What are made to order items?
Made to Order items are fully customised items made exactly to your own specifications meaning that you can choose colours, design, print etc. an example of this would be promotional umbrellas. Normal promotional stock umbrellas have panels of either the same colour (all red, for example) or of two alternating colours (red and white). So what if you wanted each panel to be a different colour? The solution is that you could have them made to order with your own design and specifications. With umbrellas, this would also apply to the dimensions of the umbrella, the colour/size/material of the handle etc.
What about printing?
Another reason that you may choose to have fully customised promotional items produced could be because of a specific printing need. Due to the curvature of umbrella panels the printing area is fairly limited – roughly 22x10cm on most umbrellas. If you wanted the whole panel printed with your logo then this is the way to solve the issue. Other examples could be that you want a cap with your logo stretched over the whole thing. Or perhaps you want a mug with a customised print inside the mug or if you wanted items in a specific pantone which isn´t available in stock. Basically, made to order is the solution when stock items aren´t quite what you´re looking for.
Do these fully personalised items work out more expensive?
In fact the opposite is true. One of the biggest factors in choosing to make items to order is the price. Making items to order greatly reduces the costs involved. The difference can be quite considerable – even up to 40% cheaper than buying stock items.
Are there any disadvantages?
1) lead time – made to order products are made in China and as such the lead-time is greatly increased. The standard for these fully customised orders is around 100 days. This means that you must plan in advance as these can´t be done for last minute events.
2) quantities - fully customised products can only be produced for very large quantities. One of the reasons for this is that machines, moulds etc. have to be created in order to produce the specific requirements of each item. These things are costly and so for only 100 hundred items the cost would be enormous. For, 10,000 personalised items however the cost would be distributed between them and it then becomes viable. (If you wish to know more about fixed costs check our our blog post on it HERE). Just to give you an idea of the quantities, for umbrellas there is a minimum order of 5,000 units and for t-shirts it´s for quantities of 20,000+.
Are there any exceptions?
There are in fact items which can be made to order in under a month. USBs are an example of items which can be produced in under 1 month with a fully customised shape and design. We are also able to produce certain mugs within a 1 month period as well as pens and paper products. Of course, producing these items more quickly will mean that the cost benefits involved will not come in to play but if you´re looking for something unique and don´t have 3 months, or thousands of €´s to part with, these smaller items can be a great option.
If you´d like more information about whether the made to order option would be appropriate for what you have in mind don´t hesitate to contact us.