3 Common Promotional Products Disasters (and One Distributor's Advice on Resolving Them)
As we saw in our story on how industry pros deal with everything from coronavirus disruptions to everyday order issues, promotional products businesses face plenty of challenges (some bigger than others). Tom Levy, vice president of sales and marketing at Global Sourcing Connection, Riverwoods, Ill., shared some specific instances of disasters he’s had to overcome in his 10 years as a distributor—and how he handled them.
1. Product Disaster
A client ordered bracelets with charms that event attendees would collect. The bracelet was supposed to be three colored strands bonded together, but arrived as three separate colored pieces.
“This particular vendor redid the entire order even though the charms were correct,” Levy said. “Sent it to me in time for the event, didn’t charge me for anything, and I’m like ‘Wow.’ And we passed it on to the client, so everyone was blown away.”
2. Shipping Disaster
A T-shirt order was nowhere to be found in Arizona and its FedEx delivery status said something along the lines of “unexpected delay.”
“We literally went online and we saw that there was a FedEx truck that caught on fire, and it was our truck,” he said. “So, we let the decorator in Arizona know about it. We got them the replacement shirts and they reprinted them at no cost. They rushed it in 24 hours, and we got it to the client in time for their event.”
3. Communication Disaster
A client requests to add more sizes to an apparel order after the blank goods have already been sent to the decorator. Levy sees that as a lesson to communicate better on how the production process works, so now he either encourages the client to order extras or, for larger orders, he includes extras on his tab to prevent shortages due to misprints or extra sizes requested later.
“The cost of a shirt is pretty insignificant, and then when the order completes, I’ll either do one of two things. We’ll just send them the extra ones, saying ‘Hey, we had extras,’ and they’ll get excited. Or, we may keep some samples depending on what it was on hand just to have something to send someone to show [another client] how we decorated something.”