Rush fees have become a popular word around here lately. We want to make sure that people, first of all, understand why we charge a rush fee. Also why we may not be able to always offer those rush services. You may find that many shops are just not offering it at all.
Why do we charge?
When we take on a rush job there are several factors that come into play. So we thought we would give you a glimpse of what that looks like and why it is important for very fast communication on rush orders.
Artwork, even though you may have artwork we have to make sure it is good for our process. If we start with poor art or files that are not correct then we produce poor quality work. This is a big no-no for us. So we must have our design team stop what they are currently working on to make sure that we check out this step.
Approvals, we need fast communication when approving the art step so that we do not delay any longer. So we have spent lots and lots of money on technology to allow us to email you faster and once you approve it we get fast results as well. This is something that has taken me several years to get worked out.
Along with approvals, you might ask well why don't you just text me a picture and I say looks good? Well mainly because we are working across not only multiple people but multiple locations and states. The system we have in place allows everyone in the process to see that you have approved what we are about to run. If it were just a text-only one person would see that. They may not even be at work at that point. So we really appreciate the use of our system.
Printing, now this is where a lot of the fun happens but it's not just hitting a button and watch it go. For instance, if you are getting custom-made t-shirts there is so much that has to be done before we can even drop ink on the shirt. We have to print vellum to then burn a screen that we wash out, let dry, and then on to the machine where we calibrate the machine. After calibration then we can put ink in and do our test prints. This takes a good bit of time to do sometimes as much as 1-2 hours just to get ready to print. Now of course if you are getting something else the process may vary but you get the point we just don't have a desktop printer and hit print to hand it over to you.
Production, includes several things such as after we print signs we still have to UV coat the sign for the best product. Then we have to lay it on the substrate and trim everything down nice and neat. Well, then it is ready for you our customer.
Pick-up/Delivery/Install, depending on what your order was it is now ready to send to one of our many locations for you to pick up or we may be delivering or installing for you. Even though this may seem simple enough we still have to make sure we have people here to get it done for you. We care greatly for our staff and want to make sure that they have time for their families and life outside of the store. This is one reason we are not always able to be at the store till late at night for your pickup.
So to wrap this up you can see that there are several steps that are involved and to meet your goals we have staff that will most likely have to work overtime to get your project done and keep up with our other orders. Even though we may look like a small shop we have been blessed with lots of work. We process sometimes as many as 1000 orders in just one day.
So now to the charges that we charge. These charges are updated on a regular basis and we keep them on file at the stores. They do change depending on the workload of the production facilities and sometimes we just have to say no as we have committed to our other customers first.