Lead Times Vary, How Come?
The hardest part is predicting lead times, we are a custom drapery shop where everything is custom from the room, fabric, rod layout and treatment. We are NOT a cookie cutter business. There are so many moving parts on a custom order making sure everything is accurate before a work order is put into production. There are eyes on the order all the way from manufacturing to installation or pickup, which takes time. Not to mention all the emails to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Things don’t always go has planned
During the process things can go sideways which they do. We try to avoid them however, sometimes it just goes south. What do I mean by south?
There are many times at Precision that once the order is approved there are a lot of moving parts before a job goes into production. From ordering hardware, gathering specs, Auto-CAD, reviewing order, ensuring fabrics arrived, any fabrics missing, lining in stock etc. Some orders just take longer to tie everything together and get into production. When this happen, due dates get adjusted.
Workroom Details Requests:
Then you have workroom details that even slow production down even more, good example are: hand-stitched hems, hand-stitched trims & fringes, bottom memory stitch, 2-step hem process etc.
Difficult Fabrics Types:
Velvets, Silks, Embroideries, Casements, Slippery sheers, Wide goods 118” or wider, Upholstery, Linens etc. can cause slow down in production as these fabrics take longer to produce a custom product. When this happen, due dates get adjusted.
Style of Treatments:
Fashion always changes just like the seasons. We get on a routine of making the same treatment over & over, allowing production to move in a normal way. Then all sudden we are thrown a curve ball, we get a treatment we haven’t made in years or something new, this slows production time as we then must go into RD (research & development). When this happen, due dates get adjusted.
Then you have those draperies that are over 180” long in finished length, these slow down productions as well. When this happen, due dates get adjusted.
Treatment or fabrics that doesn’t behave:
We’ve been doing this business for a very long time, second generation drapery maker, and we do have those treatments that doesn’t behave. They just take longer than normal to finish up. And even if we finish them it’s only on the installation that we discover the issues. When this happen, due dates get adjusted.
Fabrics doesn’t machine well:
Then you have the unpredictable fabrics that don’t machine blind stitch well enough for our taste which then requires the side & bottom hems to be hand-stitched, huge slow down in production. When this happen, due dates get adjusted.
Then you have the unpredictable timing of a machine breaking down. It takes up to 2-3 days to get a mechanic out to repair the machine with hopes no parts are required. When this happen, due dates get adjusted.
For the orders that require hardware or supplies sometimes we have to deal with back-orders. There are many times we need the product/hardware to tighten up finished lengths & rod widths to make the final adjustments. When this happen, due dates get adjusted.
Holidays, Vacation, Sick Time, Weather, Family Emergency :
When this happen, due dates get adjusted.
There are so many details in custom draperies that in time it can become overwhelming as the production coordinator gets overwhelmed. There are so many details that you lose the drive, the sharpness, frustration, Time for break, it’s too costly to make a mistake in this business that it could cost $$$$$ if you are not sharp all the time. And even then, we‘ve had to pay for mistakes because we hurried a job, at our cost. When this happen, due dates get adjusted.
It seems when jobs fall behind schedule it can be slow to get back on schedule, this is a good example with the Covid-19 pandemic. Being closed for 6 weeks, put us in hard position as it was only fair to work on those jobs behind first when we opened. It’s been interesting challenge to get back on schedule as all the above stuff happened, which slowed us down. When this happen, due dates got adjusted.
Spread lead time out to a window date vs a flat 6 weeks. As you can see there are so many variables that are unpredictable in the custom world. Moving forward we are going to try window date of 6-12 weeks this way it allows a buffer for all these cases. This allows us to give you the best product.