Poll/Discussion: Deposits and Turnaround Time

What is your standard scheduling turnaround time for order completion?

  • Total voters

Mike Labbe

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Jun 25, 2002
Lincoln, RI
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This monthly poll only has 2 questions, and is anonymous. Your participation is appreciated. One does not have to vote to view the results.

This time, we're looking at the average scheduling turnaround time for order completion, and how much of a deposit we generally ask for at the design counter.

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[ 04-26-2004, 11:59 AM: Message edited by: Mike-L@GTP ]
We schedule jobs to be done a week from saturday. This way we are not interupted as much during the week and can gang jobs(drymounting, mat cutting & so-on).
Generally, I schedule turnaround times for all orders taken up to the middle of the week (Wednesday) for the following week on Friday. Anything taken in after the middle of the week is finished the week after by Friday. This is arbitrarily? based on my order delivery schedules from frame distributors and varies according to the individual delivery days.

Tuesday deliveries can easily be completed by Friday of that week but Friday deliveries must be scheduled for the following week in order to get the job done.

Regarding deposits, we covered this topic in another thread and I stated that I ask for a 50% deposit for new customers and usually nothing down for returning customers. I feel that the deposit protects my financial interests until the customer shows some interest in timely pickup and then I usually tell them that, since they are a regular customer now, they don't have to place a deposit unless they prefer to do so. Many prefer to pay up front and some prefer to see the finished work before paying for it.

We use the traditional 2 week schedule with a 50% deposit.

However; We instituted a ONE DAY SERVICE program since we stock length moulding. The orders are limited to frame, mat, simple mount, of in stock materials and quanities of 1 or 2.

With this special service the orders are to be prepaid only.
I had a client come in to have a diploma laminated (which I *really* hate doing to diplomas) one day late last week. Told him the price, and yes, he'd have to leave it with me. Asked him for a standard (for us) 50% deposit. You should have seen the song and dance I got from him. Ended up taking it with no deposit. Have a feeling I'm going to regret it, too. :mad:
Just curious if anyone knows how the big boxes would fit into this poll?

Their standard/average turnaround and how much of a deposit they ask for?

Everyone wants their stuff as soon as possible. I think the turnaround is one place where the smaller shops can be the hero.

Interesting results so far. Thanks to all who have voted! If you have any ideas for future monthly polls, please email me.

Mike, Co moderator
Sorry Mike, don't know about the BBs.

But, it just occurred to me, that I answered based on my average completion. But, the "promise" time (unless requested sooner) is 2 1/2 weeks. I almost always call to tell them it's ready within 10 days. I like the "set expectations, then beat them" theme. The poll doesn't allow for "what do you promise," vs. "what do you deliver." -- might be interesting.
Interesting. We do the same thing. We schedule for 10 days out, but call them a few days earlier - when it's actually finished. They love that.

Every time I do one of these polls there are great suggestions for how they could have been better.

we have about the 2-3 wk turnaround with a 50% deposit. i used to work for aaron bros( years ago---honest) and it was about the same.
Michaels has a turn around time of 14 days. They also ask for payment in full at the time of the order.
The polling period has ended and this is now closed. Thanks to all who participated!

Average turnaround time summary:
7 days 21%
10 days 19%
14 days 34% *
21 days 6%
Special note: Even though 34%/14 days is the winner, 48% complete the orders in 10 days or less. Stats are so open to interpretation.

Deposits we generally ask for:
25% (1/4): 3%
33% (1/3): 3%
50% (1/2): 63% *
66% (2/3): 1%
75% (3/4): 0%
100%/Full: 3%

note: Results represent just those grumblers who participated and may not accurately represent the industry as a whole.