Posts Tagged ‘random’

Engraved Gifts – Engraving Machines Development

November 8, 2008

Engraved Gifts

When we began offering engraved gifts, we were limited to the range of gifts we could provide our customers because we used a metazza engraving machine, which limited the size and shapes of the engravable gifts we were able to engrave.

Metazza Engraving Machine

Metazza Engraving Machine

We decided after a year of working with the metazza, it was time to invest in some new equipment to allow us to offer premium engraved gifts to our customers; such as engraved champagne, engraved wine and other luxury engravable presents including photo frames, zippo lighters and tankards.

Obviously, it was a requirement that at least 3 members of staff had sufficient training and practise on the new machine, so a training day was scheduled between the supplier and 3 members of the on Wednesday 3rd September, however due to unforeseeable circumstances the sales rep, Warren who was due to take the training had to postpone the session due to family commitments, this was not a problem other than another date could not be agreed with all four people for one month, because of pre-arranged meetings and appointments. The second date for training was scheduled for 10th October at 9.30am. At 9am on the Friday 10th October, we received a phone call from the new trainer, John, who informed us that his vehicle had been involved in an accident and that he was not hurt and he still hoped to make the session he had to go to hospital first to be checked out. We received another call at 12pm saying that the training lesson would again have to be re-arranged…

By this point we had loaded the new luxury engraved gifts onto the website, because we expected the staff to be trained and the equipment to be up and running on 10th October. However, orders had already begun coming through via word of mouth and search engine optimisation… Finally, the training session happened on Friday 17th October 2008, with Stephen, who had still not fully recovered from the car accident the previous week. Unfortunately, one member of the WineGifts4U team missed out on the training though on this date due to prior commitments.

New Engraving Machin

New Engraving Machine

The machine was installed and the training began, firstly the engraving software was introduced and demonstrated, this was fairly easy to understand as it required working with Photoshop, which the WineGifts4U staff are au fait with. After an hour of software training, we moved onto being shown how the software worked with alongside the machine. Champagnes and wines were gifts we were hoping to engrave for customers and offer on our website, so we practised engraving on some cheap sparkling wines and some empty wine and champagne bottles. The software and machine proved simple to use and the engraved champagne bottles and engraved wine bottles looked very impressive. We also did a few of the orders we had already received on the website, which consisted of a zippo lighter, key rings and dog tags.

At this stage, John told us that after all his years of experience in engraving, he still sometimes got things wrong. He told us a story about trophies. One time when he demonstrated how to use an engraving machine, not dissimilar to the machine we had purchased he was asked to engrave a small plate on a trophy that had lots of other small plates which had been engraved with dates and names of winners over fifty or sixty years. The data was inputted to be engraved onto the empty small plate, unfortunately the orientation setting for the was inputted as portrait, when it should have been landscape, so the cutter tool path went across the plates that had already been engraved! I am sure we’ve all had issues like this at one point or another!

The engraving machine has a function to test the tool path, so if in doubt you could use this.

We spent about 4.5 hours training and when John left, we had a pretty good idea how to engrave gifts. A member of staff loaded the first job, a bottle of champagne to test by himself, he went throught the procedure as had been demonstrated, but he could not get the cutter to move to the correct position to begin engraving. He tried and re-tried, but could not get the job to work. After an hour, he got so frustrated that he called John to see if he could help. John suggested lifting the head on which the champagne was mounted, which immediately solved the problem!

Since then our skill levels have improved tremendously. More and more complex engraving is being done. A beautiful watch was given by a family member to give as a gift to a friend, who wanted the watch engraving. So, we set the job up on the jig, used the laser to test the tool path, which worked perfectly, then pressed the button to finish the job and crossed our fingers! The tool came down and cut the name in the correct place perfectly. The family member who wanted th gift engraving was delighted, but the member of staff who completed the job got a huge amount of job satisfaction, but more importantly this job brought in extra money for the company in these difficult economic times.

