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Need Help I have angry customers :(

Discussion in 'Product and Supplier Referrals' started by SaraG, Jul 25, 2019.

  1. SaraG

    SaraG New Member

    Apr 20, 2019
    Hi, I'm Sara,

    New to the printing thing here, and I need something to keep track of everything!

    I’m selling my custom floor decals like hotcakes and it’s so frustrating when I can’t find a specific job, locate a specific floor decal/poster or even tell my angry customers where their product is.

    I need no storefront, as I manufacture only and customers just purchase from my website.

    I’m frantically trying to keep stock up and I’m overselling. Sometimes I’m tired and I send the wrong box and have to re-print out of my pocket.

    Is there any management production programs out there that can help me out, I’m desperate.

    Thank you to anyone with suggestions or advice.

    MY Equipment/SOFTWARE
    HP 315
    Going to lease another HP 570 in the next coming weeks
    Laminator SEAL 62 BASE
    Google Business for email
  2. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

    Oct 10, 2014
    Setup your website with a shopping cart, print a packing slip for each new order, stick in a clear workorder sleeve and hang it on the wall. Then move it around with the job. Once its done, pack it and put the packing slip on the box right away with the address facing out and write the order number on the box as well. We also have partioned pallet racks with dry erase tags on the slots where we put completed orders, write the order number on the tag, put the completed packing slip in the slot with the signs and then pack them 1 by 1 from there.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. SaraG

    SaraG New Member

    Apr 20, 2019

    Thanks, That's a really good idea to track manually my orders. What software programs do you use to keep track of customers (crm) to order status? I want to be able to plug in an order number and know exactly where it is. (design process, printing, lamination, Cutter, packing, shipping details etc.)

    I sold over 70,000 sq. ft of floor decals and scrim vinyl banner since September. Before that, I sold less than 1000 sq. ft for the entire year!
    • Like Like x 1
    • OMG / Wow! OMG / Wow! x 1
  4. petepaz

    petepaz Major Contributor

    Feb 14, 2007
  5. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

    Oct 10, 2014
    I don't use anything (except a shopping cart we setup for a customer) but our individual transaction volume is low so it's not hard to keep track of things. I've been looking at EstiMate but mainly to try and make it easier to quote and not so much to track anything. Shopvox comes up quite a bit. Search for them on here and you'll run into some others
  6. unclebun

    unclebun Very Active Member

    It's been a long time since I used an online shopping cart, but 11-12 years ago when we did, the regular shopping cart at Go Daddy had all the order management and CRM you would need. You could log in and see all your orders listed and when you invoiced/received payment, shipped, etc. it updated them. It printed packing lists, etc. I don't see why they wouldn't still have that kind of stuff nowadays.
  7. rossmosh

    rossmosh Active Member

    Oct 9, 2014
    New Jersey

    You have to understand that in order to implement these systems, you're going to have to invest some capital and go through the growing pains. There's a cost to knowing where everything is at any moment. It costs time and money but theoretically it saves you in the long run.
  8. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

    Jun 10, 2016
    Port Coquitlam, bc
    Are you a one person shop? Or do you have staff?

    It sounds to me like your a one man shop...in which case you're going to give yourself more headaches.

    If you're doing floor decals and banner mostly... Youre probably gaging up a ton of jobs at once. Do you really want to go edit every single one and tell it it's printed.... When it's laminated... When it's cut... When it's packaged...when it's shipped? That's way too many steps to keep track of.

    Start simple. Design a work order.... Every sale gets a work order written up and printed. Your website software must have invoice or sale numbers.... That's your artwork file name as well as your work order. Do a stack of orders at a time... Keep them with the roll... Keep the roll and work orders at your lamination station, print the next batch... Keep the work orders at the printer. Once you laminate... Bring the work orders and finished products together. If it's all custom designs, make sure you have a proof printed on the work order so you can match products to the right customer. Write down the tracking #, or mark each order as shipped whenever you package and make a label for it. At the end of the day go into your software with that big stack and update your orders as shipped or not.

    You really only need to know if it's ready for print.. Printed, laminated, or shipped. A simple work order will tell you that.

    You can get software and spend a ton of time learning it and setting it up.... But if you're a one man show its not worth it right now.

    You need to figure out a proper work flow, once that's done and your comfortable with it... Implement it into a software solution.

    If you're sending the wrong products to the wrong customers enough that it's becoming a huge problem, software is the least of your worries.

