Timelines & Deadlines – where the time goes from product quote to delivery.
A timeline for promotional products is flexible in most cases. The time it takes from the moment you request a quote, to the point where the products are signed for at your door can be shortened to an extent. We can push factories along, or you can invest in air freight. Very rarely are we asked to slow an order down and from this we’ve deduced that speed is a priority for a lot of our clients.
It is important to note that it always pays to be prepared. Giving yourself a three-month period between the time you order merchandise and the time you actually need it is incredibly valuable. It means that you will be able to get the products you want, at the best price, without the stress of a tight deadline.
However, we know you’re busy. Promotional products aren’t always at the top of your list of priorities – and when they are it’s probably because you’ve planned the rest of the event detail and swag is the finishing touch. It’s coming up in a couple of weeks and you need that branded merch now. So, when the production timeline is not progressing as you think it should, it could be for several reasons. We’re listing them below in the hope that it helps you better understand what the hold up is.
The product you choose can determine how soon it can get to you.
Some of Impact’s factories can hold a range of stock on-hand, as well as manufacture to our clients’ needs. For the merchandise that is kept in-house, all it needs is the decoration to be applied. It’s called ‘local’ product and can be ready for delivery within 24 hours (more detail below).
The second most common product type is made-to-order. Impact has relationships with factories both in Australia and all over the world. Some manufacture your everyday products and others can make whatever you like. Our network of specialist manufacturers is what allows us to supply unique products to our clients.
Speaking of factories all over the world – the product you’re after may need to be imported. These products are called ‘indent’ stock. As you would have read in our custom products article, imported goods need a longer timeline, obviously because of travel and sometimes because of customs delays.
When we’ve got the time to source the perfect product for you, the variety of products available is massive. For when you’ve got a close deadline, the products become limited to what we can source with the shortest lead time. Meaning that you may not get the exact product that is perfect for your brand and message at the best price.
It makes sense that the more products you require, the longer they will take to produce. Our factories are used to producing merchandise in bulk, so they’re able to manufacture and decorate hundreds of products simultaneously. They can be fast – but a reasonable timeline must be allowed to produce large orders.
For example, you can imagine that an order of 10,000+ units has got to take a bit of time. It’s usually between five and ten working days.
The quickest time to dispatch that we can organise is under 24 hours. Rush jobs have a higher unit cost though and are only available depending on the type of product and decoration.
Further to that, how detailed your logo or design is can also influence your lead time. The trickier your logo or other decoration is to apply, the longer it will take. A simple one-colour logo can be printed in a matter of seconds. Depending on the decoration type (here’s a list of what’s possible), your intricate multi-colour logo can take up to 15 minutes to print or embroider and even longer for engraving.
Shipping – Indent Sea vs. Air Freight, Couriers, Customs
We touched on it earlier, but shipping is a major player when it comes to a product’s lead time. It’s the part that we can’t really control. For local stock, we can arrange couriers based on their speed and flexibility. Through our 20 years of experience, we know the ones who can get the job done quickly. You can see our review on our couriers in another blog.
Indent orders, however, are mostly out of our hands once they leave port (sea/air). Unfortunately, we cannot predict the weather that may impact the freight of indent products. Nor can we hurry along products that have been delayed by customs.
How can you make it faster?
After placing the order – look out for the artwork proofs for approval. We send them to you as soon as we receive them from the factory. The faster you approve the proofs; the sooner production can start.
Similarly, make sure the artwork you send us is correct. The more times we go back and forth between you and the factory with artwork adjustments the longer your order will take. Moving a phone number and changing the orientation of the print will take sometimes-precious hours.
Let us know the delivery address at the point of order. That way we can tell the factory when we place the order with them and there’ll be no back and forth while the products sit there all dressed up but nowhere to go.
Finally, when you’re in a pinch and you need that merch faster than fast – you can shorten the timeline by paying a bit extra for express, rush or overnight shipping. Be sure to mention it as soon as you can so we can arrange it.
In our business there are few worse things than missing a client’s deadline. We understand how important they are – so we will do all we can to get your products to you in a timely manner. Some products are available as quickly as the next day – but it’s best to get things done in advance.
Let us know how we can help with your next event or promo roll-out – Contact us today.