Designing your gift basket-making space the right way is critical for several reasons. It:

  • Decreases per-order design time
  • Increases order quantity per hour
  • Maximizes staff productivity

Retailers and non-profit organizations hire me to plan their studios and warehouses for efficiency as well as train staff.

In my 28+ years in this industry, it’s easy to visualize the rhythm of how design staff handles every order. No matter how small or large the work space, the basic building items must always be an arm’s length or two steps away from the design table.

Organize and train

Here’s how the assembly begins.

1. Grab the empty basket or container.
2. Scoop a handful (or two) of shred.
3. Gather the items to be included.
4. Choose the enhancements (if desired).
5. Wrap with cellophane or shrink wrap.
6. Top with a bow.

Initial training to show new employees where everything is located and the desired method to construct a gift basket takes 1-2 days for trainees to be in sync with current employees. After that, you can expect gift baskets that previously took 30-40 minutes to complete to be finished in under 10 minutes. The time savings amounts to a huge increase in order completion and sales.

Plan, then listen and adjust

Although your initial assembly space is organized for high productivity, gift basket makers may not agree with your vision. Staffers who must reach and grab to make the finished product must be encouraged to either inform you about problems or be able to move supplies around to enhance the space.

As an example, a large opening was carved beneath a table to insert 30 lb. shred boxes, but employees at a new facility found the centered boxes to be bulky and intrusive. They moved the boxes to the left and right of the table, which provided a more-relaxing space to approach for designing. Smaller supplies were added to the open space in the center which maximized their efficiency without hampering movements.

The facility’s owners and I arranged the space planning through our initial conversation. We made the adjustments through online visual planning.

Review time is now

We’re entering the busiest time of the year for gift basket sales. Before your staff begins completing high-volume orders, make sure their assembly space is organized for comfort and efficiency. Without it, your employees will not work to your expectations, and competitors may capitalize from this oversight.

Shirley George Frazier
In the gift basket world, all roads lead to Shirley George Frazier, the industry's reigning expert and international authority. Shirley is chief basketologist at Sweet Survival LLC and author of the industry's best-selling books, How to Start a Home-Based Gift Basket Business, The Gift Basket Design Book, and Marketing Strategies for the Home-Based Business. Shirley works with manufacturers and retailers to successfully add gift baskets to their current revenue streams. Shirley is also a frequent speaker at events and instructor of the popular online course, Start Your Own Gift Basket Business. Contact Shirley to speak at your event or call 973-279-2799 to schedule a consultation.

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