Turn Around Time

Skippy the Bush Kangaroo

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
May 10, 2005
Australian Bush
In the post "a demise of a shop", the idea of making sure we are busy popped up. If we should look busy does that mean we should increase turnaround time to make the perception of looking busy. Some others are saying to compete they have a turn around time of under one week. Others say 2 weeks. Are we doing ourselves a disservice to have a turn around time on the same day?
I think for most modern consumers, quick turn-around would be a big plus (one which I myself do not offer.)

I got out of the photofinishing business years ago 'cause 24-hour service just wasn't cutting it any more.

We are an impatient society.
It's funny, unless a customer really needs something done that day, I will purposely not call them the same day even if it's done... It just seems like I have nothing better to do than wait there for some work to come in so I can do it right away. I generally tell people 2 to 3 weeks no matter what... that way if something crazy comes up, like an out of stock or a rush job, the customer won't start to call and hassle me for at least a week. As far as the 'impatient society' goes, I absolutely agree. It's an "I want it now" culture, and sadly most things can be had now. On the other hand, I think people realize that quality takes time.... my husband and I once ordered a hand made Winsor chair and waited 2 years for it to be finished... and the chair guy does a fantastic business and is still running about two years out.... I'd like to see some of my customers deal with a 2 year wait!
When closed corner frames are at stake, just a few manufacturers can supply them in less than a month anyway. It used to be more like 8 we. for delivery.
I agree with framinzfun. Same day delivery makes framing look like hamburger flipping and you very-very disperate and less meticulous. Sorry for those who happen to be in "frame while U wait" business, but I simply don't know how same day delivery as a rule may be pursued with dignity. In my opinion such fast delivery must be offered and perceived as a supreme favor.
When I do a "custom" job in one day or less, my customers "KNOW" that I bent over backwards and performed MAGIC because I understood their SPECIAL needs...

When I get them a closed corner in under a month, their pocketbook understands how unusual the even truly is. (Smile Cornel)

We will continue to state turn-around at about two weeks. Our regulars also understand that if it is special, and or has fabric, and I'm on the road for a while...... it will be longer. :D

And that isn's customer loyalty, that is RELATIONSHIP.
I just don't see relationship building in a 24hr turn-around, or a poster special.
I still try to turn things around on the customers schedule. Most of my customers are repeat and they know to expect about a week to ten days on most work. But if Mrs. Jones has a garden party this weekend and comes in with a job midweek, you're darn tootin' I'll get it out if at all possible.

Dave Makielski
“Same day delivery makes framing look like hamburger flipping and you very-very disperate and less meticulous. Sorry for those who happen to be in "frame while U wait" business, but I simply don't know how same day delivery as a rule may be pursued with dignity. In my opinion such fast delivery must be offered and perceived as a supreme favor.”

The busiest shop I have ever been had about 7 designer/fitter on duty, and one framesmith. They have a 2 day turnaround on regular orders but same day is no problem at all. There were pickups and drop-offs galore the hour I was there. The place was alive and comfortable (unlike the other 273 shops I have been in including mine). Because of that volume they are able to stock everything. Their equipment was simply the best I have ever seen to this day in any frameshop or chophouse. They build their own liners and are usually seamless by default.

Dignity? (Laugh). I think the shop ought to be the cover story on PFM. If I was the owner, I would not only have dignity about what I’m doing but I would stand on the largest soapbox I could find and tell my story daily.
We let our customers know that they will have their project in a week unless it is a special order. It is wonderful when those relationships are built and your repeat customers say to take our time, a week is not neccesary or, hey girls, I need this sooner, can you oblige?. I can't imagine those conversations coming from a BB, so that is a way to compete with them and build relationships with our customers.
Originally posted by framinzfun:
It's funny, unless a customer really needs something done that day, I will purposely not call them the same day even if it's done...
This supports the perception, that something of value takes time....something that costs a bit more can't be had quickly. And to a certain degree this is absolutely true, and I think it might be of a disservice to present the product too quickly.

Now recognizing that our good friend OzDave is from down under, where length moulding is the norm....and I mean really stocking length moulding, unlike his U.S. counterpart. So this factors into the equation for sure.

I believe that for most North American frame shops, pushing out custom framing orders to 2+ weeks is pushing it (And our shop is also quilty of this marketing error.) In truth, most custom framers are capable of producing quality work in a 7-10 day window as Dave Makielski stated. I believe that's is still very realistic even relying upon various chop service.

Naturally, any shop catering to satisfying the customer will always do rush jobs in 2-3 days and within 24 hours when needed as Lori identified in the post above.


BTW Lori - Stop using my avatar!
You also have to watch out on those one day turn arounds. As Baer said make sure they know that the fast turn around is something special. Some clients will think this is the norm and will expect a fast turnaround every time after the first one.
We offer smae-day framing- but on one condition... its with our in-stock, bulk frames. We do quite a bit of commercial work, and have some frames on hand. So we offer it on the days we have open to do so (mondays and tuesdays). Most of our clients go with the regular wait time fo 11-14 days, but occasionally they "NEED" it within the 11 hours we are open. We accomodate to the mall demographic. I don't necissarily like the, as it was said "hamburger flipping", but our clients know the difference and appreciate the convenience.
I too knock out frame jobs in an hour if need be..but usualy only for an established client or someone I see as a potentialy good future client (major corp.,wealthy individual, etc.). Or for a plate of chocolate chip cookies of course.
In this market most chop orders taken on Saturday will be called in to the supplier on Monday and UPS will deliver on Thursday...so the customer gets the call on Friday that her order is ready. I just left a position with a wholesale-to-the-trade fine art company that takes a big deposit at the semi-annual High Point market and sits on it for months. Hard for me to believe, coming from a retail background, how hard some folks will try to make order fulfillment seem. As Vivian Kistler wrote, "More than two weeks, and you're just putting off the work."
Humane society dropped off an original water color by a nationally recognized artist that passed away about 15 years ago...

We are framing it (gratis) for their auction.

The lady didn't know me, just thouht I was another vender worker bee...
(yeah, somedays)

She didn't realize that I do all of their framing as part of our annual contribution that keeps us on personal invite by the directors...

She stood there like I was going to design if for her RIGHT NOW, and hand it back framed in 10 minutes... Even though there were two other customers standing there, one woman was ahead of her and one waiting....

When I asked if there was anything else, she said "Well? How are you going to frame it?"

So I told her... "If I'm going to have to design it right now to satisfy you, then I'm going to go hack out a piece of cr@p in the back and slap it in there with duck tape and charge you $400 more than it's worth." He eyes got real big and I could see her considering taking the piece back..LOL. "But for Mary Henry, I'll sleep on it over the weekend, sip a little fine scotch and do a very fine museum treatment of this nice piece so that it will bring a very nice contribution at auction."
He mouth snapped shut and she left.

The customer that I had been designing with for about a half hour was still blinking.... with her mouth open.

The other lady stepped in smiling... placed her grandparents wedding photo down and said... I'd like to leave this with you it thats OK. I'd like one of those "Scotch jobs". And if you can keep it under $200, it would be great.

The original woman just laughed. "Heck, I won't to share the scotch." As she picked up her purse and left her business card. "When the scotch has spoken, just call me and tell me how much I'm going to be billing my husband. I think I may be just getting in the way here."

I think I'll just out of spite, have all three done by next Saturday.... The boss is away and I'm in control...
The jobs that I have done for people that are that day or tell them to stop the next morning "I'll finish it tonight", those people end up being repeat customers. I try to make people feel like they are a priority even if I'm not busy. My experience is that customers really like that.