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How EnMart Handles Weather Related Delays and Closings

12th February 2014

How EnMart Handles Weather Related Delays and Closings

It isn’t often that EnMart closeclosed due to weathers down due to weather.  In fact,  in the 8 years I’ve been with the company,  I can remember very few weather related closings,  and most that have happened have occurred in 2013 and 2014.   This winter has been a tough and atypical one for a lot of areas,  and it has caused plant closings and shipping delays.   Since these sorts of events have happened more than once over the course of this winter,  I thought I would discuss how EnMart handles these sorts of situations.

The first thing to know is that our goal is always timely shipment and delivery.    When the weather cooperates and we’re in control,  we will do all we can to make sure your orders ship quickly.   We will not, however, sacrifice the safety of our employees to do so.  When the weather is inclement and the streets are impassable,  we will close our plants in order to ensure the safety of those who work for us.   In those cases,  we will reroute all shipments possible to other locations.     We have locations in Michigan, New Jersey,  Georgia and California,  and it is extremely unlikely that all four plants will be shut down at the same time.   If one plant is out of operation,  we will shift orders to the other plants to compensate.

That’s the bit we can control.   The bit we can’t control is what our shippers do.   Fed Ex, UPS and the USPS make their own decisions as to what they will and won’t do.     While we sometimes get advance notice when pick-up times are moved ahead or service is discontinued entirely,  we often don’t get notified.  In cases when we can see the weather is not good,  we will try and anticipate an early pick-up and have orders picked and shipped on a different schedule than normal.   Sometimes, though,  despite all our efforts,  shipments will not leave our facility as scheduled.

Obviously,  once a shipment does leave our facility,  we are at the mercy of our shippers and their decisions.   We have no control of how long a selected shipper takes to get a package to its destination.  Weather delays may stop flights from leaving or landing,  or trucks from traveling from one destination to another.    All we can do is trust that our shippers will do their best to get all packages delivered in a timely manner.

Announcements of closings will always be posted on the EnMart Facebook page,  the EnMart Twitter feed and the EnMart Google+ page. You can always check these pages for the latest updates and details.     If you have any questions,  you may always contact us for the latest information.



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21st January 2014

Need Something Special – Call Us!

contact usOne of the hardest things for any company to do,  I think,  is find a balance between what they can do or offer and what they put on their website.   It’s a rather delicate balance.   Include too much and customers are made to wade through a labyrinth of pages before they find what they need.   Include too little, and customers may bounce off the page because they think you don’t have the item for which they are searching.    Too many categories and menu items can get confusing.  Too few menu items or categories that are too broad will not highlight all the options your company can provide.   Finding the tipping point is a matter of trial and error and that point will be different for every company.   Today I want to discuss EnMart’s tipping point.

When we were first constructing the website it became apparent that we couldn’t include every possible thing we might sell.   The list was far too long and would have resulted in pages and pages of products.   While we wanted to give a good representation of our product lines,  we didn’t want to overwhelm anyone or make it too hard to find what was needed.   So we settled on the idea of including,  in some sections at least,  only the most popular  or best selling products.   Our theory was that these products were items we knew people would buy so it made sense to make them easily available.

While this idea has worked well,  it still has left us with a list of products we could sell,  but which aren’t generally available on our website.   We can get special types and cuts of stabilzer.    We have access to a wide variety of sublimation blanks.   Our blank patch repertoire is far wider than what appears on our website.    Some of these items may not be stock items,  but we can order them and get them to you in a fairly small amount of time.

If you’re searching for something and don’t see it on our website,  please contact us.    In many cases we will have a option that will meet your needs.    We also are willing to send out samples of threads and backings  or a sample blank patch so you can test them before you buy.   All you have to do is ask.

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15th January 2014

Bring Iris Quilting Thread to Your Town

iris-ultra-cotton-quilting-thread-LOne of the questions I’ve been answering a lot lately is the question about where Iris Ultra Cotton Quilting Thread can be purchased.   It’s kind of a complicated question as there’s more than one factor to be considered when answering.    If you’re a retail store,  or run a long arm quilting business with a tax i.d. number,  you may purchase the Ultra Cotton Quilting Thread from us on our website.    Anyone who is not connected to a retail store,  or running a quilting business may not purchase from us directly.   This keeps us from trespassing on our retail customers’ territories,  and allows us to keep our agreements with the thread manufacturer.

So, then,  what do you do if you’re not a retail store or a quilting business with a tax i.d. and you still want to purchase the thread?   Your best option at that point would be to go to a quilt store in your area that carries the thread and purchase it there.    We are always expanding our quilt store customer base, and we’ll always be happy to let you know of any quilt stores in your area that carry Iris thread.

