Custom products can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. Some companies have existing materials and simply print logos on them and ship the products out. Trendex takes custom to a whole other level. We build everything from scratch so that customers can have complete control over the look and feel of their products.
This process does make things longer though because there are more steps to complete before the final product is finished. There are five main steps that go into making a custom product.
The first step is for the customer to talk to a salesperson. Our salespeople will do everything to better understand your business and conduct a needs analysis. From there they can figure out your business goals and propose options for you to choose from. If there is enough interest in the offerings then a formal quote can be performed by one of our estimators. This is done so that the costs of material and labor can be more accurately estimated for a given quantity. Small orders can cost more than you initially think and different materials and designs can vary drastically, so it’s important to get an estimate before proceeding any further.
After the estimate, the customer will finalize his decision and our team will begin to design the product. This starts by making sure that the measurements and construction of the piece are solid and mechanically, everything will work. We have a lot of knowledge about what materials will or will not work together but we always check just in case. Then the product is designed using our CADD (computer-aided design and drafting) software so that we have a better understanding of how the product will exactly look. If requested by the customer, we will create a prototype prior to the production of the order. This helps ensure that everything is perfect and the customer is happy with the product.
Proper artwork is needed in order to apply the logo and any other graphics on the cover or inside of the product. This means TIFF files for photographs, vector graphics and InDesign files for layouts. Most often artwork is created by the graphic design department in the customer’s company. However, Trendex has the ability to create graphics and artwork layouts if needed. The important thing is to receive the correct types of files, have them production-ready and approved so they can be applied to the product.
While artwork is being created and approved, our purchaser orders the materials needed to create the product. This includes everything from the material and foil to the foam and metal die. Our fabric swatching customers send us their own materials and that can make the timeline more variable but for all other projects, we order from different vendors. It is crucial to get everything on time so that we can start production as soon as possible.
Once artwork is approved and materials are received, the job can finally be scheduled for production. A date is selected to start the project, the machines are set up for runs and workers begin manufacturing. It may have taken awhile but now all the hard work throughout the process is coming to fruition. The product is assembled and checked for any errors before being shipped to customers. Our partners are happy to have received everything they wanted.
Want to see some finished custom products?