In nearly 15 years in business, we’d heard just about every question imaginable. Some questions, though, we hear every week. When we hear these questions, we have a pretty good idea of the desired answers. Here’s our top question.
When can you complete the project?
About 95% of the time, the desired answer is “now., today or tomorrow” Or “yesterday..” We live in a time where we want what we want when we want. This is understandable, and we at Kona Impact are as guilty as anyone else of wanting our supplies and services sooner than later.
Here is what we do at Kona Impact to make sure we can complete projects quickly:
- We keep 2-6 months of printed vinyl inventory.
- We keep 3 months of foam core, Gatorboard, aluminum, and PVC inventory.
- We always keep at least one extra set of inks and toners.
- We strive to have redundant consumables.
As a result,
- Our turnaround time (upon design approval) is usually a day for banners, foam core, Gatorboard, stickers, labels, and color copies.
- Our turnaround time (upon design approval) for real estate, storefront, vehicles is usually within a week, usually sooner.
- Our turnaround time (upon design approval) for most offset printing–business cards, brochures, postcards, folders, flyers, etc. is usually 5 business days.
We have two issues that affect completion time: 1) it’s bad business to “overstock” manpower, our workers, and 2) we need to keep 2-3 weeks of long-term projects in our queue and several days of short-term projects in our queue. A long-term project would be a CNC sign requiring custom stands or mounts, some design projects, and websites. Short-term projects are most of our real estate, store signage, and banners.
So, as I say, it’s costly to spend a day counting rubber bands; that is, not having a lot of productive work in the pipeline.
The customer service element of this is simple: letting a client’s project jump the queue, move ahead of others in line, pushes another client’s project down the list. That might be good for one client, but it’s bad for another.
Here’s what you can do:
- Plan ahead. That’s an easy recommendation, but it’s true. If you know that you need a banner for Friday, talk to us on Monday or Tuesday. We have a massive project for the summer of 2021, and the owner’s contacted us in September of 2020. That’s fantastic planning, and it will ensure a smooth process, high quality, and on-time delivery.
- Bring us everything we need. This might include logo files, measurements, and your ideas. We can only move as fast as the slowest part.
- Become a regular. This applies to almost every business. Develop a relationship with us by having us do big and small projects, and we’re more likely to be willing to stay late or work over the weekend to get your project done.
- Make us money. Yes, I said it. All things being equal, a customer that always brings small, mostly unprofitable projects should not expect a rush, cut-the-line service all the time.
- On occasions, yes. Every project, no. We’re more than willing to help a client out who is in a pinch, but if every project becomes a crisis and a last-minute job, it’s hard for us to prioritize them over others that are already in line.
- Be polite and understanding. Rudeness will result will only turn us off. If we can, we do, but it is our choice. As they say, a crisis on your part does not equate to one on our part.