If there is a quilt store in your area that carries Iris Ultra Cotton Quilting Thread,  then your problem is solved.  If not,  you can help bring the thread to your location.    If you have a favorite local quilt store that you think should carry Iris Ultra Cotton Quilting Thread,  let us know.  Give us a call,  leave us a message on the EnMart Facebook page,  send us a Tweet,  leave a comment on this blog post,  or send us an e-mail.   When you contact us,  let us know who you are,  and give us the store information,  including location,  telephone number,  website and contact name.   When we contact the store,  we’ll let them know that you recommended they carry the thread.  Once they’ve sampled the thread,  we’re sure they’ll want to add it to their inventory,  and you’ll have a ready source of Iris Ultra Cotton Quilting Thread nearby.  Everyone wins!

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30th December 2013

Happy New Year!

happy new year 3EnMart will be closed Tuesday, December 31 and Wednesday January 1 in honor of the New Year’s Holiday.

We will return to work on Thursday, January 2, 2014. 

All orders placed on Tuesday, December 31 and Wednesday, January 1 will be shipped when we return on Thursday, January 2.

Happy New Year and here’s to a prosperous and creative 2014!

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27th November 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

h7780_thumb2 EnMart wishes all our customers, fans, and friends a happy Thanksgiving.

On the list of things for which we are thankful,  you all rank at the top!

We will be closed on Thursday, November 28  in honor of the Thanksgiving         holiday.

Normal business operations will resume Friday, November 29.

(Note, I loved this design from the Embroidery Library so much,  I swiped a picture of it to use in this post.    If you click on the picture, it will take you to their site so you can download this file. )



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19th November 2013

EnMart Shipping Notification Glitch

we apologizeSome of you who have placed and received orders in the last few months may have received a shipping notification for those orders today.  There was a glitch in the EnMart system,  and the status of some orders was changed from shipped to backordered.  When we corrected that problem,  the system generated new shipping notifications for all the orders previously shipped.

This was an error.

No new orders were shipped and no new charges were assessed.

We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

The EnMart Team

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21st August 2013

If We Could Read Your Mind

psychicRecently I got an e-mail from a customer that simply said “THANK YOU”  in capital letters and nothing else.   Because I found it nice and kind of funny, I e-mailed back “I’m not sure what we did,  but you’re welcome”  and didn’t think any more about it.   In a reply to my e-mail,  the customer explained that he was thanking us for shipping his order so quickly,  something that we might take for granted,  but which he felt was worthy of a thank you.   It was a nice thing to hear,  but it also illustrated to me how different customer expectations and company expectations can be.

For us,  same day shipment on in stock items that don’t have to be manufactured is always the goal.  We know that your businesses depend on receiving the supplies and equipment you order in a timely manner,  so we try to make our shipments as speedy as possible.   Our goal is always to exceed your expectations and get you the goods you’ve purchased as quickly as we can,  but there can be roadblocks in meeting that goal.   If we were psychic,  that wouldn’t be the case,  but we’re not,  so sometimes your expectations of speedy and ours don’t mesh.

We like to avoid miscommunication and misunderstandings if we can,  so I thought it might be a good idea to suggest some ways you can communicate what you expect to us – so we’re all clear on what’s needed.

  1. Put a note on your order – There is a place for customer comments on the bottom of every order that placed online.  If you need something special, are on a deadline, or want to add a product you don’t see on our site,  put a note in this box.   We generally respond to comments on an order within an hour or two.   Leaving us a comment also gives us the opportunity to let you know when we can’t do something,  which allows you to make alternate arrangements and allows us to avoid an unhappy customer.
  2. Call us – We have a toll free number for  a reason.  If you have a question about something,  a special request,  or just want to tell us we’re doing a great job – ;-),  give us a call.  We’ll be happy to help.
  3. Visit our Facebook page or message us on Facebook – The Facebook page is pretty much monitored 24/7, so you will get a response to your message or post.   Facebook is also where we communicate about things like specials and sales.  If you don’t follow our page,  you might want to start.
  4. Don’t assume – We try to be clear about turn times and how things are handled on our website,  but we can’t read minds.  If you need something specific or something special,  even if you’re 99% sure it’s something we already do,  let us know what it is you need.  That way both parties,  EnMart and you, are clear about what’s needed and expected.   This can help avoid missed deadlines on your end, and cranky customers on ours.

