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Production Time & Your Promotional Items: Behind the Scenes

The Scenario:

Your boss finally got around to telling you that you need to order customized items with the company’s logo on them to give out at this convention he just decided you’re attending. Once the shock of remembering where your suitcase is or whether you own one you don’t mind being seen in public with, you hop on over to the Quality Logo Products’ website.

After cruising around for a little while you find the prefect promotional product to order. You show it to your boss and the first question he has is, “Will we get them in time?” Since you’re a good, model employee you resist the urge to tell him that if he would’ve given you a couple months’ notice it wouldn’t be an issue.

The Solution:

Instead you click around and find out that more obscure items like the Casa Letter Opener or Classic Weekly Pocket Planner have much longer production times than popular items like the Cinch Up Backpack (Drawstring) or Alpine Aluminum Water Bottle (25 Oz.). Hmm, you factor this into your decision. You reach for the phone and give a sales rep a call to learn more about which items will work best.

Your helpful sales team member explains to you that yes, what you’ve noticed is true. More often than not, the more “unique” or “obscure” a promotional product is, the longer production time than our best selling items. They also explain to you what exactly our definition of “production time” is. Basically, it’s the amount of time it takes for your items to be imprinted, debossed, embroidered, etc. with your logo or company name. It does not include time for order processing or the shipping time from the factory to your office.

You then explain to your sales rep that your boss surprised you with the task of ordering items this morning for an event coming up sooner than you’d like. They chuckle because they’ve heard this before. Your helpful sales rep will suggest an item that has rush service available since that will more often than not be cheaper than paying for expedited shipping.

Yes, you read that right. In most cases, rushing production on an item is more economical than rushing shipping for overnight or 2 day air. You’ll pay a few more pennies for rushing production but you will still come out ahead of paying for expedited shipping. Check out this blog on shipping for even more information.

You love everything that you’re hearing from your sales team member, so you ask what’s the first step in getting your item on the production line? The second you press “Order Now”? If only! Production on your promotional item begins the day after these requirements have been met:

  1. Order acknowledgement form is approved
  2. Payment received (prepayment by credit card, check or money order)
  3. Your artwork is approved (want to make sure your artwork looks as good as possible? Give this blog a read)

Once these three to-dos have been done, you’ll receive a confirmation of receipt via email and production will begin the next business day. Once your items move from production they’ll be shipped to you, so don’t forget to include shipping into your timeline. Production and shipping are two separate processes. If an item takes 7 days for production, it still has to travel from the factory to you.

The Inside Scoop

I talked with Dana Zezzo, VP of Sales and Marketing at Jetline, about how the production time at his company breaks down. He explained that, “there are so many variables that we have to account for, and double-checking orders is a big one for us.”

79% of online orders that come through his company need to be manually re-examined by someone because of missing information. “If there’s no information about where to ship the items to, we can’t send them.” Checking placed orders in itself takes time that is accounted for to make sure that your imprint looks exactly as you imagined it and it arrives to you and not to Joe Sampson in Florida.

Mr. Zezzo also brought up the technology gap is challenging for vendors and suppliers. There are so many different processes that must take place, “between when the sales rep places the order to when we receive it, prep the machine, imprint it, package it up and then send it out, there are a lot of necessary steps.” These steps take time and time that must be factored into your ordering time window. Also, with some items like drink tumblers, those must first be un-polybagged by hand before they can be run through the imprinting machine and then they have to be individually polybagged once the items have dried. That in itself can take a couple hours if you’re ordering a large quantity of them.

In the future, digital printing will reduce the amount of time from when you order your item to when you receive it. QLP representatives will be able to send your artwork straight from us to the printers!

Here’s a short video from Hit Promotional Products showing just how quickly the imprinting process could be done and why everyone in the industry is excited about it:

As time goes on Mr. Zezzo believes that distributors and suppliers will produce the technology that will radically reduce the amount of time between placing the order to when you receive it at your door.

So, how does this all breakdown for you?

What can you do to speed up production on your item? No, crying doesn’t help. However, doing your research and finding an item that has rush service available will definitely help. Also, make sure you fulfill each ordering requirement (shown below) as soon as possible to ensure little time is lost from when you saw the product online to when you’ll hold it in your hands with your logo on it.

NEW steps in ordering

Using the Alpine Aluminum Water Bottle as an example, once all the ordering steps are completed, you’ll see that shipping these water bottles to the 60506 zip code, with an order date of 12/16/2013 means the earliest this item will ship without rushing it is on 12/19/2013. After that, depending on your shipping choice, it will take a few more days to get to you. Be sure to pay attention to that before you get your heart set (and your accounting team’s approval) on a particular item.

NEW alpine water bottle

There you have it! Everything and more about production times of your promotional items and how the time is broken down. Working with Quality Logo Products couldn’t be any easier and during the ordering process you’ll see that for yourself. You’ll find the perfect customized item, work with a great sales team member who will do everything in their power to get your item to you when you need it by, and you’ll receive the lowest price around because ours are the guaranteed lowest!

Give us a call at 1-866-312-5646, drop us an email at info@qualitylogoproducts.com, or send a message via live chat to get started today! The only thing you’ll lose if you wait to purchase promotional items is time, and we know your boss probably didn’t give you enough notice as it is.

What surprised you most about production times and promotional items? Have you ever been in the situation above with a clueless boss? What did you do? Shout off below in the comment section, I’d love to hear from you!

Expand Your Brand!



Amy Swanson

Amy is one of Quality Logo Products’ content developers and social media coordinators. She is a self-professed newspaper nerd and thoroughly enjoys reading business and financial news and having impromptu discussions about it. Oh yeah, she’s “one of those” people! A true Midwestern girl by nature, she loves riding her bike, photography, and the Chicago Cubs. You can connect with Amy on

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