Wednesday, March 07, 2007

production



i created this LO in only 30 mins this past weekend. i have come to understand that my style is like the total opposite of deb's style. she is very meticulous in her LOs - her titles are handcut, the journaling is impeccable. the cardstock creations and manipulation is amazing. i am more about the fast and the furious. the faster the better.

but that is the beauty of this hobby, there is no right way to do things when it comes to creating your LOs.

and i guess it is sort of true too in the production and manufacturing of our products. or other ppl's products. remember when i told you about the retailer that told us it was not acceptable that our products weren't ready 2 weeks after the show? to me that doesn't MAKE SENSE. think about it. if everyone had everything ready 2 weeks after the show, that would be a lot of money for a retailer to fork over and pay for at one time. unless you are a retailer with deep pockets, that is very hard to do.

the question was asked how long it takes us to think of an item and actually have it made for a show. the honest answer is that it depends. we often have ideas anywhere from 6 months to a year before a show. it could be just something that triggers a brainstorm (like during a run). and so we jot it down. and we keep a running list. and we sort. and we rank and then we re-rank. that process is repeated each show for all of our products.

from there, we work with the factory to make a sample / prototype. some samples can be made in a week, some take 3-4 weeks. for example most of you have seen our ribbon slides that match our ribbons. those puppies are handpainted and the resin needs about 2 weeks to cure. so that is an example of a sample that takes WAY longer than say a ribbon that is printed.

then we have the samples air freighted over to us so we can look at it. if we have to make adjustments, the cycle is repeated again til we get it right. once we approve something then it can take another month to have the item made, packaged and labeled.

and then comes the part where we are trying to get the items on the container to ship here. i have spoken about this in the past. once you get it on the boat, the travel time is 3-4 weeks to the US (assuming no customs issues).

so when you add that all up, we are talking about a cycle time of 8-12 weeks from a ready to go idea to when it gets here. that is 2-3 months of time from a product we are ready to do for a show to when it is sampled, made and finally here.

that is just a glimpse of ONE of the items we release. now multiply that by the 80-100 we do a show and you can see how this supply chain can get complicated. you can also add into that anything we need to reorder.

reordering can be a tricky proposition too - we have had a retailer ask us why it seems that some of our items are out of stock a lot - there are 3 reasons.

  • 1. um, they sell well (LOL). again, things that we might have had a 6 month restock cycle are now moving to a 2 month restock cycle b/c people are buying a lot of an item at a time.
  • 2. for some reason, some people seem to call right as we are at the lowpoint of our restock cycle (if you called 2 months ago, we had a ton of that item in stock).
  • 3. my philosophy is this - if we ALWAYS have inventory of every item that we have released always in stock, we would be in bad shape. that means we have too much inventory. too much inventory means your working capital numbers don't look good and in the end that is not good business.

i hope this helps those that read my blog to understand better how this business works. deb and i share a lot of the behind the scenes at MR b/c we feel that the more people understand what is behind what they ask for, the less questions there are and a better understanding there is of what it involved to get something out to market.

CHA-W release update - we are shipping our orders out as fast as we can get them out. *most* CHA orders placed at the show should be out by next week so look for them soon at your favorite LSS!

4 Comments:

At 3/07/2007 02:46:00 AM, Blogger scrap 67 said...

It really looks great i like both your styles.
Keep posting

Hugs Greetje

 
At 3/07/2007 07:54:00 AM, Blogger Shirley said...

love the new layout - soooooo true! and thanks for more insight!

 
At 3/07/2007 08:04:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

patiently...patiently...PATIENTLY waiting for the process to work itself into my hot little hands!!

Thanks for sharing so much behind the scenes schtuff.

Christy O

 
At 3/08/2007 02:01:00 PM, Blogger Andrea said...

i love what you can create in 30 minutes!!! So awesome :)

Thanks for sharing all the information...it's really interesting!

 

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