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NFL rush case study

Rush Backpacks for the Carolina Panthers of the NFL

Hometown NFL Running back Chuba Hubbard hosted an amazing free football camp for local football players in Edmonton last weekend.  Chuba is a huge local celebrity, having grown up and played his junior and high school ball in Sherwood Park for the Bev Facey Falcons.  I want to tell you a story about how we procured and printed 500 backpacks in 1 day.  Rush orders are rarely smooth, and they always make me nervous, especially with post covid delivery timelines, but at the same time, I told the customer we would do our best.

The bags were ordered through Debco using their Now! Service for same day shipments.  However, we required a Saturday delivery, which I had never done before, so it made me obviously nervous.  My first step was the call my pal Sergio to confirm that Debco had the capacity and stock to produce a NOW! Order on Friday.  Sergio gave me a lot of confidence by assuring me that my order would be assigned to an order concierge who would walk it through art and production and shipping to ensure it made it out the door. I even got an email from the customer service supervisor shortly after placing the order to confirm some small details on the shipping, like which courier they preferred to use, it all felt very in control.

Prior to end of day on Friday, Debco sent us the tracking for the Saturday delivery.  I did lose a little bit of sleep on Friday night, but it was for naught as the bags arrived at about noon on Saturday and were picked up by Chuba’s mom Candace of all people!  I think the only person more excited that the bags arrived than myself was Candace (thanks for the hugs, Candace!)

Overall, this order was a huge success thanks to the timely production and delivery of Debco.

This order would have gone very differently however….

The actual order came in on Tuesday afternoon and it required some art services, plus confirming rush lead times with a supplier who we will call “supplier A”.  Why are we calling them supplier A?  because they dropped the ball but my goal here is not to run them through the mud.  We placed the order with supplier A for a next day rush shipment, so the bags should have shipped on Wednesday for delivery on Thursday or Friday. On Wednesday, we called Supplier A to confirm the bags would ship via UPS worldwide saver and they confirmed that the order was printed and would ship.  We were obviously shocked when on Thursday morning we discovered that the bags had not shipped.  Despite repeated phone calls to customer service, our sales rep and customer service supervisors, they said that they could not do a next day air or a Saturday delivery.  We were dead in the water because somebody “forgot” to put our bags on a truck.  Supplier A did give us a credit for the printed bags, but it still put us in a tight spot to figure out how to get 500 printed backpacks in a day and a half.  We discussed getting blank bags and printing them in house, we discussed subbing for an alternate product and finally we landed on the solution that ended up working, calling Debco.