Life is all about options. In order to find the sweet spot for each project, our team provides good, better, and best options for you to choose from, as well as a recommendation based on our extensive experience. Let’s say you’re looking to integrate the clean aesthetic of white oak into your space. A good option would be to print a white oak pattern onto an inexpensive material like paper or sintra. This gives you the look, without breaking the bank. A better option would be to use a wood laminate, then mount it to a less expensive material, like MDF or styrene. The best option then would be to produce out of actual white oak.What other supplier in your arsenal can move fluidly between graphics, design, materials, wood, and metal? When you work with TGS Elevate, all options are on the table. That’s what we mean by materials agnostic, and you’re supported with white glove service every step of the way. Are you ready to up your game?
We all want to work smarter not harder. That’s why TGS Elevate provides business automation and advanced technology that help our clients get more done in less time.
DO MORE, WORK LESS
TGS Elevate provides 24-hour access to REAL TIME data so you can track your project from start to finish. Here’s a snapshot of what we offer. For the full story, schedule a demo.
- Purpose: Support regular check in meetings, review past details and future project milestones, tracking repository.
- Features: Web browser, iOS, and Android accessible, updated in real time, export to PDF or Excel, calendar tool, all project details, maintained for free, document storage, Google Drive integration, map function, web hooks, and open API, image viewer.
- Cost: Free, unlimited users
- Timeline: 1-2 weeks from on-boarding
- Purpose: Track details from store locations, track asset inventory, manage incoming store requests, generate pivot reports.
- Features: Fully customizable, fields, public forms, customer portal, web browser, iOS, and Android accessible, automated workflows, maps, document viewing, exports, reports, dashboards, secure access.
- Cost: $1-5K to scope and build, annual license: $900 unlimited users
- Timeline: 2-3 weeks from start to finish
Zoho Accounting Portal
- Purpose: All accounting documents in one place for cross departmental teams, communicate directly with our team for billing questions, online payment portal for direct deposit if your system doesn’t have one
- Cost: Free, unlimited users
- Features: Share documents, communicate with comments, payment history, banking information, view Estimates, Sales Orders and Invoices
- Timeline: 1-3 days
- Purpose: to manage incoming store requests in one place, full and sub assemblies and gang up orders for maximum efficiency, any product can be added to have all items in one place to manage
- Features: Any product, real-time pricing for promotional items, quote inquiries, cart function, PO, cost center GL, and credit card payments, categorize products, password protected
- Cost: $500-1,000 depending on scope
- Timeline: 1-2 weeks
Schedule a demo today!
The industry has changed in just about every possible way this year. Supply shortages, pent-up demand, and revenge spending all add up to a more expensive, and much longer timeline for fixture production than before. The road ahead seems equally challenging to predict, and keeping current is a time-consuming, low return, and weekly exercise. Read more about how you might be affected.
Planning is Everything
Recently, a client asked us to re-quote a metal fixture domestically that had been put on hold six months prior. Due to material cost increases alone (which we received 45+ weekly consecutive increases as of this writing), the cost increased by a multiple of 6x! After we picked each other off the floor, we decided to see how lead times and pricing looked to produce overseas – and were pleasantly surprised to provide the same product at one-third the price. This is an amazing savings!
The best way to give yourself the most options for your project and annual budget is to start the planning process early (i.e. now) for a fall delivery. Lead and transportation times are much longer than before, and the good news is that there’s still a sweet spot to hit…if you know where to look. We will do all the heavy lifting; all you have to do is contact us.
Directly schedule a call to start planning.
According to an article by Reuters in February 2021, raw metal costs are at 13-year highs. What’s worse, the trend has since continued, and even after you take the hit in the wallet there’s no guarantee when you’ll actually receive it. Our solution – we have production facilities both domestic (Minneapolis, MN) and overseas (Dongguan and Ningbo, China). It’s difficult to change vendors mid-stride when you have an urgent need, so pairing up with a vendor with many options is key to help you navigate the markets.
