As many of you already know, we recently completed a bulk project for a hotel in Boston. For those of you that are being approached with these type of requests, or others of you that would like to know more about bulk processing, here is what we've learned...
1 •• Have a plan for production, especially if you have limited labor. Here Sam is setting his miter station and has a list of cuts all planned out prior to beginning production.
2 •• Be sure to bring the wood in to dry before the snow storm hits. Just kidding! This didn't happen.
3. •• Create a spaces for production that allow for a "flow". Disorganization when processing a bulk order creates extra frustration.
4. •• Have a space for storage as you complete each piece.
5. •• Ask for help. (Thank you Hippie House Co. )
6. •• Research your best shipping option. We had never actually shipped our product using a freight service, so this was all new to us. We were blessed to have help from our local box supplier. (And not to mention the help from family and the use of their vehicles.)
The Back Story:
In September of 2013 a designer emailed us requesting a prototype for a wooden hotel snack box. Basically the concept was to have an American made wooden box for holding local snacks and sweets. These snacks would be part of the guests welcoming when they arrived to stay. We loved this idea. We submitted our design, and waited. At the time we had recently entered "Hurd & Honey" full time, and were pretty excited to be approached for such an opportunity. About a month after submitting our initial design they requested a second, more modern design. We shipped one out, and didn't hear anything until almost a year later. Come December of 2014 we secured a contract with the purchasing agent for a guaranteed April 2015 delivery, for 200 snack boxes.
Deciding to accept this order was tough. We were a tiny bit scared to sign formal paperwork with such a big company, all of the "what ifs" that one could imagine popped into our heads. We tried to find every excuse to decline until we realized that we were simply being fearful. We were fearful that we couldn't handle the order, fearful that something would go wrong, fearful that they would hate the boxes, etc. etc. Sam and I are somewhat known for overtaking risks, we're not typically worried about what can happen down the road, but this order had us biting our nails for a couple of days.
After a few days we released the fear mindset and remembered that this could be a blessing, and a challenge that would teach us more about who we are, where we're headed, and what we're working towards as a business. Some have asked us if we'd do it again...maybe. It all depends on the customer, the nature of the order, and where we are when that time comes.