Is Your Inventory Management Stuck in the Stone Age?

July 12, 2019 by Leslie Barton

This is the second in a series of blogs based on Amware’s new eBook titled “Your Marketing Fulfillment Program Sucks: 7 Ways Poor Literature Management and Distribution Practices Undermine Your Marketing Results.”

A sales rep walks into a client’s office to introduce a new product. When the pitch concludes, the client asks for more information. No problem, says the sales rep; I’ll send you our brochure and a spec sheet right away.

A week goes by, then 10 days. The requested collateral finally gets to the client, but the client has also talked to another company with a similar product. Their collateral reached him the next day. Which company is more likely to make the sale?

In today’s competitive business environment, you can’t afford slow marketing fulfillment. That’s why you need a robust  online ordering and inventory management system.

A web-based marketing portal that’s connected to your inventory management system allows your sales team and other authorized users to request literature and other marketing collateral around the clock. Orders are received at the warehouse within seconds and can be out the door the same day. No manual ordering system can match that kind of turnaround.

inventory management stone age

Speed isn’t the only benefit

In addition to faster time to market, online systems also give you much better control over your inventory. Through your marketing portal, you can:

  • Limit access by job function, job level, title, location or other parameters to ensure that only people who are authorized to use materials can order them. This can be especially important in heavily regulated industries like insurance, financial services, health care and pharmaceuticals, where reps and agents may be licensed to sell only certain products or to sell only within certain geographic areas.
  • Limit access by date. Setting expiration dates to take materials off-view prevents users from distributing outdated or obsolete materials.
  • Limit distribution to ensure that materials intended for certain markets, states/regions or other demographics can’t be sent elsewhere.
  • Limit order quantities or order value. Over-ordering and hoarding waste materials and drive up costs. Setting quantity or dollar-value limits helps ensure that materials are actually needed and used.
  • Set up charge- Tracking orders and charging them back by individual, department, office or region helps defray marketing costs and provides an incentive not to over-order.

Then there’s the advantage of better data. In a fully integrated online ordering and inventory management system, every piece of collateral is tracked from the moment it’s received at the dock through order and delivery. You can see how much of a given piece is in stock at any given moment and trust that the count is accurate.

By generating periodic reports on orders, time in stock and other important benchmarks, you can also get valuable insights in which pieces are performing well and which are wasting money sitting on a shelf. This can help you set timely reorder points and sensible reorder quantities for the good performers and refresh or eliminate materials that aren’t being used.

If you would like to learn still more about the benefits of online ordering and inventory management, contact Amware. One of our fulfillment experts will be happy to answer your questions and discuss your needs.

Next in this series of blogs: overspending on print. In the meantime, don’t forget to download our new eBook, “Your Marketing Fulfillment Program Sucks: 7 Ways Poor Literature Management and Distribution Practices Undermine Your Marketing Results.”

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Filed Under: Marketing Fulfillment, fulfillment operations