When you have a big project planned and you’ve been given the budget to start producing brand merchandise, you want to be sure you’ve got all the right processes in place to ensure the project goes smoothly and no deadlines are missed.
Avoiding a meltdown when printing new merch can be tricky – there are so many things to think about and consider, and it’s difficult ensuring that you’ve considered every angle.
Here are a few of our tips to help ensure you get your merchandise on time, with no chaos, or meltdowns!
Tip 1: Plan your schedule
Maybe you are ordering merch for a festival or concert, maybe you’re ordering it for a business conference or expo. Whatever the reason, the first thing you want to do when you’re planning to order a large quantity of merchandise, is to plan out your schedule in detail. Think about the different timelines and deadlines you need to think about – for example, some events require merchandise to be shipped a couple of days beforehand. There are many things you’ll want to take into consideration, and you won’t want to miss any of the key timings, incase it trips the rest of your planning up.For example, how long do your items take to print, and can you pay extra for express shipping? If you know your timeline, you can at least be sure you’ll have the correct processes completed at the right time, and everything will run as smoothly as possible.
Tip 2: Get your designs approved well in advance
Most merchandise requires some kind of design or help from a designer. If yours will need some design assistance – make sure you brief your designer well in advance so that they have plenty of time to work on your project. You’ll also want to make sure there’s enough time for any edits and amendments too. When uploading your artwork to the printing companies – be sure you’ve specified the correct size to your designer so you don’t end up with pixelated or mis-matched designs. The last thing you want is to get an order of merch that has the incorrect resolution on it.
Tip 3: Find a printing company with good reviews
When searching for your printing company, make sure you opt for one with good reviews. Why is this important? Well, it makes sure that you’re opting for a company with credibility and good processes. When reading through reviews look for ones that mention any delays or troubles with deadlines – if you spot anything like this it’s usually a red flag.
Tip 4: Be upfront and clear about deadlines and timescales
When dealing with your designers, and your account manager at your printing firm, be clear about deadlines from the start. If you’ve left yourself plenty of time this isn’t really an issue – but when you’re working up against a deadline, you want to be sure you’ve communicated any important deadlines really clearly. Make sure people have exact dates, and that everyone can work within them.
Tip 5: Don’t forget to ask about their delivery times
Delivery time and production times are a big thing, especially when ensuring a project runs to plan. You need to make sure that the production time is reasonable and within your timeline, but also that the delivery time is reasonable too. Some companies may only take 2-3 days for production, but then shipping takes weeks. Luckily, at Garment Printing we have an express shipping option for this very reason, and because a lot of our printing establishments are in the UK< you’re never waiting long for your deliveries.
Tip 6: Always act as far ahead as possible
Where possible, always start as soon as possible. It takes the pressure off, and can save you lots of stress later on. Am extra week of planning may not seem like much, but we promise you, it can make a huge difference – especially when you’re relying on external parties and suppliers.
Tip 7: Don’t be afraid to ask questions
If you’re confused about any aspect of the printing process – whether that be the length of time to completion, to specifics of the merch itself – don’t be afraid to ask. It’s better to ask and get the product right first time, than misunderstand and need to re-do or re-order. Also, if possible, asking for samples can save a lot of stress too. This way you know exactly what you’re getting, and you’ll know what to expect.