HOW TO PLAN YOUR PROJECT:
As a rule of thumb, most USA based apparel and promotional product decoration takes 7-10 business days for production, after artwork is approved. Depending on your event location and the decoration facility, it can take another 1-5 days for delivery in the continental USA.
With that in mind, if you have the date of the event when you need apparel or promo, circle that date, then circle a date three weeks BEFORE your event date. This is preferably when your order will need to be placed, to give us ample time to ensure your project arrives on time.
BEST CASE SCENARIO:
When everything is running smoothly with supply chain, inventory, and production, projects can be fulfilled on standard production in 5-7 days. If you have completed artwork, or repeat artwork, we can typically fast-pace your project to print within 5-7 days during slow seasons.
There are some projects that can even be delivered in as little as 3 days. Day one, place the order. Day two, decorate and ship the order. Day three, the order arrives to you. Many times, there are Rush Fees associated with rush projects. These are determined by the vendors. There may also be expedited shipping fees from UPS or FEDEX if your project needs to be shipped overnight.
WHAT CAN AFFECT THE ABOVE TIMELINES?
If you need large quantities of apparel items and promotional products, these timelines may be affected. If you need larger quantities for your event, think about adding an additional 1-2 weeks to the timelines above.
Seasons can affect your projects as well. During August, it can take up to 6 weeks to order football themed items, like pom poms and foam fingers. During May, polo shirts will be in higher demand, due to warmer weather and golf tournaments. Of course December means Christmas and the Holidays, which means high demand on everything and possibly long shipment times, due to UPS, FEDEX, and USPS being overwhelmed.
Your Project Scope can also change timelines. Do you need kitting? Will you need several items put together into a larger box and then fulfilled to list of home or business addresses for employees and clients? If so, then this will also add a couple more days, up to 2 extra weeks!
WHAT ABOUT FULLY CUSTOM?
Producing a product overseas in Asia is going to be at least 30 days minimum, just for production. That timeline does not include the design time, sampling, prototypes, etc. (that can take up to 30 days just by itself). That is only the minimum production time, once everything is full approved and it is greenlit to go into full-scale production. Shipping takes an additional 15 days by air or as much as another 45 days by ocean.
If you plan properly, you can make some amazing apparel, promotional products for marketing campaigns, etc., but you are looking at a realistic 60-90 turn-around.
Some fully custom apparel projects can be done in Mexico now, which cuts down on turn-around time, but at a higher cost per piece.
WHAT ABOUT MADE IN THE USA
Made in the USA and Union Made in the USA are great options to support local US companies. However, due to the higher cost of labor, these options will be more expensive than your typical apparel and promotional products.
Production time can also add several weeks due to current labor shortages.
If this is important to your project and company, please make sure this is highlighted in any project notes.
WHAT OTHER FACTORS CAN AFFECT MY PROJECT?
Now that you bring it up, we have seen projects fall apart because of hundreds of issues, many of them that are completely out of anyone’s control. Things like pandemics, weather, labor strikes, machine fires, sudden deaths, UPS and FEDEX losing shipments, ships getting stuck in a straightway, ships getting lost at sea, trains being robbed, and the list goes on.
There is always the possibility that something will go wrong with your order. The main reason to use a company such as Action Plus Ideas is because we know the industry, we can help avoid many of these issues, and make amends for the others.
HOW DO YOU GET STARTED ON YOUR PROJECT?
Call API today and talk to one of our Account Managers. They can walk you through the process, come up with great ideas for your marketing needs, and plan out everything, so you get exactly what you need, exactly when you need it!