Buildlane’s Pre-Production Dashboard Explained

If you take 5 minutes to read through this article I promise you will end up shaving weeks off your custom furniture projects.

Below is a screenshot from a typical project right after all of the quotes were approved. To see your own ‘In Production’ dashboard you can visit this link:

In order to get into Production your goal is to turn all of those red icons to green icons. Note if an icon is grey it means that your attention is not needed (usually the workshop or design team is working on something). But every red icon is waiting on something from YOU the designer.

Let’s take a look at each icon in order of when you should approach them to move the project along the quickest.

The Shop Drawing

If this article was only one sentence long that sentence would read, “Check your production page every morning and look for any red shop drawing icons.”

Once you approve a quote it takes about a week to get your first draft of the shop drawing back. From there revision requests are turned around very quickly so it really is a good idea to check this page daily until all of your projects move into Production.

About 90% of the projects that are delayed are because this icon sat red without any attention being paid to it. Note if you are added to the project you will receive an email notification any time this icon turns red (design team has a question for you or your drawing is ready for approval). But we all know what your email inbox looks like, so best to remember to check the page.

Note that if your COM is delayed but you have approved your shop drawing you can request we move into Production and we almost always honor this request. The drawing is the most important part of Pre-Production!

Samples Address

This is an easy one. If we need to send you a wood finish or something else you need to touch in person, we need to know where to send it.

This is likely your office and you probably have the address saved in our system so you can just select it.

Finish Samples

The next thing you’ll want to look for is a red icon of a piece of wood or a piece of metal. This means we are expecting you to send us a finish sample to match. If you were actually intending to use a stock sample or have us make something from scratch please drop us a note in the Message box.

Once you click onto the Piece Page you can expand the Finish section to see instructions for where to ship your sample for matching. Once you’ve shipped the sample click ‘Mark As Shipped’ so the shop knows to look out for it. And of course once the shop receives your sample they will make a copy and FedEx both your version and theirs back to you.

Sending COM / COL

If your project involves upholstery you will see icons showing a roll of fabric or a leather hide (pretty cool icons huh? Natalia designed those from scratch!). These icons of course mean you need to ship us your fabric or leather.

Just like the finishes above you can expand the COM / COL sections and you will see shipping instructions. Once the shop receives your material they will photograph it and you’ll get a notification that it was received.


Okay, I didn’t want to bring it up, but yes, these icons mean you have to pay for your furniture. You will see one at the start of the project for the deposit and one at the end for the balance.

Note we are not going to hound you for the deposit, but you must pay the deposit before you enter Production – there are no exceptions to that rule. And the balance is due before the furniture leaves the shop (but you’ll have time to review and approve the furniture before that happens).

Delivery Address

You can add the delivery address at any time during the process, but we will obviously start bugging you for it when the furniture is completed.

You can ask for a shipping quote at any time, even when you are just looking at a quote. The first thing our logistics team is going to look for is if this icon is red, if it is they will quickly bounce that request back to you.

Note that here too Buildlane keeps an address book of your delivery addresses so you’ll only need to enter the address once.

Wrapping Up

That is all there is to it. Once all your icons are green you’ll see your order enter the Production Queue sometime within week everything was completed.

I have seen Pre-Production go as quickly as 2 weeks and I’ve seen it go as slowly as 8 months. We always want to see your project move as quickly as possible to give you ample time to make that install.

You now have the knowledge to get through Pre-Production in record speed, so go out there and start drawing up some custom furniture!

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