The Goldsmiths’ Company Assay Office is committed to providing the best service possible to our customers, enabling you to satisfy your customer demand. Unfortunately, we recognise we are not currently as quick as we need to be on our standard service. Our current lead time is now 14 working days for standard service, and we need to act to bring this down.
What are we doing?
From Monday 28 November Next Day/Early Hall packets which are posted to us will be completed by the end of the next working day, posting out on this day of completion.
Please note packets with laser engraving and bespoke/larger hallmarks may still take longer as per Service and Submission guide.
Why are we doing this?
Currently customers receive their packet on the next working day after we receive it; this is because we have worked to fit them within the Royal Mail Special Delivery collection and delivery timeframe. We would post out packets on the day of receipt leaving us a very narrow timeframe to complete a large amount of work. We need to smooth out this wave.
In addition to this narrow marking window, Royal Mail industrial action continues to severely impact our operations. On occasion we do not receive our daily delivery - this allows us to catch up with standard work until we receive sometimes double/treble the amounts of postal packets in one go. We also work hard to get these packets ready in the relevant timeframe so if mail collections do not occur our capacity in fulfilling this service has then been wasted.
Why are we delayed?
Post-pandemic we have seen a shift towards priority services, due to the changing nature of the jewellery market, and in part due to our own lack of capacity.
We planned to hallmark a similar amount of work as last year, which was our busiest year since 2014. We are hallmarking more work this year than last, despite the looming cost of living crisis and other external issues.
What else are we doing to resolve this?
We have employed additional staff to address the higher demand. However, turnover of skilled staff has been higher than normal. Training new staff to the level required to make the necessary impact can take longer when there is skill in the application of hallmarks and knowledge required to assay. We are currently recruiting and have been for most of the year.
We have purchased new laser marking machines to increase capacity in this area. Staff are encouraged to work as much overtime as they wish. We also offer weekend work and are again initiating a further night shift to help with this demand.
We are doing everything within our power to improve our service to you.
These adjustments, additional capacity via nightshifts, and the arrival of new equipment in the last week will reduce the lead time.
We thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we cope with the unexpected demand this year has given us.