In December 2020, we experienced increased shipping issues in both parcel (UPS/FedEx) and freight lines. On a recent project, we sent an all paper-based fixture on a pallet via LTL, and a medicine cabinet arrived at the store. Our high-priority holiday window project was lost for a week without any information from the freight forwarder until it was delivered unexpectedly a week after the guaranteed date. And all this was before the container and chassis shortages caused by the difference in imports/exports between the US and China (more inbound than outbound), as well as the severe weather in the US that left Texas without power. Version 3 of the transportation issue is how the port backup off the coast of Los Angeles. So, while planning is essential, always add more time for the unexpected.
Here’s an excerpt from INSIDER about the backlog of ship containers:
Ports in Southern California are experiencing a record level of ship congestion, with dozens of container vessels waiting in the ocean to deliver US imports.
The Marine Exchange tweeted a shipping report on Jan 28: 110 ships in port, 7 more than yesterday. 38 container ships at anchor awaiting berth, 5 more than yesterday and another record; 50 at berth. 60 total ships at anchor, 5 more than yesterday’s record. 60 include 3 ships in drift boxes (underway at slow speed in a defined area), the first time we had to use them since 2004. All 10 contingency anchorages in Huntington are filled. We’ll move ships from drift to anchor in the order they arrive if open anchorage is suitable for their length and draft.”
Read the full article for more information here.
The End Result – Longer Lead Times
Pre-COVID, overseas lead times usually ranged from 10-12 weeks from approval to in-store delivery. Our domestic production lead times were the fastest in the industry, with rollout typically completed in 2-3 weeks. Now, we are seeing competitor overseas lead times as long as 18-22 weeks, and domestic from 8-10 weeks. That being said, at the time of this writing we are doing an overseas project landing in the 12-week window, so there are still ways through the system.
It all comes down to the basics – speed, quality, and price. With our capabilities, you’ll always have options so you pull the levers that make the most sense for you.
It’s never too early to talk about the holidays. Call us early and we’ll take care of the rest!
TGS Elevate started as a certified Woman-Owned Enterprise (WBE) in 1996, and in 2016 also became a certified Minority-Owned Enterprise (MBE). When you work with us, you satisfy supplier diversity requirements, which entitles you to receive federal and/or state tax credits. On top of that, our design and prototyping work is considered as R&D, which qualifies your company for additional tax credits! Read on for more details.
What is a Minority-Owned Business?
According to the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), in the U.S., a minority business enterprise is defined as a company that is at least 51% owned and operated by an individual U.S. citizen that is at least 25% African American, Asian, Hispanic, or Native American, or in the case of a publicly owned business, at least 51% of the stock is owned by one or more such individuals. Companies must go through a long and rigorous process to become a certified MBE member. This leaves out any guessing when choosing a business to hire. A business with a MBE certificate has been well vetted, is trustworthy, and is highly skilled and valued.
Working with a minority owned business allows you to claim tax credits with federal and state agencies. In addition, design and prototyping is considered research and development, which qualifies entitled parties for an additional tax credit. Federal and state laws differ, so contacting your tax professional is the best way to see what you qualify for.
To learn more, read this article.
Why These are Seldom Used
Larger companies, who are eligible for these tax credits but seldom ever redeem them, commonly have different departments between new vendor intake, budget approval, and tax preparation. This leads to a lot of opportunities to lose the message in translation. It’s also common that any savings that could come from a tax credit are provided under a separate GL or cost center from the person making the purchase, so there is no direct incentive to pass the word along and take the free money.
For example, let’s say marketing approves a new fixture rollout. After going through design iterations, prototypes, shipping and creative time, directly with the supplier, the final invoice passed to the accounting department does not have the R&D cost itemized separately. In turn, accounting does not have enough specific information to pass along to the tax department. So, the cycle breaks.
Why Does it Matter?
Diversity is better for communities and corporations alike. In today’s changing world, being a company that is aware and proactive about inclusivity is the next step. If you don’t have an internal supplier diversity program, here are some reasons from the Harvard Business Review of why you should consider it.
Hop to It!
When you work with us, not only are you satisfying those requirements but also you are contributing to a social initiative that promotes equality and diversity. Reach out to us today about your next project!