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Managing Marketing Fulfillment: Advantages of Online Ordering

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Online ordering is fast, convenient and efficient. And, if you’re not using it for your marketing fulfillment program, you’re missing out.

This is the third in a series of blogs focused on getting the most from your marketing fulfillment program. The content is drawn from a recently published Iron Mountain-sponsored eBook titled 8 Experts on Marketing Fulfillment, which you can download here.

Only a few decades ago, shopping meant going from store to store to get all the goods we wanted. Now we can shop online for everything from automobiles to zucchini and have our purchases delivered right to our doors.

Online ordering is fast, convenient and efficient. And, if you’re not using it for your fulfillment program, you’re missing out.

Take it from Jackie Burnes, who heads the U.S. marketing team for Expense Reduction Analysts, a consulting firm that focuses on optimizing purchasing decisions. Burnes uses a fulfillment company that provides centralized inventory management and online ordering for business cards, brochures, dimensional mailers and other sales support materials for their franchise network.

“Having all of your materials fulfilled through a single platform, like a web store, helps streamline ordering and ensure brand consistency,” she says. “We don’t have to worry about 150 franchisees creating 150 different business card formats. Having them all consistent helps bring that cohesiveness together, reflecting the fact that we are a global company.”

Before her company worked with a fulfillment partner, Burnes said “it was more of a free-for-all, where people were just creating their own things and sending their own materials.”

Franchisees can also have items preprinted with customers’ names and contact information, for a more professional look, she adds. “They simply order what they need and deliver it in whatever way they’ve set up their marketing campaign for the year. It simplifies things for them and gives them that time back to focus on making follow-up calls” and growing their bottom line.

But There’s More…

In addition to ensuring conformance to brand standards, an online ordering system can help you manage your marketing budget by tracking usage and costs. This data makes it easier for you to:

  • Quickly spot waste and take steps to reduce it,
  • Charge back the cost of materials to the location, department or individual who ordered them,
  • Forecast how many of a given piece you’ll need in the future, so you don’t order too much (which wastes print budget) or too little (which can lead to out-of-stock situations and rush charges for backorders).

Better systems also provide access to tools that let you streamline production and make routine tasks easier, including:

  • Automatic conversion to print-on-demand or electronic distribution when physical inventory is depleted,
  • Automatic reordering of materials at pre-set inventory levels,
  • Custom kitting and binding/packaging,
  • Automated compliance tools, and more.

Want more tips for getting the most from your fulfillment program? Read Why Marketing Fulfillment Matters and The Time-Honored Practice of Outsourcing, the first and second blogs based on the Iron Mountain-sponsored Mighty Guide, or download the 8 Experts on Marketing Fulfillment eBook.

If you would like to discuss your fulfillment needs with one of our specialists, contact Iron Mountain today.

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