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Supply Chain Madness and Production Woes: What you need to know

For the past 21 years, we’ve built our business on a foundational customer service philosophy: Make it happen. This mindset has carried us – and our customers – through many difficult seasons and established our reputation as a reliable resource for busy marketers.

Like many businesses struggling with the aftermath of the worldwide pandemic, we now find ourselves working even more creatively to solve our customer’s tactile marketing challenges.

The impact on the global supply chain, especially in the apparel and promotional product industry, is extensive. Many of our suppliers and decorators struggle to keep up with demand amidst production delays, deferred shipments, facility closures, and staffing vacancies.

We won’t beat around the bush: costs are rising, and inventory is lacking.

But, it’s not all bad news. Our customers are incorporating tactile marketing into their internal and external branding efforts at record rates. Brands are embracing the power of printing and promotional products to help them share their story, and we’re helping them make it happen.

If you have a tactile marketing project on the horizon, here are a few recommendations to ensure that your project exceeds your wildest expectations:

  1. Plan (way) ahead. Inventory continues to be an unpredictable scramble, particularly for apparel and some paper stocks. In addition, our decorators (screen printers and embroiderers) are doing their best to keep up amidst one of the most challenging job crises in years. As a result, production timelines have been lengthened, and rush production is almost non-existent. We’re figuring out ways to make magic happen (see #2!), but the more time you can allow for your project, the more likely it will come together as planned.
  2. Flexibility wins the day. Our pool of suppliers is vast. While we may not be able to get the exact item in your campaign plan, we may be able to find a similar style or color in stock and ready to go. We’re also happy to come up with alternative suggestions that brilliantly showcase your brand and accomplish your marketing goals. Can’t get a specialty paper stock? How about a specialty finish, instead!
  3. Be budget conscious. As demand has risen, so have costs. We’re committed to giving you the best possible pricing for your project, but we are often at the mercy of our suppliers. Newsflash: paper is made from wood, so those skyrocketing lumber costs are affecting paper costs, too. We may not be able to honor price estimates older than 30 days, though we will work with you to ensure your project is still a hit. (Again, see #2!)
  4. Consider going local. We are crushing production times for many products we make here at Tactive – such as stickers, notebooks, printed collateral, and more. We also have fantastic partnerships with many local suppliers for things like coffee, candles, or sweet treats – all capable of being decorated with your brand. As a bonus, you can feel great about supporting small-business owners in your community. Win, win, win!

We’re sharing this message with you now so that you and your team have plenty of time to plan – especially as we head into the hectic holiday gifting season. 

It truly pains us to bring up the holidays before Labor Day, but the reality is that tip #1 is the best way to avoid any hiccups with your upcoming events, promotions, direct mail pieces, holiday gifts, etc. 

We know that all businesses are recovering from a challenging time, and we greatly appreciate your patience, trust, and innovation as we move forward together. What can we help you bring to (real) life next?

A Few of Our Favorite Things

Looking for some gifting inspiration? Look no further! We’ve collected our favorite, trendy gifts in this handy guide – perfect for employees, clients, donors, partners, or anyone else on your list this year.

Say “goodbye” to boring holiday gifts, and “hello” to an unboxing experience your recipients will never forget!

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