A well-managed marketing supply chain offers the same benefits as any efficient supply chain. Your company can reduce costs by shortening lead times and enabling all stakeholders to view reports, check inventories and access assets they need in real time. In turn, you can better manage inventory levels, avoid the costs associated with out-of-date or otherwise unused materials, and ensure brand compliance across the organization.
While every specific situation is unique, here are five key factors businesses should consider when selecting a marketing supply chain partner.
- Experience: You need a vendor who has the experience to manage your supply chain smoothly – and to help you when things don’t go quite as planned. Don’t just look for the company’s experience – ask about their team’s experience. That way, you’ll have a partner that can manage when things go right and help you get back to right when things don’t go exactly according to plan.
- Scalability: Starting new relationships – and ending existing ones – can be challenging and often costly. You need a partner who can manage your business now and manage your growth without interruption to your team’s focus on your business.
- Single Source: Many companies have a complex network of locations. Keeping everything with a single source, under one roof, means less time wasted and your materials get to your customers or team members quickly.
- Data Security: Your customer data is one of your most valuable assets. It’s not enough to look at potential partners’ certifications – you need to know if they truly practice them. Look into their business continuity and disaster recovery plans. How a vendor will protect and handle your data in the event of a power outage or other emergency can be a great insight to their commitment to keeping your sensitive customer data secure.
- Applications: New technologies have enabled greater productivity than ever before. Businesses need to adopt cost and time saving tools to compete, grow and thrive. Look for a partner who can provide you with customized web portals, insight into inventory and asset usage to ensure you have enough of the right materials available to your team when they need them. That way, money is not wasted on sales collateral or other assets that never get used.
In today’s challenging environment, businesses need to be prepared for uncertainty. The right marketing supply chain partner will understand your needs, be ready and prepared for your business cycles and deliver savings and value to your company.
To learn more about managing the cost of your print and marketing supply chain, download our white paper, “The Hidden Cost of Operational and Marketing Materials.”