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Understanding Print Production Turnaround Time


What Does Production Turnaround Time Really Mean in Print?

Understanding production turnaround time will help you choose the right option for the right job — and get the fulfillment you need at the best possible price.

4over recently shared some great news with our valued customers about price decreases for Next Day Production Turnaround Time and 2-Day Production Turnaround on select products. But what exactly is “Production Turnaround Time”, and how does it factor into your overall order completion?

What is Production Turnaround Time?

When it comes to print fulfillment, production turnaround time, often abbreviated as TAT, is a critical factor to consider. It refers to the amount of time it takes for a print job to be completed, from the moment the order is placed to when it is ready to ship. In other words, it is the time it takes for a trade printer to process an order, print it, and box the product for shipment.

Production turnaround time can vary significantly depending on the complexity of the print job, the volume of the order, and the capacity of the printing company. 4over’s goal is always to complete orders as quickly as possible while still ensuring that the print quality is of the highest standard.

When Happens During Production Turnaround Time?

Turnaround starts from the time the design file upload is complete and approved. If an order has revised files, is placed on hold, or is awaiting proof approval the turnaround starts from the time the approval is given. The steps involved in printing an order can be broken down into three main stages: pre-press, printing, post-press, and then shipping.

The Three Stages of Printing an Order


This stage involves preparing the artwork for print. It includes tasks such as color correction, proofing, and file preparation. The goal is to ensure that the final print product accurately reflects the customer's design and meets the printing company's standards. At 4over, since the majority of our printing is gang-run, this is also when all similar jobs get collected together and transferred to a batch prepared and ready for printing.  Once the pre-press stage is complete, the order is ready for printing.


This stage involves using the chosen printing method to transfer the design onto the chosen substrate (paper, cardstock, etc.). The printing process can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, depending on the complexity and size of the orders. 


This stage involves finishing the print job by adding any necessary finishing touches such as folding, binding, laminating, or cutting. It is crucial to ensure that the final product is of the highest quality and meets the customer's expectations.

Understanding 4over’s Production Turnaround Time Options

Our turnaround times refer solely to production. Once production is complete, it may take up to one business day for orders to ship or be available for pickup. Local delivery orders will be delivered on the next scheduled day for your zone (excluding the day of production). It is our goal to release all jobs as soon as the completion of production allows. Please note, however, that the last day of your turnaround is not a guaranteed "in hand" date.

Currently, 4over offers several options for TATs, including:


Next Day Turnaround

  • Orders must be uploaded and approved by 10 am



NOTE: All booklets/calendars will receive an electronic proof that must be approved before the start of turnaround and printing.


2 Day Turnaround

  • Orders must be uploaded and approved by 1 pm




NOTE: All booklets/calendars will receive an electronic proof that must be approved before the start of turnaround and printing.


2 - 4 Day Turnaround

  • Orders must be uploaded and approved by 1 pm



NOTE: All booklets/calendars will receive an electronic proof that must be approved before the start of turnaround and printing.


5 - 7 Day Turnaround

  • Orders must be uploaded and approved by 1 pm



NOTE: All booklets/calendars will receive an electronic proof that must be approved before the start of turnaround and printing.


Helpful Hints About 4over’s Production Turnaround Time


  • Production TATs are based on the production facility’s time zone. If you choose group shipping, your turnaround time may be extended by at least one day.
  • Once your job has shipped, you may want to also check your shipping time based on your production location.


Because production turnaround time does not include the time it takes for shipping and delivery, these are also essential factors to consider when placing a print order. Always consider the production TAT in combination with shipping and delivery time before placing an order to ensure that it aligns with your needs and deadlines.


Production turnaround time is a critical factor to consider when it comes to print fulfillment. It is always 4over’s goal to ensure that your print jobs are completed efficiently and accurately. However, understanding production TATs can properly set expectations while helping you receive the best service possible, at the best possible price. 

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As one of North America’s largest trade-only printers and a trusted source for print fulfillment since 2001, 4over helps print, design, and other creative services resellers grow profitable businesses. We do this by offering a vast selection of quality print products at guaranteed trade-only prices. Our expansive e-commerce catalog includes everything from standard marketing collateral like business cards and brochures, to harder-to-find specialty, large format, and promotional products.

Our capabilities span gang run offset, digital, grand format, and promotional printing across six production facilities, staffed by experienced, committed operations teams. With locations across North America, state-of-the-art equipment such as powerful Incas and Scodix UV machines, and fast turnarounds, 4over offers our customers savings, selection, and scale. We serve large franchise printers, single print shops, print brokers, graphic designers, photographers, and every type of print reseller in between. Learn more at Trade.4over.com

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