    Work order... Printed proof attached to the work order... And follow a flow. Or hire someone who can focus on shipping and other smaller duties if doing everything is overwelming you.

    You did 107 rolls of vinyl in 10 months. That's roughly 10-11 rolls per month... I imagine some months are slow and some double, so it is a lot for one person in a busy month. But I still think if you manage your work flow better, it's easily doable.

    Now if every design is 2 sqft and you're sending 3000 packages a month... That's a whole different issue.
    • Like Like x 2
  9. player

    player Major Contributor

    Apr 24, 2006
    I agree not to try to implement a full on software system. That said Quickbooks has some job management capabilities.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. night eagle

    night eagle Active Member

    Mar 9, 2009
    Crowley tx
    we Created a job board also that coincides w each work order. Every time a job gets something done to it that x mark (dry erase) gets erased and moved to next slot. All the way to waiting for pic up. I also move all digital art in same way on the desktop from left to right.
  11. stxrmxn

    stxrmxn Member

    Jan 24, 2014
    We use Trello,we probably have about 50 jobs on the go at any time, as soon as the job is designed it gets the job number entered into "designed" as soon as it is printed its as simple as dragging the job number over to "printed", because the same board is on every computer in the shop its pretty easy.
    When a customer calls or e mails, enter the job number into trello it takes 5 seconds and you can do it whilst on the phone, you can then tell the customer immediately where it is. "oh yes that is packed and should leave today"
    Saved us alot of time going to different stations trying to locate jobs.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. The Big Squeegee

    The Big Squeegee Major Contributor

    For online orders, I use PayPal. It allows me to print out the packing slips to place with each order and it puts the responsibility for shipping to the right address on the customer. Shipping and tracking is also fast and easy. I also use Quickbooks to keep track of materials.
  13. Stacey K

    Stacey K Getting Back in the Game

    Jun 20, 2018
    I agree with ikarasu it's doubtful you will go into the computer after every step is finished and enter it - I've tired and failed. It's very difficult when you are only one person. I have an Etsy shop and print the order and packing slip and I also have a work order. It all goes onto a clipboard and the clipboard goes with the order. Starts at the left of my desk for artwork, then to the right while waiting for the proof or waiting for materials. Once it's ready to go into production it gets set on a shelf by my work station in the order of which I will work on them. I track all time and materials on the work order and once completed I make a digital copy of it. I'm always changing my system up but I always revert back to manual because I'm one person and my shop isn't that big. Stop working for a bit and get your current orders organized according to due date and get some clear work order folders or some clipboards...yes, like 50 or 100 of them or whatever you need. Get them organized according to due date or whatever you use. Once you can get caught up a little and stay organized THEN look into a computer program. The clear folders/clipboards are a small investment to help you out for the mean time, you can always sell them. It's harder to lose a sheet of paper if it's on a clipboard.
  14. ddarlak

    ddarlak Trump Hater

    charge more.

    your work load will go down, your profit will go up.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. Stacey K

    Stacey K Getting Back in the Game

    Jun 20, 2018
    One other thing! A real quick fix is a desktop manager called "Fences". You can create "boxes" on your screen and label them, Estimate, Artwork, Proof Out, On Order, In Production, Shipped - it works good to keep your computer files organized.

  16. jfiscus

    jfiscus Map Wraster

    Apr 2, 2009
    Cincinnati, OH
    Start out with a spreadsheet if you have to and assign all jobs a unique ID number. That way you have a job identifier for when you need to go back and locate it later.
    You can transition the spreadsheet into a database later.

    After that design a work order you can print out and write on, I highly recommend using a "special" color of paper that you do NOT use for anything else around your shop. We use a canary yellow here for work orders, and a light purple for the installer checklist. That way anywhere you have a job you can find them easily in a stack. Either use paperclips or sleeves to hold all the job info together for each job.

    Make an area/wall/etc for each step of the process.
    We multiple people/departments/steps here so each area has its own location for paperwork:
    - Prepress has a table of "new/untouched" jobs.
    - In-Progress Design keeps the jobs on a stack on each desk.
    - Prep keeps the jobs to be weeded/laminated/masked on a table.
    - After jobs are ready to go on to shipping / install / etc they move on to those tables.
    If an employee is working on a job they have the ticket with them. Everything they do / use / etc gets written on the tickets.
  17. White Haus

    White Haus Formally known as RJPW..........

    Apr 6, 2018
    Are you guys using this? We've been using it for almost 5 years now and I'd love to see how other people use it. They're adding a lot of cool automation features but I can't say I've played around with them much.

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