A few weeks ago, I posted an article where I asked if an online ordering site for marketing materials would be the right move for those of you who offer branded materials to agents, dealers, employees, or franchisees. I realize this may not be relevant for some of you at this point. If not, maybe you know someone you can share this info with. Or, maybe you already have one but it isn’t accomplishing everything it could. One of the reasons listed for considering such a site was the overall cost savings that may be achieved with such a decision. In fact, online sites can help you achieve considerable cost savings. Let’s look at a few.
1. Time savings
There can be tremendous time saved by using the template-based structure of these solutions to create, resize and repurpose documents.
2. More accurate fulfillment
Especially in a high-volume corporate or institutional environment, fulfillment is often handled manually, so error rates can be very high. By moving to an automated system, fulfillment errors can be all but eliminated.
3. Reduction in errors and duplication
Those responsible for marketing products and services, particularly in a decentralized marketing environment, are often using outdated materials and duplicating effort across the organization by reinventing the wheel each time. They may inadvertently use outdated logos, pricing and marketing text. Branding can get compromised, and errors can get introduced. By creating branded, customizable templates for commonly used marketing materials, the savings can be tremendous.
4. Savings in print and postage
Print and postage costs can be reduced as well. Volumes may drop because orders are occurring only on an as-needed basis. Why pay for printed documents that will only be thrown away? Online ordering sites can also combine the orders from multiple departments, distributors or other authorized parties, qualifying you for deeper postal discounts.
5. Faster response time
What is the value of your time? The revenue generated as a result of faster responses to inquiries? Time to market? How about the power to generate an immediate marketing response to the moves of competitors?
6. Improved marketing effectiveness
By personalizing and customizing documents, marketing communications become more relevant to recipients and have far greater impact. As a result, programs run through an online ordering site can reduce costs as well as generate more revenue.
7. Administrative cost savings
Strong integration with back-office systems means that online ordering sites can solve operational problems associated with indirect goods, not just printed materials. That means you save money.
One multi-site manufacturer with 8,800 employees, for example, was creating 11,000 orders per month using multiple, disjointed internal ordering methods. By switching to online procurement, the company has saved enough money to redeploy four data entry positions to revenue-generating roles.
8. “Greening” your printing
Reducing inventory, minimizing waste and reducing or eliminating warehousing are great bottom-line benefits – not to mention that they are “green” benefits, as well. They mean less wasted ink, paper and energy. If your output is printed digitally, you can tack on the environmental benefits of digital presses. These include reduction in make-ready sheets and elimination of film, plates, proofs and (in most cases) solvents.
When all that is said and done, there may be a number of reasons why an online ordering system is right for your company or organization and these cost savings may just be the beginning. We’d be happy to discuss if this type of system is right for you.