Giving holiday gifts to employees is a great way to show appreciation for their work throughout the year! You may have noticed that your sales representatives started talking about holiday gifts before the summer even ended. While this may seem early, our goal is to offer product options and deliver them on time.
So, why is pre-planning and ordering early important? Below we outline what causes delays and why pre-planning is important!
1. INCREASED PRODUCTION/DELIVERY TIMES
This is a popular time for the promotional products industry. Under even the best conditions, the increase in orders creates longer production times. Since 2020, production times continue to take longer due to labor shortages in all areas of the industry- from producing the products, decoration vendors, fulfillment, and delivery. There is also a max amount of output that can be done in each of these facilities per day and schedules fill up quickly with the increase of orders. During the end of the year, there also tends to be longer shipping times with top companies, such as UPS and Fed Ex. Not only do the shipping delays create longer times, in the end, delivering to you, but also in getting the product to the vendors and then to the fulfillment centers.
A popular option in holiday gifting is choosing multiple items and creating a package to make a gift feel more personalized. Creating custom gifts also takes longer for production. Items may be coming from several vendors. These items then need to be sent to a kitting facility to be packaged together before shipping again to the recipient. There must be time allotted for the additional shipping, as well as time for kitting. A way to decrease time (and shipping costs) is to choose items that are already kitted together, such as a pre-made charcuterie set. You can still personalize these by adding a custom insert card!
3. INVENTORY ISSUES
There is nothing worse than finding the perfect gift, and then not being able to get it! With the increases in orders, inventory levels can be depleted quickly, as distributors often use the same vendors. Once you decide on your gift, place your order as soon as possible to secure the inventory. Items can always be held until they are needed. It is also helpful to go into holiday shopping with flexibility. Maybe you wanted black NIKE hoodies, but the size large is all sold out, be open to switching colors or to a different brand. Your sales rep is there to help offer suggestions!
4. APPAREL SIZING
Offering apparel is not only a great way to personalize a gift, but it is an item that people are likely to wear. This not only spreads the word about your brand but reminds them of the generosity of the gift. In giving apparel, it is important to think ahead to be able to get all employee sizes. These gifts are specific to each individual, which increases packing time once the item has been decorated. Even if these are not shipped direct, they will need to be labeled to allow for easy distribution.
If you haven’t started strategizing for holiday gifting, now is the perfect time to start! Reach out to your sales rep with your ideas or your budgets and see what gifting options are available!