Yearbook busy season and the collage backlog

Almost everyone wants their school yearbooks at approximately the same time of year – between the beginning of May and the end of August (or more specifically, GCSE results day which is a week after A-Level results day). That’s four out of 12 months of the year, 1/3 of the year. We’re creating yearbooks for over 300 customers this year, and 290 of those will be printed in this period – over 95% of all our books.

Needless to say, we call this period the “busy season” – and boy is it busy!

Our team has grown in the last two months from me and Jamey (the geek team) and Nic and David (the customer wranglers). We’ve taken on Pratik and Ben to help with extra customer wrangling. That’s right, ‘wrangling – almost all of you need a bit of this wrangling to get your books to the printers on time 🙂

Unfortunately, there’s a bit of a backlog of work at the moment, partly caused by our commitment to awesome personal customer service for all our customers, and taking time and care with all the custom artwork we do.

For every customer we offer up to 10 pages of collages from photos you upload to the website. This is one of our cool selling points – our collages really are amazing, and we receive soooooo many lovely comments about them. But they’re not created automagically like our member profile pages – they require love and care by our customer wranglers who diligently create them on their spanking new computers with swanky graphics tablets and massive monitors.

Now the maths – we send of around 20 books a week, or 4 per working day. At 10 collages per customer, that’s 40 collages a day. Woah! Ben’s been away for a couple of weeks so unfortunatley a bit of a backlog has developed – around 326 collages as I write this (and no doubt more by tomorrow morning). Eeks. But fear not! We’ll be chaining Ben and Pratik to the desk all week, gluing their eyes open and setting them up with a caffeine drip. They’ll be working through the collages on a who-goes-to-print-next priority order. By the end of the week we hope to have thoroughly worked them both to exhaustion but have got the backlog down to between 150 and 200.

In total so far we’ve made approximately 800 collage pages this year. That’s 800 stunningly designed pages for our customers to cherish for years to come.

We also lovingly create covers for every customer who doesn’t design their own, and also polls/awards pages for those wanting one. Again – these take time by real people and aren’t created by the system. There’s backlogs for these too, but they’re far smaller (14 covers and 12 polls).

So we’re very sorry if you’ve submitted collages, polls or a cover for us to make and we haven’t yet made them – but we haven’t forgotten about you! They’ll all be ready in time for the deadlines you’ve given us for your books, and when we’ve made them, we really think you’ll love them 😀

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