Your Duplication Project Schedule

Are you about to do your first CD/DVD project or maybe your first big one? Unless you have a reasonable, realistic schedule, you won't make it without paying some stiff "rush" fees. There are a number of things that will affect your schedule. Lets look at some and at the same time you'll begin to get a sense of a proper sequence for your project.

Most folks will concentrate on the CD/DVD content. For the most part, I'd have to say that without the content, there's no reason for the project in the first place. As the CD/DVD development winds down your schedule becomes important for to an "on-budget", timely delivery. Somewhere along the line, you'll get a quote from dataDisc. After approving and faxing it back along with the deposit, things will start to happen. It's true that some companies require all parts to be ready and "in hand" before they will start a project but dataDisc has always been willing to work with our customers to help them gain a time advantage where ever possible. Again, depending on the components of your project, the following is a reasonable schedule and sequence.

1. The artwork for packaging is probably the first thing to be tackled. Whether you plan a preprinted mailer or just a booklet in a standard jewelbox, the packaging probably needs to be worked on 2 to 4 weeks out from your target delivery date. Most packaging is done with process printing which requires you to see, approve return a proof prior to going to print. This step will normally take 1 to 3 days and is often overlooked by a first timer.

2. The art for the CD/DVD disc itself should be our next task. Often referred to as disc label art, it's the printing on the surface of the CD or DVD. If you're doing a spot color, typically all the art verification will be handled in a single day by fax. If you will be doing process printing, add a couple of days for the proof to be made and sent for your approval. Not sure of what "spot color" vs. "process" is all about? See Process vs. Spot Printing. The real tip about artwork is "do it early."

3. Now it's time to finish your content. It's best if you make your own master (logical master or CDR) and send it to dataDisc for us to duplicate but we can make your master for you. Not only will there be a slight fee for making the disc but we'll need to send you a "test disc" for your approval. Add another day to your schedule if we will be making the test disc.

4. If you haven't signed the quote yet, do so. This will get your job into our production queue. Send us the master and if you haven't sent us your art yet, we'll need that as well. Hopefully, you signed the quote weeks ago and sent all your art then, leaving only the master as the last task.

5. On to production. Whether audio or data, for the most part we handle them the same way. Depending on the size of your order and the type of packaging you've ordered, it will take anywhere from 3 to 15 days to finish your order. Most are done in 5-10 days. If you are behind schedule at this point, paying some rush fees may be able to get your job at the top of the production list. Paying for the overtime or midnight shift may not even be an option but it's worth asking.

6. Shipping time is ADDITIONAL. If you choose ground shipping to save money, it could add a whole week to your schedule. We can ship some fast, some slow. We can even ship to your customers for you. Fulfillment services or drop shipping should be worked out in advance.

Its been said that "there are three primary components to service work; quality, turn time and price." You, the customer get to choose 2 of the 3, the vendor chooses the 3rd. Since nobody will choose less that quality work, it will come down to speed or money.

by Al Foster, VP
dataDisc, Inc.