Well, your order starts at Customer Service. One of the Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) take your order and first determine whether or not you have ordered with us before.
If you have, the CSR will check to see if your previous artwork matches the new order you sent in. CSRs always check previous artwork for reorders.
If you have never ordered with us before, the CSR puts your information into the system, a step they call “setting up the rep.” They fill out all the information required for a work order that you have provided: colors for the artwork, the design, your name, address to ship the final product to, etc.
The work order is then printed. Three items come from CSR: an art ticket, a copy of the work order, and a packaging list. The art ticket goes to the art department. The copy of the work order and the packaging list goes directly to the production department. You receive an email with a copy of the work order as well!
In the art department, the artists check your work order over. They look for initial spelling errors, phone numbers, emails, and names. The artists will decide the urgency of an order by its received date. A work order received before yours is at a higher priority. Any order received after yours is at a lower priority.
The artists open our internal database to get all the information to start setting up your design. They proof the artwork, making sure designs match up and flow well together. Once the proofing is done, you receive another email which states your art is up on the web. Then, you proof what the artist has done to make sure its what you want your design to look like.
Essentially, you and the artist work together to come to a conclusion about your t-shirt order. Some designs just aren’t printable. Once you approve the artwork the artist takes the art ticket and sends it to the film department.
While this is happening in the art department, production has received the work order and packaging list. They take the work order and process it into the system. They order the blank shirts needed for printing well in advance for production.
The receiving department, well, receives everything. From t-shirts to mail, they get it all. They go through the orders and make sure everything ordered is actually in the box received. The shirts are separated into boxes by work order number and labeled accordingly. The boxes are then brought back to production.
While the production manager is waiting on the shirts to come in, the film department is hard at work putting the final touches on your artwork. They check the spelling, sizing of the design and “bugs,” the ink colors, and make sure the design is centered. Bugs are the trademark symbols we put on the shirts. Film then sends their final product to the Production Manager for verification. Once it has been verified, they print the film sheet.
The film is cut down to size and measured out. The design on the film has to be able to fit the smallest garment in the order. Once the film is checked and finished, it is sent to production for printing.
The Production manager makes sure the artwork has been approved, the shirts have arrived, and you have paid for your order.
Once production has the film and blank shirts, they are ready for printing. The production manager schedules a print date for your order. Our production department uses a technique called screen printing to fill your order. Check out our blog entry about screen printing to learn all about it!
Once your order has been printed, the shirts are inspected, tagged, re-boxed, and sent to shipping.
The shipping department checks the boxes and the work order. If you’ve added shirts to the order, this is when we run your credit card for the balance due on those shirts.
The shipping department calculates how long it should take your order to reach you. We strive for all of our orders to arrive on the delivery commitment date. If your order is being shipped to your work, your order will arrive only on business days. If it is going to your home, it will arrive on all mailing days except Monday. There are several methods used to ship orders: FedEx ground, FedEx express, FedEx Next Day, and regular mail (which we further break up into first class or priority).
Shipping then takes your work order and verifies all the shipping information they have in their system to the ticket. Everything has to match, or there could be a problem with your order. If everything matches, shipping prints your shipping label and invoice. You receive an email with the tracking number for your order. A few days later, check your doorstep, you have a package!