If the concept of a supply chain dedicated to the production of marketing materials never crossed your mind before you began following along, don’t worry, you’re not alone. That is exactly why we began The Marketing Supply Chain Field Guide. Now, after twelve installments, it’s time to put the wraps on our exploration of one of the most complex, yet underappreciated, areas of marketing operations.
Will you be able to walk away knowing everything there is to know about the marketing supply chain? Probably not. And, in all honesty, that was never the goal of this series. The goal was to give you the insight to be able to identify the existance, and components, of your organization’s own marketing supply chain. Hopefully you are now able to do just that.
Knowing that the marketing supply chain is made of familiar elements whose connections may not always be clear; you now also know that coordination, acquisition, production and analysis are four areas commonly encompassed by the concept. Because every marketing supply chain is as unique as the the organzation it serves, you know that flexibility is a must for successful and strong project and digital asset management.
All of the critical roles – from marketing to finance, procurement and even legal – required to bring your organization’s marketing materials from concept to reality should now be easier to identify. Identification the graphic communication materials your organization relies upon, from the common marketing and sales items to packaging, displays and large-format visuals, should also be easier. All of the vendors who are crucial to the production, implementation and success of these materials – even those you may not have thought about before – should be easier to identify as well.
Armed with your new found knowledge, identifying all of the elements of your organization’s own marketing supply chain should be fairly simple. Unfortunately, once you have it all mapped out, you will likely discover that coordinating, connecting and managing all of the elements, resources and people within it to be a challenge. This is not uncommon. So now you know what the marketing supply chain is and have identified yours, the next step is to manage it and the projects that flow through it.
While many organizations have tried either broad-scope ERP, procurement and other enterprise management software; others have looked toward outsourcing or building their own solutions using complex systems of spreadsheets, email, and files. Each of these methods, while partially successful in some instances, tend to come up short because they don’t take the individuality, complexity and custom-specified nature of a given organization’s marketing supply into consideration. Organizations that have turned to a project management solution that is not only purpose-built for the marketing supply chain, but also tailored precisely to the organization’s people, processes and vendors, have found much greater success.
As this concludes The Marketing Supply Chain Field Guide series, it certainly does not conclude the information we have to share here on the eLynxx Blog! Be sure to check back frequently as well as connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter for continued insight into the marketing supply chain, marketing materials and marketing operations in general.