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5th July 2013

The Friday Blog Round-Up 7/5/13

roundupFirst up today we have a post from Marshall Atkinson regarding creating art for t-shirts.   This is a very extensive post and offers some great guidance for those who are new to creating art for garments.    My favorite piece of advice from this article is,  I think, this: “Someone has to print this and someone has to wear this.  Think about both of these when crafting your image”.  We would have much smoother embellishment jobs and much nicer looking garments to wear if everyone kept that in mind.   This piece is a goldmine of good tips,  so make sure to take a moment to read it.   (Also, hat tip to Erich Campbell who first mentioned this post on the Black Duck Blog.)

Second on the docket are two posts I wrote for the DecQuorum blog.  I don’t usually spotlight my own work in this round-up,  but I feel strongly about the subject of these two posts.   In my opinion,  Pinterest can be a great marketing tool for decorators, and I’d like to see more decorators using Pinterest to market their businesses.   Here’s why I think Pinterest is a great place to spread the word about your decoration business.    If you’re new to Pinterest,  I’ve also written a post with tips on how to publicize your business on Pinterest.

Third on the list is a post from Erich Campbell’s Stitches blog in which he explains how to learn embroidery digitizing.   Erich is a well known and well respected digitizer and his work is gorgeous,  so you know he knows his subject.    I think my favorite piece of advice is to observe and try to figure out how thread interacts with fabric.   This post is definitely worth a read.

Fourth in the line-up and largely because I’ve seen a few Facebook posts on this subject lately,  is a post from Retail Minded about time management and saying no.   When you own your own business,  it’s tough to take a vacation or even keep standard hours that allow you some downtime.   Sometimes you just need to say “no” and this post gives you some suggestions on how you can do that.  I especially like the idea of envisioning a big bag full of cards with yes and no on them.

Fifth at bat is a post from John Morgan about how to conquer business anxiety.   Running a business,  heck, living a life can bring a lot of worries to the table.   John offers some simple tips for dealing with those worries and making sure you get the most out of the day that’s before you.   As a reformed worrier myself,  I like these tips and think they’re very helpful.

Finally,  we have a post from Peter Shankman with the reminder that it only takes one bad experience,  or bad employee to ruin a customer’s attitude toward your company for life.   Everyone has bad days and moments when they’re out of sorts,  but when you’re dealing with customers,  those things can’t show through.   Customer service is a tough job and an important one.  This post is a good reminder of that fact.

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3rd July 2013

Happy Independence Day!

4th of july 2EnMart will be closed on Thursday, July 4 in honor of Independence Day.  We will re-open on Friday, July 5th. 

We hope all of you have a safe and happy holiday!

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25th June 2013

The Story of EnMart Part 4: Merrily We Roll Along

2012-03-01_17-13-55_66Creating a company is one thing,  making that company grow is something else entirely.   Once EnMart had a name and a logo and a product list and a website,  the next job was to let everyone know we existed and that we had items they needed to buy.  At first those products were machine embroidery related,  centering mostly around Iris Thread and JSI backing.    In 2009,  we added sublimation and ChromaBlast inks and printers to our product offerings.     EnMart primarily sells products for decorating techniques with which we have experience.   Our theory has always been that we can best help you get the most from the products you buy if we use them as well.

Education has always been a big part of the EnMart mission,  and we love sharing our experiences and knowledge with those who are just starting out.   One way we do that is through trade shows.   Our first forays into the trade show world were small,  a pop up banner and a table were all we needed.   As time went on our booths got bigger,  as did our ambitions.   The simple pop up banner and table was replaced by what eventually became a mini store,  stocked with product and information.    These days, visiting EnMart at a trade show means finding product you can buy at reasonable prices and take home on the spot along with meeting knowledgeable people who are happy to answer your questions and help with problems.

EnMart has also proudly been a supplier member of the National Network of Employee Professionals practically since the company was formed.  Back in the early days,  I was investigating machine embroidery related associations with the view of joining to help publicize EnMart.   There were two that continually popped up,  the NNEP being one of the two.    The NNEP ended up being the organization I chose,  and I’ve never regretted that choice.   NNEP members are supportive and loyal,  and NNEP trade shows are great fun.   I’m pleased that EnMart has been a supplier member for so many years.

As for what the future holds,  we do have some plans.   One thing we’d like to do is more videos and educational webinars.   We have a lot of knowledge to share,  and we’d like to build a library of content that will allow us to do that.    EnMart is always on the look-out for new products which we might offer,  and there’s also the possibility of expanding into further areas with which we have experience.   We are also always open to forming strategic partnerships which can benefit both the company and our customers.    Whatever changes do come about,  we’re sure one thing that will never change is our commitment to helping our customers prosper and our desire to provide the best products and service possible.

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