As we begin to enter the economic recovery stage of the pandemic, managing your print marketing supply chain effectively will be critical for reengaging with customers and acquiring new ones.
While some businesses and organizations found niches in marketing pandemic-related products or services in the past year, others necessarily scaled back on print marketing to wait for a return to a more “normal” economy. For both, the playing field will become busier as vaccination efforts take hold, competitors reemerge, and there’s a gradual return to public activities and spending.
Weaknesses in your print marketing supply chain—whether at the point of design, print procurement/production, packaging, or distribution—will reappear. And the continued hybridization of remote and in-office work, along with the need for stepped-up productivity, will likely exacerbate typical problems around collaboration and control, including:
- Employees with varying levels of experience independently creating and ordering printed materials. This results in brand erosion, poor quality materials, and extra costs.
- Cumbersome manual methods of performing operational and administrative tasks, such as using spreadsheets and sending endless emails. These add time and expense.
- Change orders, fulfillment delays, and inventory shortages resulting from inconsistent oversight. Again, these add time and expense.
The more complex the materials—such as personalized direct-mail packages with multiple components—the greater the pain and cost of mismanagement.
The solution for some organizations may be hiring an end-to-end marketing service, or outsourcing specific tasks such as finding a qualified, cost-effective vendor. Others may just try to double down on protocols and procedures. However, the most effective solution for many organizations is purpose-built print management software and service, which eliminates supply chain weaknesses by providing control, visibility, and cost-savings through features such as:
- Vendor qualification, selection, and help writing specs.
- An online storefront with assets and templates for regularly ordered items.
- An automated project management process that eliminates spreadsheets and email.
- Built-in approvals, milestones, notifications, and tracking.
- Transparency through documentation and auditing.
No organization can afford to enter the economic recovery with the handicap of marketing supply chain problems that waste time and resources—or that distract from opportunities.
For ideas on strengthening your print supply chain so you can focus on other things like growing your business, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-709-0990.