Back in the promotional dark ages, when Mark Siegel, founder of Identity–Links started his career, things moved a little bit slower than a fast moving snail. Siegel likes to relate to the new sales associates, how orders were processed when he began in 1971.
The clients’ logo would actually be printed on letterhead, or if he was really hi-tech, he would have an ad slick with the logo. Because there was no FedEx, or even US Priority Mail, the logo, along with the order would be mailed to the factory. If the factory was in California, and the client was in Chicago, well that just meant it would take 2-4 days to get to the factory.
The factory would then prepare a proof. However, since there were no faxes, they would actually send the proof back through the mail, another 2-4 days. After reviewing the proof, Siegel would send it, or hand deliver it the customer. If all went well, and the proof was approved, the order would be put into production for delivery within the 10-14 days.
It would take at least 3-4 days to make the template, since all printing plates were steel dies, and done by hand. Another 4-5 days in transit. So a “no-problem” promotional products order would take an average of 3-4 weeks. And no one ever complained! Of course, if changes to the order had to be made, and new proofs had to be made, without faxes, lead time could extend several weeks. A rush order, if it existed, and if the factory was close by, could be done in a week or two.
Wow. How things have changed. Today, Identity-Links can deliver a rush service promotional product by 8:00 a.m. if an order is placed before 9:00 p.m. Whether it is rush service logo pens, promotional gifts, or trade show handouts, we can now do the impossible. Thanks to electronic submission of art, FedEx, and computer generated printing plates.
Rush orders that used to be wishful thinking are now a reality. We’ve managed to shrink 24 hour rush service on custom logo merchandise down to less than 12 hours. What”s next? The only thing faster than our rush service promotional items is a transporter. Beam me up, Scotty.