Professional Jeweler Archive: Nick of Time

December 2002


Nick of Time

Companies offering just-in-time delivery can make your holidays bright

Getting merchandise to jewelers when they need it is the goal of every manufacturer and distributor in this industry.

Some suppliers have expanded on this goal by offering just-in-time delivery, where items in the core inventory are delivered the day after they’re ordered. Special-order or custom merchandise may take up to a week to ship. “Dependability and consistency are key to the definition of just-in-time selling,” says Matthew Roth, vice president of sales and marketing at Overnight Mountings, Long Island City, NY. “Retailers need to know that if they make a sale to a customer from our catalog, it will be there the very next day.”

Effectively, the supplier acts as the retailer’s stockroom. “It’s up to us to have all the items a retailer needs right up to the holidays and be able to deliver overnight,” says Pat Liquard, president of Esslinger & Co., St. Paul, MN.

Diamond merchandise such as solitaires, channel bands, three-stone jewelry, pendants, anniversary rings, stud earrings, line bracelets and anything bridal suit last-minute ordering and lead sales for the holidays. “These are safe items any guy can purchase knowing that the woman in his life will love them,” says Vince Innocenti Jr., vice president at The Berco Co., Chicago, IL. Other easy last-minute purchases are simple bracelets, traditional colored gemstone designs, crosses, lockets, standard gold chain and gold earrings.

Because the holiday season is perennially hectic, follow these steps to make the ordering process easier on you and your supplier.

  • Be prepared. “Have the correct stock number, size, metal quality and quantity. Make sure all stones are measured in millimeters and weight. This prevents ordering the wrong item,” says Bob Rose, president of Roseco Inc., Dallas, TX.
  • Be flexible. “Allow for substitutions. If we have to, we’ll send similar items. We’ve found customers will purchase a similar item if the original happens to be out of stock,” says Tom Carley, product development, Leo Frank & Sons, Troy, MI.
  • Embrace technology. “Looking up pricing and availability on the Web site makes for better, faster service and eliminates the middleman,” says Steve MacDiarmid, director of public relations and trade shows for Stuller, Lafayette, LA.
  • Order efficiently. “Group orders – don’t call five times to place five orders in one day. Call once with all the information to cut down on shipping costs and errors. Faxed orders are quick and accurate and are treated as priority. Keep shipping instructions clear and concise,” says Liquard. Roth, of Overnight Mountings, also suggests getting orders in early in the day, when possible, to avoid the last-minute crush of orders that comes between 4-6 p.m.

If you’re looking for last-minute bargains, pay attention to brochures, Web sites, ads in trade magazines, word-of-mouth, newsletters and telemarketing efforts such as telephone and fax notices. Overnight Mountings, for example, has a last-minute 16-page supplement called Overnight Treasures and free shipping on orders over $100. Statement and package stuffers have valuable information too. Ask your sales consultant for monthly bargains and special terms.

– by Lorraine M. O’Donnell, A.J.P.

14k gold pendulum earrings and pendant each hold a 0.25-ct. diamond.

The Berco Co., Chicago, IL; (800) 621-0668 or (312) 782-1050, fax (800) 572-1995.

14k gold Circle of Life pendant features three loops representing grandmother, mother and daughter intertwined by the never-ending circle.

Esslinger & Co., St. Paul, MN; (800) 328-0205 or (651) 452-7180, fax (651) 452-4298.

Platinum solitaire rings fit a round or princess-cut diamond.

Overnight Mountings, Long Island City, NY; (718) 472-1212.

Traditional studs are 14k yellow or white gold and hold up to a 1-ct. round diamond each.

Quality Gold Inc., Fairfield, OH; (800) 354-9833 or (513) 942-7659, fax (800) 686-7184 or (513) 682-1100.

14k gold nautical charms.

Dazzlers, Los Angeles, CA; (800) 421-0111, fax (800) 458-2512.

Sterling silver and 14k gold cuff links.

Leonore Doskow, Montrose, NY; (914) 737-1335, fax (914) 737-5049.

Arizona turquoise collection features pendant slides in 14k gold.

Avirom & Associates Inc., Boulder, CO; (800) 456-5958, fax (303) 494-5745,

Reversible 14k gold cross pendants.

Colibri, Providence, RI; (401) 943-2100, fax (401) 943-4230.

The Cathedral is a die-struck solitaire setting shown in platinum and available in all stone shapes and carat sizes and many metal qualities.

Roseco Inc., Dallas, TX; (800) 527-4490 or (972) 991-9731,

Yellow gold rings and earrings feature diamond accents.

Superbell, Los Angeles, CA; (800) 884-3888 or (213) 362-2773, fax (213) 612-4404,

Kelly Waters overlay and rhodium jewelry features cubic zirconia and retails for $40-$55.

Kelly Waters Inc., Boston, MA; (800) 647-7017, fax (877) 282-4103.

14k gold link bracelets retail for $600-$1,600.

Citra, New York City; (212) 354-1000, fax (212) 382-0640.

Copyright © 2002 by Bond Communications