Customers are now expecting faster turnaround times. You can retain embroidery customers by giving them a faster turnaround and attract new customers at the same time. Peter Wright, managing director of Amaya Sales UK, explains more.
Take a look at most of the clothing suppliers in our industry. You can order into the evening and receive delivery the next day.
Matching this would be virtually impossible but the chances are you could improve your delivery times. It’s also good to do a little better than what your customer expects. Giving exceptional customer service will keep them coming back and encourage them to recommend your company.
So, how can you improve your production times?
The four main areas to look at are:
- Order processing.
- Your embroidery equipment.
If your order is verbal make sure your order form is easy to understand and that your operator needs as little time as possible to pick the garment and load the design. If the order is via the internet the same applies but there are software programmes available now that streamline this process and give the order more or less on a plate.
The most important part of the equation is your production engine, your embroidery machines. Without these being at their best, everything else will be held up. Your customers will become frustrated and some will go elsewhere.
Take a good look at your embroidery machines and check how efficient they are. Check how long your machines are standing between runs, check how long it takes to set up for another design, how many thread breaks you are getting. If you have fixed multi-heads, how many times do you have to switch heads off to do small runs? How long it takes to rethread a needle after a thread break. The list is endless, so make sure you have the best possible machines for the job, make sure your operators are trained for maximising production and keep your machines serviced.
After assessing your production you may think that you should have new machines but you cannot afford them. If this is the case try taking a look at leasing over a three or five year period. You will be surprised how little per month it will cost you to have more machines and give you a much more efficient unit. You can also receive tax relief on the payments that make it even more attractive.
This should be the easy part as long as your embroidery machine is trimming correctly. The garment should be almost ready to fold and place in bag. Make sure you have ample space for a packing table and if you are not good at folding there are several pieces of equipment out there that will assist with this. Make sure that you have the correct boxes available which are correctly labelled.
Have a good relationship with your courier and try and get the latest time possible for pick up. You might have to keep having a go at this because lots of other customers will be wanting the same times. The other obvious point is to use next day delivery at the best possible rates.
Surprise your customer by shipping their goods early. Try and build up a name for delivering early or on time. This should prevent your customer from even thinking about going elsewhere and you may also receive recommendations on top of that.