Christmas PROMO Math

  • Sep 15, 2021

I know, it's only September and we're not ready for Pumpkin Spiced Lattes let alone thinking about Christmas shopping.  But like Pumpkin Spiced Lattes, Christmas will be here before you know it and if you don't start thinking about your holiday appreciation gifts now, you could be disappointed.


So, let's start with the time math in a "normal" year under the assumption that this does not need to add any additional stress for you and you can have a wide range of products available to select from.  


You want to make sure you have all of your gifts ready for your Christmas party and because it's best to get these out of the way before school is out, holidays start and the Christmas chaos hits full steam, you decide to hold your party on Saturday, November 27th.  And because no one wants to be wondering if everything will get there on time and things need to get organized, let's assume it's best if you have everything in your hands a week earlier so, ideally, everything is ready for pick up by Friday, November 19th.  


Whew! That still seems like a long ways away, doesn't it?


Well, let's remember that generally speaking, an order takes about 3-4 weeks from approval of the proof.  Because it's the busiest season in the PROMO world, let's be conservative and assume it will take 4 weeks to arrive after you've approved the final art proof. (And the closer we get to Christmas, the longer the timelines can be but because you started early, it's safe to assume about 4 weeks.)


So, now, in our perfect world, you are approving the final art proof by Friday, October 22nd.


But, unfortunately this year, a number of suppliers are struggling with labour shortages and other challenges related to having employees working outside of the office so it could take a few days to get the final art proof after we've placed your order.  And, if it takes you a day or two to approve the final proof, to be safe, let's try to make sure we have your order placed by the start of the week on Monday, October 18th.


For us to place your order, we need to get your approval on the quote, so we'll want to make sure we get that out to you by Thursday, October 14th so you can review it and make any changes before you provide your approval. 


Now, as you sit back, sip that Pumpkin Spiced Latte and think there's still lots of time since that's almost a month away, let's think about the process of getting that final quote in your hands. 

  1. We're going to talk about what kinds of items you're interested in this year.  Maybe you already have an idea of what you want, maybe you don't.  Wouldn't it be nice to have some time to explore your options and look at some new ideas?
  2. We're going to search for the best items to meet your goals and budget and with all of the inventory challenges the PROMO industry is facing, chances are good that we're going to be contacting suppliers to confirm stock and/or searching for stock across our network of suppliers.  We always hope to do this quickly but realistically, depending on the items, this could take up to a week.
  3. We're going to provide you some preliminary ideas and pricing to consider.  
  4. You'll probably want some time to get some feedback from others and consider the options in order to make final decisions on which items you'd like.  (And don't forget, if you're buying apparel, you'll need to know quantities and sizes.)
  5. We're going to cross our fingers that the stock we confirmed in Step #2 is still available and finalize the quote for your approval.

Now, we can work together to get this done as quickly as possible and if all goes well, it could be done in a couple of days. But this is not a normal year.  


And because we'll all be filling up on some turkey Thanksgiving weekend and having a short week at work, this would mean, in an ideal world, it would be great for us to start talking by the week of Monday, October 4th in order to have everything ready for your party on Saturday, November 27th.


Now, that isn't to say that we can't get items more quickly and if you come see us on November 1st, we're not going to turn you away and we will help you find great appreciation gifts for your customers and employees but it will significantly limit the items that you have available to select from, not only because we'll have to find items with shorter production and shipping timelines, but also because of inventory. We are already facing inventory shortages and there are many items where we have either no ETA on stock or the expected stock arrivals aren't until 2022. 


The good news is that we've been working through these inventory issues and extended timelines for quite a few months now, so we have a good idea of which items have stock availability and which suppliers are managing order and production timelines the most successfully so we can help guide you to products that fit your timeline.  It's just that there are so many interesting and unique products out there that we'd love to have the widest range of options available to you and the sooner we can start talking, the more memorable we can make this year's Christmas order, without either of us having to stress over whether everything will be ready in time!



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