After days of mulling over your die cut quote, you finally send back a confirmation. However, the relief you feel is overshadowed by the inevitable twinge of anxiety in the back of your mind.
Waiting for updates is one of the most frustrating stages of any purchase order, and it’s even worse when you don’t know what to expect.
Strouse has done our own fair share of waiting over the years on both material suppliers and die cut tool manufacturers, which is why we understand the need for transparency with all our clients.
After you’ve read this, you should know the ins and outs of what comes after you order and feel confident receiving a ship date acknowledgment at the end of the post-purchasing process.
What Are the Next Steps After I Place My Purchase Order?
You’ve placed your order. Congratulations!
Unfortunately, the die cut process can take a considerable amount of planning.
From entering your contact information into our system to sending you the final ship date and acknowledgment, we’ll detail the steps of our process so that you can prepare for what happens after your purchase order.
STEP 1: ENTERING THE PURCHASE ORDER
There are two types of purchase orders: New orders and reorders.
When placing a new order, Strouse will enter your contact details into our system and compile information from the estimate for production purposes.
During this stage, you’ll receive an email asking for your current payment details while our production managers review the job information to provide additional input on process planning.
If you’re reordering a part, this stage will consist of checking the previous quote to ensure there haven’t been any changes since the last time you ordered.
STEP 2: DETERMINE TOOLING (IF ANY)
While many laser cutting or flash cutting jobs do NOT require tooling, rotary and flatbed die cut press jobs require us to purchase a die cut tool.
First, Strouse engineers your part drawing to adapt it for rotary die cutting, which entails many slight adjustments to meet your requested specs. Next, they’ll send the tooling drawing to a die cut tool maker and wait for the tool itself.
Generally speaking, your tooling lead time will typically be between 1-5 weeks. However, because it depends on factors such as the complexity of the tooling design itself, the lead time can be challenging to predict with 100% accuracy.
STEP 3: ORDERING MATERIAL
Although there’s a slight possibility we carry your desired material, Strouse will most likely need to acquire the material from suppliers. Depending on the material, the lead time can be a couple of weeks to a couple of months.
If we have your material in-house, we’ll go ahead and schedule your machine run time. Otherwise, we’ll order it and use the anticipated arrival to calculate your final ship date.
You might be thinking about supplying your own material. If so, consider the pros and cons of using your own adhesive and whether it's right for your project. Using your own adhesive will put the onus on you to deliver the material on time, and any material-based delays will be out of our hands.
STEP 4: SCHEDULING MACHINE RUN TIME
Machine run time relies upon the successful coordination of every other element in the purchasing process.
Strouse looks at two factors when scheduling machine run time:
- Machine availability
- Operator availability
Certain jobs require specific machines, such as those requiring the higher sanitization standards of our ISO 7 Cleanroom.
Because of the limited machine and operator availability, jobs are often scheduled further in advance. Operator availability is as essential as machines and requires the forethought of assigning operators to jobs where they may have had prior experience.
For each job, we anticipate the length of the material run time and plan accordingly. Ideally, we’ll schedule jobs for longer machine run times to avoid setup waste and save you money.
The ultimate goal of this stage is ensuring your parts can be delivered on time, so be sure to take any part validation and verification (V&V) into deadline consideration.
STEP 5: FINAL SHIP DATE & ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
With the die cut tool, material, and machine run time scheduled, we are finally ready to declare a ship date and send it to you in a sales order acknowledgment.
Your sales order acknowledgment includes your billing address, shipping address, expected ship date, quantity, and part description. If you order multiple parts, there’s a separate acknowledgment page for each part in the same PDF.
After you receive the acknowledgment, the next update you’ll hear, assuming there aren’t delays, is the invoice you’ll receive on your final ship date. This invoice will include all the same information as your acknowledgment, with the addition of your tracking number for shipping.
STEP 6: PRODUCTION AND SHIPMENT
This is where the rubber meets the road: all of the planning and organizing is about to pay off.
If everything goes to plan, your order will be manufactured and shipped by the scheduled ship date in your acknowledgement. Your shipment method will follow what was on the acknowledgement, so make sure it’s correct once you receive it.
As the client, you deserve to know if there are any updates, issues, or delays with your project. If anything occurs, the Strouse customer service team will reach out with an explanation and answer any questions you may have.
What Could Delay My Purchase Order?
The two most likely factors to delay your purchase order are extended die cut tool and material lead times.
If the die cut tool or material lead time is pushed back, it can have a domino effect on the entire process. If suppliers don’t ship your material in time, it will force Strouse to delay production and adjust our schedule accordingly.
Material lead time is often one of the longest parts of the process– even longer than tooling. If you’re worried about material lead time causing delays, we’ve got tips on reducing it in future orders:
When an order is delayed, Strouse will send a redate acknowledgment which includes a new shipping date.
If you have any questions about a current order or one you plan to make, feel free to ask us about your purchase order.