Manage and Maintain Rush Orders

Bob Hagel and his wife Dana own Eagle’s Mark Awards & Signs, offering a full line of personalized products using laser engraving, sand etching, and full-color UV direct print on products. They have offered awards, recognition, and signage products to organizations for more then a decade in the Southern California wine country.

Rush orders produce stress, errors, and production mistakes such as putting the plate on upside down or missing an entire sentence. As the customer is in a rush, they too are likely to make mistakes, change their minds about the text, forget to include a date, etc. There is nothing worse than completing a layout of text and graphics and having the customer call you with changes just before or even after you engrave it. We make sure that a customer knows that once an order is placed with the text and graphics provided and approved, we may complete the job at any time, and that includes immediately.

When does the clock start ticking on what is considered a rush order? Is it when the order is placed? I consider it a rush order when the information and graphics are received within so many hours (or days) of when the order needs to be completed. It is not unusual to receive an order a week or two before the due date, but not getting the text or the proof approved until the day it’s due. Managing the receipt of text and graphics and the approved proof is a challenge that requires a system, even if it’s simple.

All of our orders are placed in large plastic folders that are color-coded by the process required to complete them. Where the file is placed on our order shelf is based on the status of the order, and that includes waiting for customer information and the approval of a proof.

—Bob Hagel, Eagle’s Mark