Running a company can be difficult, especially if you are handling everything from accounting, marketing, client interaction, then add fulfilling your products on top of it, exhausting! It can be be just as overwhelming to find a company you trust with your product, mail, or point-of-purchase materials. However, not outsourcing your fulfillment legitimately can be consuming your time and wasting your money. So what is a company to do?
There are several things to consider in this decision making process.
First, not every fulfillment company is equally made. When selecting a third-party fulfillment service, there are a few things you should consider before outsourcing.
How much would you like to spend on this service? Per product? Per month? Per year?
Is the staff well trained in fulfillment?
Does the company have enough space to store your products?
What types of fulfillment options does the company offer?
Do they have a dedicated point of contact that will ensure you get good customer service?
Second, many third-party fulfillment companies offer several types of fulfillment options. It is best to know the types of fulfillment plans and which one will be best for you in the long run.
With drop shipping, you can send out products and printed materials without worrying about the inventory control and fulfillment. A company may receive an order for postcards or flyers, and the fulfillment company will print the documents and then send it to the consumer without ever sending a single thing to the business. Drop shipping is affordable for a business that may not have the storage space or even capabilities to produce such items.
Many companies, small or large, may carry point-of-purchase materials – such as signs, menus, cards, premiums or display fixtures – that may need to be replenished every few months. Through product fulfillment, the fulfillment company stores and inventories point-of-purchase products for ABC Inc. When ABC Inc is running low on products, they only order new merchandise online and the fulfillment company packages and ships the products to ABC Inc. In many cases, this type of fulfillment works best for businesses with people in various locations or for companies that have several entities operating under the same roof. Product fulfillment also guarantees point-of-purchase items will have a professional, uniform look no matter to whom it is sent.
Individual Kit Fulfillment
Depending on your personal fulfillment needs, individual kit fulfillment, or kitting may allow your company to send out personalized kits to potential or current customers. With kitting, existing materials are picked to order and placed into a kit or package with customizable materials and welcome letters to each recipient. Individual kit fulfillment can be as simple as a welcome package with your company information or as elaborate as welcome baskets with many gifts like hats, t-shirts, pens, and notepads.
With advertising fulfillment, companies can send brochures, pamphlets, and flyers to inquiries on demand. Many businesses can print identical advertising spreads or pull from inventory, address, and mail. At times brochures can be personalized to receive unique advertisements based on his/her demographic profile, lifestyle interest, or past shopping behavior
Marketing Asset Management
Marketing Asset Management is a web-hosted marketing management, production, and distribution system built to meet the needs of the franchise, association, and retail operations. Point-of-purchase products, business cards, notepads, pens, and more are housed in an online store that can be accessed the company when needed.
Lastly, consider what you will gain when you finally subcontract your fulfillment to a third-party company.