Christmas is without doubt our busiest time of the year and we spend the majority of October and November driving all around the country to record CDs in Primary Schools so they can be ready in time for Christmas.
This year we are already looking like we will be even busier than last year, which was our busiest year on record. This is why earlier in the year we implemented our online calendar which shows the dates we are booked. The idea was to make it even easier for customers to find a suitable date for their school recording session with Recordings 4 Schools.
When to Record?
If you are looking to sell or have CDs available for your School Christmas Fair then the best way to find the ideal recording date is to work backwards from the date of the fair.
So, lets say that you are holding a School Christmas event on Monday 10 December 2018. Working back from this date, it’s best to allow 5 working days for CD production and delivery following the point you have signed off the CD artwork. If possible we can sometimes create CD artwork over a weekend and will usually aim to have files for approval available within a couple of days of the recording session. But this assumes you have given us all the content.
Based on a couple of days for the artwork and a 5 day turnaround at our production plant, the latest we would advise recording, in order to have CDs guaranteed for Monday 10 December 2018, would be Friday 30 November 2018. In an ideal world we advise leaving a couple of weeks between the recording session and the delivery date required. There have been occasions where we have recorded on a Friday and delivered CDs the following Wednesday just 3 working days later. But this is not something we can always guarantee!
What factors will affect the turnaround time?
The main things which will determine how long it takes to deliver your CDs following the recording are the availability of the artwork & signing off the artwork proofs. Our production plant will often get busy around Christmas but if lead times are any longer than usual we will always notify clients in advance. Also the quantity of CDs being produced will have an effect on the lead times. Anything up to 500 CDs we can usually turn around in a few days. Quantities above this might take longer. The final element in the chain is the courier who is delivering your CDs. We generally use DPD or a similarly reliable national company but of course at this point things are outside of our control. It is always worth having a day or so in hand just in case of unexpected delays.
In order to keep things moving we usually ask schools to have the various components of the artwork available for us at the time of the recording session. This will usually include the design for the front cover and any other photographs or content you with to include. You can find more information and templates for this purpose on our downloads page.
If we are able to take away all the content for your CD artwork on the day of the recording we aim to get proofs to you by email within a couple of days. Once we get authorisation from you to proceed with the artwork then the CDs can go into production. If time scales are tight, it is important to make sure you are able to give us a quick answer on the CD artwork. If necessary we are happy to make amendments and resubmit proofs but do bear in mind this will take time.
Production Lead times
Most School’s will order between 150 and 300 CDs depending on the orders received and indeed the size of the school. Anything up to 500 we can produce in our UK production plant in Wiltshire. For quantities above 500 then we have the CDs replicated at a production plant in Europe which means the production time may be a little longer.
The last stage in the process is getting the CDs delivered to your school. We usually ship using DPD and one the CDs are in transit we are able to send you details of the arrival date. On the day of delivery we are usually notified an approximate delivery time and will pass this on to you where possible. On the whole we have experienced little difficult with couriers but there is always a danger that goods might be mis routed or for some reason not delivered on the date originally specified.
In the event of any delivery issues rest assured we will do everything we can to resolve this swiftly for you to ensure any delay is kept to a minimum.
Fortunately courier delays are very much a rarity but it does no harm to at least allow a day in hand just in case.
In the majority of cases, not withstanding the factors above we can usually deliver CDs to a school within 7-10 working days of the recording session. If you have a particular deadline or date for a Christmas Fair then please let us know so we can help you achieve this delivery timeframe. Generally we only record up to around 10 December in order to guarantee CDs delivered before the end of term. If you would like to record after this date, that’s absolutely fine with us, but bear in mind this might result in CDs being delivered in the new year.
To find out more about a recording session for your School with Recordings 4 Schools then please give us a call on 01225 302143. If you prefer you can click here to email us via our contact form