give an order at 8 in the morning and what it by 2 that afternoon. Sometimes that's possible, sometimes it's not depending on the project regardless of what else I have going on.
     
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  14. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Everyone should learn to plan better, but once in a while things happen outside your ability to do something about it. Most weeks always have a built in amount of wiggle-room time, here. Never is anything so dire it needs to be finished by 2:46 this afternoon. In most cases, if your customers are all good customers, then they will understand if something gets pushed back a day or so. Otherwise, you're doing a lotta last minute work or emergency work. They all get into this situation, so as long as they know, you're on top of their job, you should have the freedom to fit a problem in. Ya might hafta work a little longer or keep someone later a day or so, but that needy customer will be paying for the convenience. Never turn anyone away, because you're backed up...... they could find a new vendor. I can't tell ya how many new customers we got over the years, due to this very problem.

    I always tell people, someone hasta be first and someone hasta be last..... the rest of y'all are in the middle, somewhere.
     
  15. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    This is exactly what got me thinking about this. We initially turned a job down to a fairly new customer because the price was low and we don't have the time. 3 weeks later their regular vendor hasn't touched the job and liquidated damages kick in on Monday. Considering what they are facing, I told them to send it and we will get it done but had to push back everything else we have here to do it. They said this will be the last time they ever use the other guy so we managed to gain a customer at our price level rather than losing to his cheaper rates.
    I always keep in contact with or visit our customers that have jobs here to know where they are at. Then you know if you have room to take on more things or if you need to step up their job.
     
  16. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    If its a good customer then I'd work it in and just work longer hours to accommodate them.. I wouldn't bump anyone else's deadline...just work overtime.
     
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  17. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    We do that too but if it requires a machine, somethings gotta give. In our case, once the paint booth is setup and stuff's being sprayed, you're not painting more until its taken out the following day or longer if it's more than 1 color.
     
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  18. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Sometimes I give them two prices.. one really high price to get it done, figuring in enough that I could offer who would need to be bumped a discount....and the other normal price if they can wait.

    I tell them I'm sorry about the high price but we really dont have the normal capacity right now and we'll be going into overtime to get it done but I'll be happy to do it. I justify it by saying my crew has been working very hard and if I ask them for more I need to compensate them appropriately
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
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