Frame Collection Days


PFG, Picture Framing God
Forum Donor
Nov 19, 2002
United Kingdom, West Sussex Coast. (Bottom centre)
We offer a 7 day turnaround, max, but always ask the customers if they would like to collect sooner. Next day, same day or even while you wait is possible.

Left to our own ends we book all frames in for collection on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday.

We strive to have Tuesday's jobs done by the Friday, Therefore are working on Thursday's by the Monday. Thursday's we aim to get done by Tuesday and Saturday's by Thursday.

This gives us breathing space for rush jobs, more complex jobs and for making ready-mades and framed prints/originals for sale in the shop.

Sometimes one or two of us will be dedicated to customers orders with the other doing shop stuff, sometimes vice versa, sometimes all three doing one or the other.

Sometimes we pull all the stops out and are actually 'clear' - waiting for work to come in, then we can have a 'mad' week churning out readymades etc.

No framing staff in on Saturday and that's when I put a suit on - to keep me out of the workshop!
But I regularly have to slip my jacket off and an apron on for a quick mat, glass replacement, etc.

How do you plan your workload?
We collect work orders in an "In Box" and order material Tuesdays and Thursdays. After the material P.O.'s are placed, the customer's name is written on a 36 X 48" dry-erase board laid out in a calendar arrangement. The work orders have a Due Date section. Typical entries in this section are a week (normal), week + for materials with a long lead time, or a firm date that the customer needs it by. Then, we just work the board and cross the names off as we go.
Wow, a week? We generally ask for 2 to 3 weeks generally. I think it's because we don't have an enormous amount of volume, so we hold off a little so we can make more sizeable orders from the venders. I always thought 2-3 weeks was the norm around here, and most customers don't seem to mind.
As far as workflow goes. Once the order is in, I mark the customers name and mats needed and frame and size and item description on a list and keep them in the order they were placed. As supplies come in, I highlight the item on the sheet, and highlight the customers name when everything is ready to go. I works great for us, but then again we aren't dealing with huge volumes of orders.
Our system is a lot like Doug's. We average 50 projects a week, with a 10-14 day turn-around time.

1. Supply requests (based on the ticket requirements) are transferred into an Order Book (arranged by vendor) each day.

2. Vendor orders are placed 3-4 times a week, depending on vendor's minimums, shipping costs, shipping time, etc.

3. Customer's name is noted on a large paper calendar along with the storage bin number, a day or two before their due date.

4. Framers "pull" their projects from the calendar and cross the names off when they're done.

We like the large paper calendars because we can keep them and compare productivity, year-to-year.
I think here in UK we have less problems and expense with deliveries. The distances aren't anything like as great as the States.

I've read the poll on turnaround times and I'm assuming that that is the reason the average there is 2 weeks.

From one supplier, about 150 miles away, I can order up to 4 p.m. and it will be here next day if I want to pay a bit extra carriage - and not much extra either. All are capable of next day delivery if you order before 1 pm. We can even pay a bit more still, and have it guaranteed to arrive before 10 a.m.

I've done an order for next day when the moulding and the matboard has been out of stock.

Normal delivery time is 2 days, a lot comes next day anyway, without paying extra.

We don't have to order very often, we carry a lot of stock. When we do order - if the amount is below carraige paid - we top up on fast moving stuff that we know will sell.

Carraige paid here is usually £100 ($160)