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avoid line shutdown
Lee K. HouseJun 28, 20244 min read

4 Tips To Avoid a Line Shutdown

“I’ll just expedite the order” is a dangerous assumption when sourcing custom products. 

At worst, a mistimed order could delay the whole process and shut down your production line, resulting in customer complaints and significant financial losses

Converters are subject to the lead times of material and die cut tool suppliers, meaning last-minute re-orders can be a strenuous challenge. Strouse does its utmost best to uphold customer deadlines. However, there are instances where outside factors affect our ability to fulfill an order as quickly as requested. 

Completing certain steps gives us ample opportunity to build the best possible solution for you within your deadlines. This article will help you better understand what you can do to prevent total stoppage. 

What Are the Consequences of a Line Shutdown?

As previously mentioned, production line shutdowns have many unfortunate consequences including but not limited to:

  • Financial losses
      • Loss of capacity (unused machines)
      • Unused labor costs
      • Fines from upstream buyers
      • Lost revenues
  • Customer complaints (damaged reputation)
  • Job losses

How To Avoid a Line Shutdown

Now that you know the consequences of a line shutdown, let’s talk about the ways you can work with your converter to avoid them.

And if you want to know how Strouse can help you avoid a line shutdown, consider checking out our guide above. 


“We want it within the week,” you say, without realizing that the material lead time alone could take far longer. 

Converting isn’t as simple as pulling an item off a shelf, so you must factor in the necessary time for a custom project, including the quote, material/tooling lead times, and machine run. Custom parts involve many planning and setup considerations, especially during the initial run. 

For reference, Strouse’s standard lead time is 6-8 weeks, the ideal minimum time to send a Request For a Quote before you need the product. Submitting your RFQ sooner rather than later gives a converter more flexibility to meet your deadlines. 


Blanket Purchase Orders (BPOs) simplify the process of placing the same order repeatedly, making them an excellent way to schedule order releases ahead of time, mitigate logistical issues, and achieve a lower overall price. 

Think about it this way: placing five separate orders means paying for the machine setup and breakdown every time. BPOs reduce this by allowing your converter to schedule longer machine run times, lowering labor time and unit cost. 

Blanket purchase orders also allow your converter to purchase material in bulk and navigate minimum order quantities more effectively, lowering material costs. 

Lastly, rather than stress about sending quote requests far enough in advance, you can sit back and relax, knowing you’ll receive each release when you need it. 


Whether you’re going out for a night on the town with friends or building adhesive products, a sudden change of plans can sour everyone’s mood. In terms of converting, this could be anything from design changes to new deadlines. 

You may not realize it, but sometimes, even slight alterations in material thickness can disturb the delicate process of manufacturing your product. To avoid potential delays, it’s essential to inform your converter of changes in geometrical shape, material, tolerances, packaging requirements, or timeline as soon as possible. 


Keeping your converter informed about timeline predictions and expectations will increase your odds of receiving a part when you need it

Custom processes can be challenging to predict, but knowing more about your timeline, inventory, or product usage will allow converters to schedule buffer time to meet your expectations. 


If you’re at risk of a line shutdown, try to let us know at least three weeks ahead of time. When we know far enough in advance, we can often help prevent a total shutdown, but if you only tell us a few days before it happens, there might not be enough time.

Strouse is not a distribution facility but a manufacturing facility that doesn’t keep tons of material around because the adhesive expires. Therefore, we are subject to our vendor’s material lead times

Where Does Your Converter Help?

Life happens. The real question is, how will your converter help you when a line shutdown looms on the horizon?

Our first course of action is to check and see whether we have the material. If not, we’ll contact our material vendor and determine whether we can acquire it in time. Second, we look at the possibility of moving up your order based on machine availability. 

A trusted converter goes the extra mile to ensure that your nightmare, lines-down scenario, never becomes a reality. Consider reaching out for a quote today to get started. 

Lastly, check out our Learning Center to learn more about converting timelines and what Strouse can do for you.


Lee K. House

Copywriter & Content Creator for Strouse. Lee graduated from the University of Alabama in the Spring of 2022 with a double major in English and Spanish.