Creativity | Hugh MacLeod art
We live in a world in a hurry, and sometimes we wonder… is it gaining momentum?
In the branding world, we not only meet requirements to come up with creative product solutions, we may also navigate last minute requests for creative design. This becomes exponentially more complicated timelines get tighter. As soon as we are looking at rush production to meet an event, we immediately shift gears to creative problem solving.
If you need 24-hour production and can ship overnight, it can be done! However, this level of service comes at a cost that we work to help our customers avoid by staying close to their business goals and helping to keep tabs on their event schedule.
Rush production is a little bit like a jigsaw puzzle when are working to piece together available inventory, working vector art files, production timelines and shipping considerations required to ensure an event date can be met.
The best chances for success comes with clean, 1 color, vector art (ex. files that end with the extensions: .eps), and more than 24 hours to produce (wink). Additional imprint colors and locations may improve the final product, but must be vetted in advance if we are working on timelines that are tighter than the standard production window.
While we like to think of our team as meticulous managers of your brand and strict sticklers for perfection, as each order moves through production, we must keep in mind that many industry suppliers may not inherently adhere to our high expectations and quality standards.
This means all orders, especially rush orders, require hand holding to achieve our high levels of production success (which is represented in an exceptionally low error rate). So, when we push production to “rush”, there is more risk that something could go sideways. We may discover a step as simple as a proof can create trouble if there is a delay with a tight timeline looming.
The standard production timeline (15 business days) allows for the lowest risk and most room for our team to massage your order through any one of the various production systems that play out when we work with hundreds of sources.
Fortunately, we have strong relationships, that allow advantages with our preferred suppliers who genuinely care about our outcomes, and we believe we might even generate a sense of excitement for our clients’ projects that make the CSR and possibly even the in-house production team feel more invested. As a result of these relationships, there is a better chance we will receive approval for rush production requests. It also helps the production team receive our “nudge and hover” approach with joy (rather than annoyance) when we remain in “close contact” to protect timelines and create accountability (as there is always a risk that something could go awry… that is where the real creative problem solving comes into play!)
With strong supplier relationships, we may be able to ship an order in less than 15 business days as a favor at no additional charge to our customers. It’s when we get to tighter than 10 business days that things can become more challenging, especially when this timeline does not consider transit time, which is typically 4-5 business day (ex. Ground shipping).
But in a busy world filled with frantic schedules and more responsibilities than any of us can reasonably squeeze in within a week, we find ourselves in rush territory with enough frequency that we have begun to consider ourselves experts at a processes that ensures we realize high levels of success.
That being said, we prefer to be proactive and behave more like an in-house asset providing reminders of a pending event date or by sending a quick email to check inventory levels. But, it will be inevitable that a surprise will occur, and you can be confident that we will be ready to respond.
So know that we are here to handle your orders with great care and excellent oversight… Feel free to put our creativity to the test!