Awards & Engraving

2016 The Guide

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12 a-e-mag.com • THE GUIDE 2016 • A&E PREPARING FOR THE BUSY SEASON There are three big things we as retailers can do before our busy season starts. The first is regarding product inventory. Begin by looking at past years' orders from your major clients. Many of our clients order the same product each year for the same event such as a golf tournament or board of director thank you gifts. Check well ahead of time to see if they plan to place the same order and get a feel for any changes in product or quantity. Order product, and perhaps even extras, ahead of time. This helps prevent rush orders from suppliers, more expen- sive rush shipping charges, and "out of stock" issues. Selecting a new product for a client at the last minute is not just time consuming, but stressful as well. Sheet goods for lasering and sublima- tion or printing are primary products for most of us. For lasering, there are certain color combinations we use the most—this may change seasonally. For instance, I use a large volume of red over white and black over white acrylic sheet goods for solar and electrical projects. This business picks up in the spring and often slows during our hottest summer months. I often double my order of these two color com- binations in March so I don't run short. Having to break down an order into many small engraving projects to take advantage of odd pieces of leftover sheet goods is time consuming and inefficient. Overnight orders of heavy sheet materials can eat into profit margins quickly, and missing project deadlines (regardless of how challenging they are) can cost us cli- ents. There are many other supplies such as trophy parts that can be ordered ahead of time to help avoid this. Check these supplies the month before busy season begins and order extra. The second thing we can do in prepara- A s the economy picks up, our busy season seems to get longer. Our businesses are running strong, and so are many others in differ- ent industries. That means the last minute orders are increasing. Efficiency is becoming one of our key focal points for improvement here at our shop. That includes avoiding expensive errors, running short of product, and equipment downtime. So how do we reduce errors, increase efficiency, and keep our equipment running? Here are a few suggestions. By Bob Hagel LASER ENGRAVING TIPS Efficiency and Preparation for Your Busy Season Custom storage containers for smaller pieces of sheet goods—avoid waste and find pieces quickly. (All images courtesy Bob Hagel)

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