Q. WHY IS STAMPIN’ UP! CHANGING ITS DIE-CUTTING AND EMBOSSING LINE?
A. While we’ve worked with our current supplier for many years, we had the opportunity to reassess this relationship. After extensive research, demonstrator feedback, and evaluation, we’ve decided to move in a new direction and set the foundation for a greater die-cutting and embossing opportunity. One of the significant factors in this decision is that instead of working with a supplier who works with a manufacturer, we are moving to a direct-to-manufacturer relationship. This means that we will work directly with the factories who manufacture our dies and folders instead of working with another company who then works with different factories. This gives us greater control and potential in the manufacturing process. Here’s one example of how that will work: having a direct-to-manufacturer relationship will better allow us to implement die and folder ideas we gather from you, our power users. When we gather feedback and ideas from you, we will now be able to work directly with the factories making the products to implement those innovative ideas.
Q. WHEN WILL THESE CHANGES HAPPEN?
A. Starting with the 2019–2020 annual catalog, we’ll begin shipping new-style dies. All new dies and embossing folders (denoted with a “New” icon in the catalog) and all carryover 3D embossing folders will be produced by our new supplier. For carryover dies and embossing folders (other than 3D embossing folders), we’ll use up our current inventory before starting to ship new-style dies, so even if you place an order in 2020, you might receive an old-style die or folder. These are the high-quality products we currently offer, so we’re confident you’ll be happy with their performance.
Q. WILL STAMPIN’ UP! OFFER A DIE-CUTTING & EMBOSSING MACHINE IN THE 2019–2020 ANNUAL CATALOG AND IF NOT, WHY NOT? WHEN WILL ONE BE AVAILABLE?
A. No. Innovation requires risk, and in our pursuit of a better overall die-cutting and embossing product line, we’re experiencing more significant challenges than we originally planned for. These are not insurmountable challenges, but they are taking time to resolve, which is why we aren’t continuing to offer the same machine or offering a machine in the 2019–2020 annual catalog. We know this will create some challenges, and for that, we apologize. Our product development department is moving with responsible haste to work through this issue, and we will share more information as things are finalized.
Q. WHAT MACHINE SHOULD I USE FOR DIE-CUTTING AND EMBOSSING DURING THE PERIOD STAMPIN’ UP! ISN’T OFFERING ONE?
A. You can continue to use the machine you already own. If you don’t currently own a die-cutting & embossing machine you can purchase one from a craft store and our dies and embossing folders will work with it (in some cases, adaptations like shims may be required).
Q. WHAT’S A SHIM AND WILL I NEED ONE?
A. It’s a thin piece of material that is added to the “sandwich” to increase its thickness. This increases the pressure on the die or embossing folder, which results in cleaner cuts and better impressions. A shim can be as thin as a single sheet of cardstock. Whether you’ll need one depends on the die-cutting & embossing machine you’re using as well as what dies and folders you’re using with it. There are no standards for die-cutting & embossing machines, so each has a slightly different gap (distance between the rollers). If your dies don’t cut cleanly on one pass, try adding a shim to improve performance. Also, machines loosen over time and the gap can change slightly, so if your dies don’t cut as cleanly as they did previously, you might want to add a shim.
Q. HOW WILL I KNOW IF I’M GOING TO GET AN OLD-STYLE DIE OR EMBOSSING FOLDER WHEN I ORDER FROM THE NEW CATALOG?
A. As mentioned above, all new dies and folders will be in the new style, along with all carryover 3D embossing folders. All other items carried over from the previous catalog will be in the old style until our inventory runs out. When this happens with an item, the old item number will be discontinued, and the product will be given a new item number. The ordering system (online store or Order Entry Express) will automatically update to the new style product with a new item number and will provide a message letting you know about the change, when applicable.
Q. WHAT WILL THE RETURN AND EXCHANGE POLICY BE FOR THE NEW-STYLE DIES AND EMBOSSING FOLDERS?
A. Our return and exchange policies for these products will remain the same as they are for all our products. Refer to the Demonstrator Policies document for more information about these policies.
Q. CAN I USE NEW-STYLE DIES AND EMBOSSING FOLDERS WITH ANY DIE-CUTTING & EMBOSSING MACHINE?
A. Yes. You can use new-style dies and embossing folders with any die-cutting & embossing machine. Use the “sandwich” recommended by the machine’s manufacturer. Because of variances in machines, you might need to use a shim.
Q. WILL THE ARTWORK ON THE OLD-STYLE DIES AND EMBOSSING FOLDERS CARRYING OVER TO THE NEW CATALOG BE EXACTLY THE SAME AS THE ARTWORK OF THE CORRESPONDING NEW-STYLE DIES?
A. Artwork and design changes with the transition to the new supplier may result in small differences in old-style and new-style dies—both within our quality standards. You may notice this most with the 3D embossing folders.
Q. WILL THE CHANGE IN SUPPLIER HELP IMPROVE THE BACKORDER ISSUES WE’VE BEEN EXPERIENCING?
A. Not necessarily. Backorders usually stem from forecasting challenges which we are continually working to improve. At this point, the die line will continue to be manufactured overseas and our shipping times from the manufacturer to our warehouses will generally remain the same.
Q. WILL THE CHANGE IN SUPPLIER MEAN THAT PRICES FOR THE DIES AND EMBOSSING FOLDERS WILL GO DOWN?
A. No. Cost savings was not a major factor in this change and while we will continue to offer competitive pricing on our die line, we do not expect that prices will decrease.
Q. WHY ARE WE CHANGING THE NAMES OF THE DIES AND EMBOSSING FOLDERS?
A. In transitioning from our previous supplier to a new one, we are required to update the terminology we use to refer to die-cutting and embossing products; the product names have been simplified.
Q. WITH THE TRANSITION OF THE OLD-STYLE DIES AND EMBOSSING FOLDERS TO THE NEW STYLE, DO WE ANTICIPATE THAT ITEMS WILL GO ON BACKORDER OR BE UNAVAILABLE TO ORDER?
A. Inventory on some retiring dies may be depleted before the end of the 2019 occasions and 2018–2019 annual catalog sales period; we will not be replenishing inventory on any retiring dies that sell out. We also anticipate possible interruption with the dies and embossing folders carrying over into the new catalog while we transition our inventory to our new supplier. This could mean items going on backorder, or periods of time where items are unavailable to order.