Spring is a time of renewal; a time to start fresh. While you’re spring cleaning, keep in mind that this is also a great time for you and your fulfillment services company to take stock of your marketing and sales collateral.
- Does your inventory include items that are rarely used or ordered only seasonally?
- What’s the order frequency and average usage rate for each item?
- Do you have obsolete or out-of-date materials that should be destroyed?
- Are you printing more than you can reasonably use to get a lower per-piece rate?
Why do you need the answers to questions like these? In a nutshell, because you want to save money, operate more efficiently and get better results! Remember:
- Duplication, obsolescence and printing more than you need waste dollars you could better use elsewhere.
- Storage and insurance costs for materials that sit on the shelf also eat up budget and produce no return for the money spent.
- Sending out obsolete documents can put you at risk for canceled sales, loss of reputation and perhaps even fines and lawsuits.
Your fulfillment services partner can help you take control of your inventory by analyzing key data and making recommendations for improvement. Once you’ve done that, you should establish a process and a schedule for regularly reviewing your inventory, to avoid the all-too-common budget-busters mentioned above.
Consider Going Greener
Spring also brings Earth Day, a time when people around the world take action to protect the environment. Once you’ve cleaned up your inventory and made a plan to keep it that way, consider how you might make your marketing production more eco-friendly. A few suggestions:
- Use digital print instead of offset. Offset printing is most cost-effective when you print large quantities. If you’re not using all that you print, switch to digital printing technology and produce smaller batches. Better yet, switch to print-on-demand, producing just what you need as you need it. This has the added advantage of letting you quickly update documents with new information or customize them for greater relevance. Additionally, digital printing can be done by your fulfillment company, eliminating the need for packaging (which goes into a landfill) and shipping (which puts carbon dioxide into the atmosphere).
- Keep your mailing lists clean. If your materials don’t get to their intended recipients, you’ve just spent money for nothing. Equally bad from an environmental point of view, your mailers will end up at the dump. Your fulfillment company should regularly update and clean your mailing lists with zip code corrections, address standardization, checks against the National Change of Address Linkage System, DMA mail preference service, merge and purge, opt in / opt out, test mailings, suppression files and more.
- Use recycled paper whenever possible, as well as environmentally friendly packing materials, instead of polystyrene peanuts and other materials that aren’t biodegradable.
For more ideas on getting the most from your fulfillment services budget while protecting the planet, contact Amware.