June 12, 2008

Kit Packing 101

When you get your brown box and open it to get your first look at all of those yummy papers and embellies, do you sometimes find yourself distracted thinking, "How on earth do they do this every month?" If so, welcome to kit packing 101. Through the process of trial and error that started out in April's dining room and has now moved to the office that you saw yesterday, we have come up with a pretty efficient system to pack your kits each month.

The process starts with Scarlet receiving product and counting to make sure that all of the quantities are correct. Trust me, she is really good at this and catches a lot of errors that would cost us a lot of time and energy later. Some days we get one or two boxes and other days we get twenty boxes!

Next we go through the process of sorting or assembling products. A good example of this step were the plastic bags in your June kits that contained the Maya Road Trees, AC Ribbon, and Fruit Beads. All of the chipboard trees had to be sorted, ribbon had to be cut, beads had to be sorted and then it was all assembled into one bag in your kit. I must say, that was one of the most difficult assemblies that we have ever done.....it took FOREVER!! Sometimes the assemblies are very simple. For instance, we open a manufacturer's package and separate the items into smaller quantities. That is what you see Cara doing in the picture below. Sometimes it is such a simple task that we tackle it right in the office, but other times we take the product home and work on it a couple of hours a day until we are ready to assemble kits.

Now, I've shown you Cara on the floor at the office sorting, so I guess I'd better show you my workstation here at home.


Don't make fun of my high tech set up! It may look like an ordinary ironing board to you, but my workstation is portable and I get to sit in my comfy chair and watch TV while I work. I cleaned up all of the toddler toys, sippie cups and laundry so that it would look presentable!! My husband laughs at me because I devised this little set up to keep everything up out of Natalee's reach, but it allows me to be right here with her while she plays and watches her morning cartoons. Don't look to hard at the picture, I'm working on sorting something for the July kit right now. I tried really hard to show you without showing you if you know what I mean!! You'll get your sneak peaks soon enough.

OK, now that we have the product and have it sorted or assembled, it is time to set it up for packing. I know that you are not going to believe this, but we pack on two eight foot tables and two four foot tables. We put the eight foot tables end to end and lay all of the paper out on one and then the embellishments go at the end of the second one. Cara has a four foot table as a workstation and I have a four foot table as a workstation. See below....





We go down the table and grab one sheet of each paper, then stack them on our workstation. We usually do this ten times. Once we have a stack of papers, we place one set of papers in the bag, gather the embellishments, add them to the bag and then fold and close with a sticker. We use the boxes that we receive product in to hold the kits on our shelves. Most boxes will hold 10 kits. Once we complete 10, we take the box and put it in the storage room where it will eventually be pulled and placed in the box for shipping. We have different areas of the office for main kits and add on's. We label each of the boxes with how many kits it holds and the name of the kit so that we can tell at a glance where everything is when it comes time to ship. Cara and I keep track of how many kits we assemble on a tally sheet. This helps us keep a running count of how many kits are complete and determines the $ amount of our paycheck!! I am always afraid that we miscount or forget to mark our tally sheet, so I go through and hand count all of the kits at least twice to make sure that we have the right number in the end.

On shipping day, we take a box of main kits and one of each add on and place them on one eight foot table. Scarlet prints the list of your orders and she and I go down the list one by one and pull the order and put it in the box. We also go ahead and box up a bunch of main kit only boxes ahead of time to help us get through shipping day a little easier. All of those lovely Studio Calico boxes that you receive have to be assembled. Recently, Greg brought in a couple of teenage boys to assemble and stack boxes for us. This has been a HUGE help!! No more spending hours putting boxes together before you can even begin to think about shipping.

I have to tell you, once we get all of the boxes assembled, kits packed and are waiting for shipping day, there is not a lot of room to maneuver around the office!! It is very satisfying to look around and see all of your hard work waiting to go out and make someone smile.

Well, that concludes our kit packing/shipping class. I hope that you all learned a ton, be prepared for a final exam sometime next week (JUST KIDDING)!!

I'm off now to work on my Father's Day card! I hope that all of you are planning on doing the same, so far I only have a few submitted for our little challenge.

Don't forget, the deadline is Saturday, June 14th at 5 pm EST.

17 comments:

karen akaliz said...

i loved reading this! my hubby is wondering wth i'm doing in here, but...

one question: i know you order all stuff yourselves, but i'm curious how far in advance. i know October Afternoon has been a real pita to get into any lss or online store. how did you do it to get it to us in a timely fashion?

oh, yeah...are you hiring?

mom2ee said...

this has been a wonderful insight to the workings of SC...and the fact that i can bup faces to names, just make is all the moe family...and i second Liz's question...are you hiring?
judi

Lagsforlisa said...

Lorie, thanks so much for sharing...really filled a 'need' for me, I always did like that part of Mr. Rogers where they showed how shoes got made, etc, lol! You all work so hard, I wondered how I never had a mistake in my kit and now I see it is your diligence. Thanks for making it so perfect for us!

joanne (spagirl) said...

wow! thanks so much lorie for all you do... and cara too! it's so nice to see the behind-the-scenes work! i love it! i really appreciate the time and effort... our kits are perfect!!

Amy Coose said...

Not that I didn't appreciate all SC does before, but now I really appreciate it! I love seeing how everything comes together, and your setup is just fabulous!

Deb L said...

wow that looks like a lot of work! gives me a whole new perspective on my wonderful kits that arrived so prettily packaged every month! thanks for sharing!

Kathy said...

I'm loving your entries.
I've always said SC kits are packed with loving care...the paper bags, once hand tied...and now I'm loving those little labels. Its great to hear about and see the hub of the SC universe. Your hard work and attention to detail is really appreciated, team SC!!! I agree ..its perfect!

Amy said...

Thanks for giving us a little sneak peek into how everything gets put together! It was really neat to see that!!

P.S. Was I the only one that clicked on the ironing board picture to see if I could see? o.o LOL. I'm bad, I know.

Sharie said...

I've really enjoyed getting an inside look. I knew it had to be very organized, but it's nice to see the details. Thanks for sharing! I'm off to work on my Fathers' Day Card, too.

Jill said...

Wow! What a process! However, if you don't mind, I'm still going to continue believing that Oompah Loompahs are involved somehow.

Tina said...

such a cool post Lorie! I love getting a peek at the whole kit packing process. You all do such a fab job!

tonya said...

Wow, that is a lot of work! But it is very much appreciated.

Jessi Gribbin said...

Wow! You gals are3 truly amazing. The fact that you have the energy to keep up with desinging kits and keep ing up the website amazed me, but now to actually learn how our goodies get to us...wow! How do you keep it all up and maintain a family! I wanna be like y'all when I grow up. :)

paloma1815 said...

I take my hat off! Hard work but what a pleasure open the SC box!!!! Thanks a lot Sharie & Co.! I'll think of you opening my next kit.
paloma1815

paloma1815 said...

I take my hat off! Hard work but what a pleasure open the SC box!!!! Thanks a lot Sharie & Co.! I'll think of you opening my next kit.
paloma1815

cannycrafter said...

Thank you so much for sharing this it has been great to see where you actually are!

Army Brat~Now, Army Mom! said...

Loved this entry. I received my first Calico Kit this past week and BOY...........I am in love. The stamp is fabulous and thank you for your hard work with putting such a beautiful kit together. I cannot wait for next month!