The Inside Scoop at

Anatomy of an Order – part 1

Posted on: April 27, 2012

An email message two days ago. . .

The customer asked, Could he make a change in a line item? Or, was it too late to make any changes?

There is a brief window, where the order goes from our order entry department to various departments within Production — and this customer lucked out! We pulled the order, changed the lift option to Cordless Top Down Bottom Up (our current sale!!), and sent the approved order to Production.

That got me thinking: What if we did some blog posts on what happens within our company?!?

Let’s take a look.

1- Shade Order Done Online; or by phone/fax/email/mail

All of our made-to-order shades are built after your order is received – either via our secure server or by phone/fax/email/mail. Do notice that this screen shot is for windows – here called “Regular” Cellular Shade order form; there are alternate order forms for single cell fabrics; arches; and skylights. Use the same form(s) for a quick and handy QUOTE, too!

If you call, fax, or write, we have a form with the same questions you see on the online form – soliciting color, size (width and length), etc.

Online, your order is sent to our secure server and you receive back an automatic confirmation of the information you input. When online orders get downloaded from our server, we have all the information to hand: your shade order, as well as billing and shipping information. These orders then go to order entry.

Non-online orders also go to order entry, but we will then email you the order for a review and written (via email) approval. We’re also able to fax or even mail you the typed-in order, but email is our bread-and-butter method of communication. We love keeping our finges busy.

2 – Order Entry

Although you may have a computer-generated copy of your order, it is the copy sent via email which will actually generate the paperwork that produces your shade. We highly encourage you to open and review this email, although on our end there is also a review going on. We never want you to be disappointed in your shade order – especially not due to inaccurate order entry.

It is in order entry phase that we might also make some adjustments to your order. Were two different orders placed, seemingly for the same shade, within ten minutes of each other? Was an extension pole AND the pole end ordered? — the two come as a complete set, although you may order pole ends separately. Real people enter your orders and we will query you, if something seems out of whack.

One person inputs your order and another will review that order for accuracy.

Once the order has been reviewed, it is then printed – or “batched” as we call it. Batching produces several things: two sets of labels and written paperwork with measurements for all the sundry parts and fabric. The more “complex” the shade – lift option; side tracks; skylight versus window shade – the more information printed on the work orders.

3- Production (pre-production stage)

Your shade order is then hand-carried to the Production room. If you could walk through this room with me, you would see shades that have come in for repair, shades awaiting installation for our local Vermont showroom, shade orders arrayed in all of their components, and shades being assembled by our Production Team members.

The table at the far side of the room is where new orders are placed. These are then entered into our Production Logs. Paperwork is dispersed, after this initial stage, into two sets. Remember those two sets of labels? One set of labels and papers go to our rail department. It is here that anything from side tracks (windows) or side retainer tracks (skylights) to headrail and bottom rail is cut. Makes a terrific noise as saw slices metal.

The next installment will look at the actual production of your shade! Stay tuned— That’s where the *MAGIC* at really happens… And it all begins with a look at our free samples page.


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