3 reasons faster isn’t betterJuly 26th, 2012 by Jennifer Vaughn
I don’t know if it started with assembly lines, fast food restaurants, the Internet or something else, but we live in a society of instant gratification.
Our mail sends and is received instantly. I can get reviews for products then purchase the product in less than a minute if I want to (and now get same-day delivery sometimes!). I can finish a book and have another one downloaded immediately with my ereader.
The pace can be staggering when you stop to think about it.
Along the way we have also equated faster with better.
In our industry, we are seeing the pattern play out with decreasing turnaround time on orders. But, being on the front lines, I can confidently say, faster isn’t always better. Here are 3 ways we can service you better with longer turnaround times.
“I can never get used to the fact that most of the time it looks like you’re doing nothing.” – Roger Sterling in Mad Men
Our industry is about product.
RIGHTSLEEVE is about getting you well-designed product that resonates with your customer.
Short turnaround time limits the products we can get for you.
When we have longer turnaround time on your promotions, it gives us the ability to be more creative and find truly unique ways to speak to your target. More time gives us the ability to source less common products that could have a better impact with your promotions. It also widens the pool of available products by allowing us to get you the product that you want, not the product that is available on short turnaround.
It also gives us the option to experiment. We can try different decoration methods. Our designers can have fun playing around with placements that are out of the ordinary. We could even test applications that convey a more retail feel or that give your brand an added edge.
With more generous lead times, we can reduce your costs by expanding our sourcing options. Long lead times allow us the option to create items off-shore for a cash savings. Alternately, we can have items made locally to help offset the environmental costs associated with long shipping routes.
We can also help reduce your costs by presenting a wider selection of products in a variety of price points or use a more economical shipping method that might take an extra day or two in transit. Longer lead times also allow us to avoid rush charges all along the supply chain.
“Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” -Murphy’s Law
As much as we might love to live in a perfect world, we don’t. Unfortunately that means mistakes happen and things go wrong. We are, after all, human. Longer turnaround time gives us all the ability to breathe easier while we adjust to any bumps that we might hit in the road.
A few extra days allows us to do more complete proofing and troubleshoot things like corrupt artwork or placement changes. It allows us to absorb delays caused by shipping issues or bad weather…most of North America has at least one season that can trip up shipping because of unexpected weather occurrences.
Finally, more lead time gives us the option to work at a normal pace and avoid the mistakes caused by rushing.
Of course, we’re in sync with the realities of the pace of life today which is why we all hustle to get great promo out the door quickly.
No post on turnaround time would be complete without an explanation of how we work miracles when necessary. Even the best planners among us run into last-minute P-P-Es (Promotional Product Emergencies) and reach out to us to get product in record time. Here are 3 ways we do that.
- Relationships – We work with trusted partners and turn to them in good times and bad. By taking the the time to build relationships through repeat business, getting to know each other, and by giving generous lead times when possible, we build a solid network of reputable contacts who are willing and able to help us out when we are rushed.
- Technology – RIGHTSLEEVE has always been a tech-forward company. We built our own award-winning software and subsequently spun it off into its own company. Being tech savvy allows us to communicate better, find accurate information more quickly, and process orders more efficiently – all things that make a difference when time is short.
- Knowledge – We are industry veterans and are able to coach you (and sometimes our vendors) on ways to make things happen in real time. We know what kinds of products can be turned around quickly and we know where to go to source products close to where they need to be delivered. Our knowledge of artwork, product, and processes help us quickly assess what can and can’t be done within certain timelines and then adjust accordingly.
What do you think? Is instant gratification the new way of conducting business?