Hey, marketers, how much do you spend each year to print brochures, flyers, catalogs, sales kits, point-of-sale materials and similar marketing collateral? Whatever the amount, I’m guessing you can come up with a pretty accurate figure on the spot.
Now, what’s your annual cost to store and distribute those materials – your cost for marketing literature fulfillment?
If your company handles fulfillment in-house, you have to pay for things like:
- A storage facility. If you build or buy a warehouse, you incur a long-term capital expenditure. If you rent, you’re contractually obligated for the term of your lease.
- Lights, heat and air conditioning. Expenses can be significant, depending on weather and utility rates.
- Equipment and supplies – Things like shelving, pallets, scales, forklifts, barcode scanners, mobile computers, cartons, envelopes, labels, and other items needed to log, store, pick, pack and ship your collateral.
- A warehouse management system. Ideally, that system is integrated with your ordering system to provide seamless tracking and reporting and real-time inventory levels.
- Facility and equipment repairs and maintenance.
- Insurance on your building, equipment and inventory.
- Labor costs – wages, benefits, training and payroll taxes.
These costs add up, but they’re largely invisible to you because they get lumped into corporate operating expenses. While they may not appear in your marketing budget, they do have a significant impact on your company’s bottom line.
What if You Outsource Literature Fulfillment?
Outsourcing distribution to a third-party literature fulfillment company eliminates the expenses listed above. Instead, you pay a one-time charge for setting up your account in your vendor’s system, moving your materials into their warehouse and establishing policies, procedures and key performance indicators to meet your requirements.
After that, you pay a monthly charge that includes receiving fees (hourly or per unit), storage fees (based on how much space your inventory occupies), per-order and per-item fulfillment charges, and shipping fees. These shipping fees are usually less than what you would pay if you shipped through your own account, because fulfillment vendors get volume discounts.
Outsourcing greatly reduces your fulfillment costs because you pay only for the space and services you use. It also frees you and your staff to focus on your core job of generating new revenue.
That said, even if you outsource, you may still be paying more than you should for literature fulfillment – specifically, for storage and insurance – if you:
- Stock more of a given piece than you can actually use,
- Add new materials that substantially duplicate items already in your inventory
- Store substantial amounts of obsolete material.
Establishing steps to better manage your sales collateral will help you avoid these budget wasters.
Better Fulfillment for a Better Bottom Line
Literature fulfillment plays a critical role in the success of your sales and marketing strategies. Your print materials need to reach your sales team, channel partners, customers and prospects on time and in good condition. Unless yours is a small operation, you’ll find it more cost-effective to outsource this important function to an experienced fulfillment vendor like Amware Fulfillment.
As part of its marketing literature fulfillment service, Amware provides online ordering, pick and pack, print management, design on demand, lead response and regulatory compliance. Our team functions as an extension of your business, helping you streamline the production, storage and distribution of your sales literature and promotional materials. We also monitor and regularly report on metrics that matter to you, like inventory and order accuracy, order turnaround and on-time delivery.
To learn more about our services and how we can help your business grow, contact Amware today.