The sales representative of the engraving machine supplier has rung to see how we were getting on with the machine and to ask if we required anymore help. He is coming down in a couple of weeks to give us some more advanced training.

The engraving maching has proved extremely successful for our gift product range. During economic times such as these it is always difficult to find money, time and resources. However, in our case the machine has helped to improve profits and sales. We are getting regular orders, even in such a short space of time since loading the gifts onto the website for champagne, wine, ales and photo frames just to name a few. Engraving all of these engravable gifts is giving every member of staff who completes a job, job satisfaction, because the systems and processes we have created within the organisation from the stages of ordering the gifts online to dispatching the gifts are working really well.

I am sure other people have encountered similar experiences, and if you’d like to share your thoughts or experiences please feel free…


How to wrap a bottle of wine as a christmas gift

September 23, 2008

We at are constantly looking at innovative gift ideas to add to our portfolio, but we’d also like to give something back to those buying gifts from us in a fun and interesting way. Our gifts are affordable, but in these difficult economic times making a gift look good can get expensive. We have therefore created a video to show you how to wrap a bottle of personalised wine with wrapping paper, a bow and some foil allowing you to create a beautiful gift on the outside as well as on the inside without breaking the bank.

Please do let us know how you got on using the video to wrap your bottles of personalised wines for your friends and family this christmas.

Birthdays, Birthdays and more Birthdays – When is one officially “over the hill”?

September 12, 2008
‘Over the hill’ is a colloquial phrase used for the very simple term, ‘old’. Where did this idiom come from though? It cannot be known for sure, but the phrase perhaps came from the fact that cemeteries in the past were often built on hills overlooking lower areas of towns and villages. Therefore, someone who had passed away would be buried somewhere over this hill. This idiom ‘over the hill’ has been adapted and now has common usage in the english language. Another possibility could be that the first part of one’s life is going uphill, because you’re young and have plenty of time to experience life, explore the world and everything in it, but once you’ve done all of this and you’re at the top, it’s all then downhill, suggesting you are ‘over the hill’.  
I think the age that one feels or becomes ‘over the hill’ differs for each individual. I’m 21 and upto my 18th birthday, I was sure that by my 30th birthday I would be  old;  over the hill, and my parents, who were 41 years and 44 years old at the time, were definately past it. Now that I’m slowly getting closer to thirty, the goalpost for me is changing with anything past 40 years of age now being classed as ‘over the hill’. You see 40th birthday, 50th birthday and 60th birthday cards in greeting card shops littered with jokes about being ‘over the hill’ and ‘past it’. Do these jovial remarks mean that after the age of thirty nine, you can no longer make the most out of life?

I asked friends and family what they thought:
“60th or 65th birthday – Just because it’s the normal age of retirement. Really though, I think being over the hill has more to do with a person’s mental abilities than their age. I know some 80 year olds who still have it together where it counts, and some 40 year olds who are pretty senile already!”  
A neighbour told me that ‘It took me [him] 50 years to look this good!’ – I guess he doesn’t believe that he’s over the hill yet.
I carried out a survey, part-takers had to decide whether in their opinion they counted the following birthdays as being over the hill.
Birthday – Over the hill?


 Research shows that in today’s society men are living upto the age of 76 and women to the age of 81, as opposed to 66 and 71 respectively during the 1950’s. This is a dramatic increase in the length of the average life, it’s a huge 10 years extra in just 60 years or so, thanks to the development of medicine and technology. So in theory, being 40 years old is only half-way through ones life today, instead of two thirds through one’s life 60 years ago.  To conclude: people used to have shorter lifespans 60 years or so ago, living on average to the age of 66 (males) and 71 (females). The age one would feel or be classed as old in that time would consequently be younger than in today’s society where people are living upto the ages of 76 (males) and 81 (females). When then, is one officially over the hill?  From asking people and taking into account my own opinion, I think that it’s all about perception, you are over the hill when you feel and think you’re too old to live life to the fullest.