Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Backorder and Non-Orderable Items in Spring and Sale-a-Bration Catalogs

We all get frustrated when Stampin' Up! has backorders and Non-orderable items.  Here is some background information to help understand why this happens.

For about 20 years, our business was the traditional workshop and our basic products of inks, stamps, and paper were sourced domestically. Our business today has changed with online businesses, classes, fundraisers, and marketing projects vs. products. The way we do our businesses has evolved. 

2009: Backorders were at 25%
2012: Backorders were at 12%
2015: Backorders were at 20%
2018: Backorders were at 10% (Best & lowest in 10 years!)

The Forecasting & Purchasing team look at several factors when it comes to ordering products:
• Reactions at Convention – the buzz, the excitement, what is ordered during Product Purchase Premiere
• Demonstrator Pre Order Period (especially first & second week)
• Catalog Launch for Customers
• Internal and external surveys help in general forecasting what will be ordering; however, what it doesn’t do is advise the team of what products won’t sell.

For Holiday or Occasions Catalogs, approximately 200 new items are introduced and tracked/managed. For the Annual Catalog, approximately 400 new items are introduced and managed. The team is guessing on each of these items, and it is inevitable that they will have products which will sell faster than projected..

When Stampin’ Up! orders too much product, that impacts Stampin’ Up! worse than backorders, as excess inventory is not something they can liquidate in an outlet or something, nor would they want to as it harms the Demonstrators’ businesses. When these items are disposed of, they are to the tune of millions worth of products.


Sale-A-Bration Ribbon Pack
Initial order to the vendor: 40,000
First week of Demonstrator Preorder (Demonstrator SAB redemption): 10,000 or 25% of initial order
In response, Stampin’ Up! ordered 10,000 additional ribbon packs that first week of December. Stampin’ Up! continued to monitor the trend and attempted to place another order; however, they were advised by the vendor that they would not be able to place another order, as between the lead time and the Chinese New Year, a partial shipment of the ribbon would arrive to Stampin’ Up! around March 28 (3 days before the end of Sale-A-Bration – and that is with spending air freight shipment to receive it quicker) and the balance of the shipment arriving after Sale-A-Bration. Therefore, the 10,000 additional ribbon packs ordered the first week of December which is arriving from the vendor will go to fulfill current backorders. Stampin’ Up! saw and reacted quickly; however, since ribbon is sourced from China, there is a 90- to 120-day lead time for fulfillment.
This product is no longer orderable.
Butterfly Punch
To put into perspective a good punch (popular-selling punch) will sell 12,000-15,000 during the length of the respective Catalog in which it is included. That means that the smaller Catalogs have a condensed sales period; however, the 12,000-15,000 punches still applies.
Initial order to the vendor: 29,000 punches (more than double the normal sales of punches)
Again the team watches OnStage (convention) and preorder periods
First week of Pre order (started December 1): 4,000 punches ordered
On December 12 (not a full two weeks into the Preorder period): Additional 15,000 punches were ordered
Watched the sales trend during Go Live/Catalog Launch (when available for Customers to order): And additional 15,000 punches were again ordered
And this punch was on backorder then placed on not orderable. Remember a good punch sells 12,000-15,000 punches, and there were almost 60,000 punches ordered!
This product is not currently orderable; however, it is expected to be orderable again and will be carried over into the new Annual Catalog.
Cake Builder Punch
This punch was the total opposite of the Butterfly Punch. As the Butterfly Punch continued to gain momentum, the Cake Builder Punch sat. It was not until the Go Live/Catalog Launch when Customers were able to order was it trending or beginning to spike in sales around January 5, and then all of a sudden last week, this punch spiked again for even more sales.
This product is not currently orderable; however, it is expected to become orderable again and will be carried over into the new Annual Catalog.
A few other questions and comments (as well as ideas posted by fellow Leaders) were mentioned. One concerned Chinese New Year, as this is an annual occurrence and coincides/affects our Sale-A-Bration period. Why can’t we plan around it? Unfortunately our sales spike occurs at the wrong time for forecasting and purchasing. Although Chinese New Year is a week to ten days, employees may leave a week or two prior to the holiday to travel back home or stay an additional one to two weeks after the holiday with even some employees not returning back to the factory where they worked previous to the holiday. Stampin’ Up! consistently looks at:
• Changing when Sale-A-Bration occurs
• Changing their Catalogs
• Changing their supply chain
• Changing the Sale-A-Bration product offering

I hope this helps to understand why we experience these frustrating backorders.  I do take part in the  surveys as do many other demonstrators through out the world so I know Stampin Up does their best to offer the most popular items and order what they project will sell.  Happy Stamping! Cheryl

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Convert Stampin' Up! Clear Mount stamps to new Cling stamps


These exciting new cling stamp sets are available in the 2019 occasions catalog and Sale-A-Bration brochure. 

  • Beginning with the 2019 occasions catalog and Sale-A-Bration brochure, all new stamp sets will be available either in cling (for red rubber stamps) or photopolymer.
  • Stamps in the 2018-2019 annual catalog will continue to be available in clear-mount, wood-mount, or photopolymer.
  • Red rubber stamp sets (clear-mount or wood-mount) in the annual catalog that will be carrying over will transition to cling with the 2019-2020 annual catalog. Watch for more information about carryover stamp sets in April 2019 with the regularly scheduled communication about catalog transitions, the carryover list, and the retiring products list.
  • In 2019-2020 annual catalog, clear-mount and wood-mount stamps* will no longer be available. The only exception is background stamps in North America only, which will still be available in wood-mount.
    • *Wood-mount stamp set sales have been steadily declining for several years. Stampin’ Up! research and sales teams took this and several other factors into consideration before discontinuing wood-mount stamps. We are confident the transition to cling stamps will be beneficial in many ways for demonstrators, customers, and the company.