EducationQ&A

How should engraving shops handle customers who request a rush order?

Rush or quick production times have become much more prevalent in recent years. Even expectations of immediate service are not unheard of. We have had people place an order or bring in a product to be engraved and have them tell us they will wait for it. We attempt to educate customers who don’t understand what it takes to produce an excellent product for them or even what we have to do and pay to run a profitable business.

We do let customers with quick orders know we will have to change our production schedule to get their project done. It is not just a matter of charging them a rush fee—we must reschedule other jobs, work into the evening, or even work on the weekend. Most know and understand what we have to do to accommodate them and appreciate our effort. Changing production schedules, particularly daily, causes stress and errors, so rush charges are well earned.

Our businesses are complex, so we must adjust pricing and charge as such. We use three personalization methods: laser engraving, deep sandcarving, and UV full-color print. Each has its challenges as well as advantages. Our services range from designing special-shaped name badges, mounting customers’ items on bases and plaques, designing and building custom plaques for perpetuals and mounting items, lasering wood urns, and a multitude of odd projects we are willing to take on.

It does get challenging and complex at times. It is also a lot of fun and allows us to use our talents and personal gifts to recognize others. The personalization industry has been fun and rewarding, so make sure you reward yourself by considering all of these factors into your pricing structure.

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Bob Hagel

Bob Hagel and his wife Dana own Eagle’s Mark Awards & Signs, offering a full line of personalized products using laser engraving, sandcarving, 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.

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