My first day at Office Sign Company was pretty overwhelming. Being an individual who had zero experience in the sign industry before accepting a marketing position at OSC, it became abundantly clear on day one that I had much to learn. As a reader of this post, you too might possess limited knowledge of the sign industry, and may be in charge of purchasing signs for your office. Where to start? How does the process even work? What in the world is double-sided VHB tape? Don’t worry; I’ve got your back.
In order to better learn how the process worked at Office Sign Company, my manager had me place an order for a metal name badge (one of our most popular non-sign sellers). I follow the badge throughout its entire creation, from start (in customer service) to finish (in shipping). The whole step-by-step process of placing an order, sitting with the art department as they handled it, going to production, assembly, and shipping, and then receiving my finished name badge was extremely educational. Not only did it teach me a little bit about the industry, but it also opened my eyes to what an immaculate process this company is using to handle orders.
So, we want to share this process with you, too! Not only will it show you how our name badge orders are handled, but hopefully it will also provide you with the same sort of security it provided me: (a) that you, too, can learn the industry and recognize quality products, and (b) that you can trust Office Sign Company to handle your orders—no matter how big or how small! Check out the video posted below, and read through the notes to follow along with how a name badge order is processed.
*Watch here: https://youtu.be/qb2R3jo9YWs
Checkpoint #1: Customer Service
This is where your order is originally placed, and all payment is accepted. Whether an order comes through our website, or is manually entered, customer service checks every order before forwarding it on to the art department.
- Step 1: Customer information is either taken or received
- Step 2: Products are selected or reviewed
- Step 3: Payment is accounted for
- Step 4: Order is moved to Ready for art or Ready to Print/Proof Approved queue
If there are any questions, the customer is contacted prior to an order leaving the customer service department. Customer service is also there to answer any questions a customer might have during their ordering process, or anywhere along the line after the order has been submitted. We pride ourselves on our exceptional service!
Checkpoint #2: Art
Once an order has cleared customer service, the next stop is the art department! We employ five talented graphic designers who handle all orders, ensuring that each sign’s artwork goes above and beyond the customer’s expectations.
- Step 1: Orders are reviewed from the Ready for art queue and moved into the Art in Progress queue
- Step 2: We look to see if there have been any previous orders from this customer, and if so, we pull it up to match the artwork from the previous order
- Step 3: A new illustrator file is created for the order
- Step 4: Text and logos are entered and everything is centered on the piece
- Step 5: Artwork is saved and moved to the Ready for Print queue
It is also important to note that proofs are prepared for customers upon request. The proofing process is entirely free of charge, and our talented design team is easy to work with and will not feel satisfied until every customer is satisfied! Don’t believe me? Try us out.
Checkpoint #3: Printing
The next stop aboard our badge process is printing. Printing is one of the most valuable checkpoints because it is of supreme importance that one’s sign, name badge, etc. comes out looking exactly how the customer wants: with all text, logos, and colors being considered.
- Step 1: Check Ready to Print queue and move to Ready for Production
- Step 2: Print out the invoice and any proof artwork
- Step 3: Open up the file created by the art team and review all artwork
- Step 4: Bring sample to production staff to do color testing
- Step 5: Once colors are set, text and logos are printed on special production paper
- Step 6: Set the order invoice and artwork on shelf, ready for production
Often understated, the color testing process involves a trial and error period. Our printing man is never satisfied until the color comes out looking exactly how it was proofed, or how the artwork was sent to us. This is a very crucial step before an order is ready for production.
Checkpoint #4: Production
Now that the artwork has been set up and printed, it’s time for production to pick up the invoice and get to work! Our production process at Office Sign Company has been fine-tuned over the years to operate as a well-oiled machine.
- Step 1: Get order invoices/artwork from shelf
- Step 2: Name badges and acrylic backers are cut to the size specified on order invoice
- Step 3: Corners are also cut to fit the radius requested by the customer
- Step 4: Adhesive is peeled off the metal badge, and artwork is centered and taped onto the badge
- Step 5: Press time.
- Step 6: Artwork is removed and metal is cooled off, awaiting assembly
Production plays possibly the largest role in ensuring that the badge will come out great. Very diligently, they must review the order invoice and make sure that all specifications are met, and that after the product cools off, the colors pressed well and the images are clear.
Checkpoint #5: Assembly & Quality Control
The backbone of everything we do here at Office Sign Company is our assembly & quality control department. These individuals are in charge of thoroughly inspecting every order that comes through production, not only to ensure that the finished good matches up with the order invoice, but also to ensure that each piece of aesthetically appealing and error-free.
- Step 1: Receive order invoice and check Waiting for Assembly queue
- Step 2: Look over order invoice thoroughly, highlighting line items as they go
- Step 3: If everything is correct, the metal plate is adhered to the acrylic backer
- Step 4: Once the metal is properly aligned on the backer, mounting is added (magnet, pin, etc.)
- Step 5: Metal is polished off to rid the badge of any fingerprints or smudges
- Step 6: The badge is put on a cart, along with the invoice, and brought to shipping
It is also important to note that if one of these steps is not met (for example, if the metal was cut to a different size than the backer, or the artwork on the proof does not match the color of the actual badge, the order is sent back. Our quality control team holds everybody accountable! We would much rather have an order be checked for error by our own team than have a customer spot an error and send a product back.
Checkpoint #6: Shipping
Our shipping department is the final checkpoint for an order that goes through Office Sign Company. Once everything has been prepared with the badge, we now have to get it packaged and ready to be sent to our customer. Here is how the process works:
- Step 1: Receive cart of finished goods from Assembly team
- Step 2: Wrap badge with precut blanks, and special packaging
- Step 3: Ensure that package is secure by choosing correct box size
- Step 4: Put paper in the box once the name badge has been placed in it
- Step 5: Tape up the box and weigh it on the scale
- Step 6: Enter in all customer information, and ship it!
It’s also important to note that not all of our products are shipped. As we continue to make our presence felt in the Fargo-Moorhead community, we allow for local pickup options as well. At this point in the process, our work is done with the name badge. The next step involves smiling faces, small parades, and lots of name badge love (or so we hope).
If you have purchased from Office Sign Company before, I hope you found this walk-through informative. If you haven’t, maybe this walk-through is just what you needed to put your faith in us to handle your next name badge order, or sign order, or custom engraving order! We would love to show you just how great our process is, first-hand. To learn more about OSC, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Instagram. You can also call us at 701-526-3835 and ask service to tell you more about our products and services!
Written by: Jack Yakowicz
Account Manager at Office Sign Company
Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org