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Lead times

Discussion in 'Business Management' started by CanuckSigns, Apr 29, 2019.

  1. iPrintStuff

    iPrintStuff Prints stuff

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    We do a fairly sizeable chunk of work for schools in our area. It’s extremely worrying that the people in charge of our children’s futures can’t seem to plan 5 days in advance.

    They’re also usually the worst offenders for sending in A4 jpg artworks and then wondering why that can’t be made into an 8’ by 4’ banner..
     
  2. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    We make year end awards for a lot of schools in the area, and I can't agree more, every year we get the info for the awards from the school about 2 weeks after we told them we need them, then we rush them through, only to get a phone call that they either forgot a bunch of people, or spelled a few names wrong, everytime, without fail.

    School teachers seem to be the most unorganized bunch of people I've come across.
     
  3. iPrintStuff

    iPrintStuff Prints stuff

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    I could go on all day about teachers/schools. It’s very worrying. Funny story though, we have a request form that has a “job description” box. I.e you detail what your job requires, from digital printing to signage, just a brief description. We had a request come in recently that had “teacher” in the job description box..
    :blondie:
     
  4. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    Funny how everyone complains about how busy they are and dont like to be pushed but cant understand how their customers have the same problem. Im sure that teachers have much more to worry about at the end of the school year than some stupid awards. Its not really fair to call your lack of time a positive trait of business and theirs a fault. Maybe if you planned your workload better than youd be better able to acommadate stuff on a shorter time frame. Like it or not, this entire thread shows that the market is demanding faster turn around - from everyone. Theres not 1 person that had any startegy to give people what theyre asking for, just complaints that they want it that way. Not knocking but were pretty quick to fault others and never look at ourselves. Theres my rant
     
  5. iPrintStuff

    iPrintStuff Prints stuff

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    I mean, neither of us said we couldn’t accommodate the jobs; just that it’s an annoyance when they know the timescales and these jobs are clearly annual so they know how much time we’d need.

    As for that, we got a job for 10 banners and 50 tshirts on Thursday at 4.30 and they needed them for Friday lunch time for an event that had clearly been planned months ago. Naturally we got it done on time but as for “planning workload” I think my crystal ball that tells the future might be broken. Care to lend me yours?
     
  6. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    Haha cant help ya there. All I know is that we need stuff like yesterday too, often times its stuff that we knew about ahead of time and just forgot. Im not gonna condemn our customers for doing the same thing as its really not the epidemic that its being made out to be.
    Im not sure whats annoying about it either. If you can do it then ya take it, if ya cant then pass.
     
  7. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Frisco, TX
    When I struck out on my own, there were faults I saw in the sign business and turn-around time / missed deadlines was one of them.

    I have pretty fast turn-around times and almost never miss a deadline because I always work in an "extra day....or two" in my schedule. When I start getting busy I work more then 40 hrs a week to catch up but I usually have room in my schedule for some hot to trot order (at a higher price). I also do dynimac demand pricing...similar to what hotels and airlines do. When my schedule starts getting long, the prices go up. I also turn down more work...so in the end, the jobs I do accept are for more $$ and usually easier, lower hanging fruit jobs and I'm able to keep turnaround times half what the big guys are doin.
     
  8. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    Hopefully your proffit margins are high enough you can afford to pay your employees some overtime.

    We have enough people that most jobs can be rush delivered on time. But on Friday we get a call from our local sports team asking if we can do 6,000 4" flop stickers. They want to put them in their upcoming season tickets packages and needed them by Monday, Tuesday at the latest. It was something like a roll and a half of material if printing and cutting. We estimated it'd take 12 hours to cut on the graphtec... Another 3-4 to sheer down into individual pieces... And half a day to print.

    So here I am chugging away at them. Working through the weekend, one Manning everything just to get them out. Probably take in close to 12 hours overtime time.and 8 hours double.on the job.

    Of course I'm sure they'd prefer we get it done during regular work hours so they save money. But sometimes a customer needs something right away... And just as we appreciate our vendors going the extra mile when we're in a rush, our clients appreciate it also.

    Sometimes we do have to say the deadline is unrealistic.... But that's life, you can't control every aspect of the job. Sometimes our powder coaters are so busy a jobs going to be out for a week... Sometimes they can bump us to the front when it's a rush, but sometimes it's not possible.

    The good clients will appreciate it. If you meet their deadlines when possible and come through for them in need... They'll probably understand the few times you can't meet them, and realize the deadlines too tight.

    But if your constantly saying every job is a month out, they'll likely look elsewhere. If you're that busy, it may be time to hire a few people.
     
  9. mjkjr

    mjkjr Member

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    I'm working on it overall. A big problem is bottlenecking on the front end of sales/estimates/design before things get sent up to production. I do everything except for screen printing, which is my employee's full-time job. It's not difficult to understand how it's hard to keep up with things in this situation. On top of many clients having been spoiled by online and overseas pricing and two day/ next day delivery for things online it becomes overwhelming trying to keep everyone happy.
     
  10. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    Dont keep them happy. You can't compete with online pricing for the most part. It's a different business.... While your servicing your town of may e 500,000 to 1 million people, they have the Customer base of 500 million... Which means they buy in more bulk than us, they have enough equipment to not have downtimes/ have to switch between media's... They have enough work that they likely have zero waste on their media, enough purchasing power to have every machine to automate as Much as possible... Etc.

    They have too many advantages, and if you try to compete you'll just dig yourself into the ground.

    They lack quality, quality control, and customer service. You need to compete in areas they can't compete in, pricing isn't one of them! You may lose the customers who are trying to save every penny they can, but it'll free up your time to go after the customers who want quality over quantity.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
  11. mjkjr

    mjkjr Member

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    Maybe part of my trouble is being in a small town of only 12,000...
     
  12. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    Dont forget flexibility, the big guys have none as its not profitable in their business model.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
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