In today’s market, marketing leaders within their organizations are focused on increasing efficiency. And in an uncertain economy, already-tight margins shrink even further, and minimizing costs without sacrificing impact becomes paramount.
One of the biggest drains on resources for a marketing team is managing the marketing supply chain. Think the stuff behind the scenes – the unfun side of marketing – from managing promotional and collateral inventory, to printing, warehousing, materials purchases, mailings, and more, and it can be a serious headache — and a serious budget hit — when teams are trying to tackle this in-house.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
What if you could team up with a third-party marketing fulfillment partner who could take all those logistics off your plate, integrating seamlessly with your team to help you manage all the moving pieces. Vendor-managed services are a powerful opportunity to lessen your management burden and add cost-saving efficiencies, freeing up marketing leadership’s time, energy, and resources to focus on designing and implementing the big-picture strategies that drive ROI.
What Vendor-Managed Services Are Available to Marketers?
Different vendors will offer different combinations of services, so to maximize efficiencies (and minimize the number of vendor contracts you have to juggle), you’ll want to find a partner who can handle all of your biggest management needs. These tend to be the four big ones:
- Inventory Services: Ensuring physical product inventory is physically inspected and appropriately stocked. This includes warehouse management — and keeping warehouse costs down by minimizing overproduction and monitoring for and removing obsolete stock in a timely manner.
- Print & Paper Brokerage: Managing all of your print and marketing collateral items, ensuring consistency in quality while enjoying cost savings and uninterrupted access to the materials you need.
- Print & Mailroom Management: Staffing and managing all aspects of print and mailroom operations, from printing (large or small format, on-demand or high-volume) to kitting and assembly to fulfillment of even the most complex and sensitive mailings.
- Procurement: Supporting every aspect of the print and marketing collateral procurement & production process—from order and data management to invoicing and detailed order tracking—leading the charge so your team doesn’t have to.
What Will Vendor-Managed Services Really Do for My Team?
When you’ve already got systems in place — whether they’re truly working for you or not — it can be hard to overcome inertia and make a change. But there are plenty of compelling reasons to trade in-house supply chain management for vendor-managed services. Here are just a few:
- Save time and resources: When you hand over the tedium and logistics to a partner, you’re minimizing overhead and freeing up time and money for your employees, sales teams, local franchises, and dealer networks to use doing what really matters: serving the consumer.
- Simplify operations: With one team overseeing end-to-end management of local, national, and global marketing campaigns you can rest assured your visions are being brought to life in a way that truly showcases your brand — and without requiring your input at every step.
- Reduce management burden: Leveraging a single, strategic partner means no longer juggling multiple vendor contracts, systems, and timelines.
- Centralize services: Consolidating commercial print, mail, packaging, and other services under one vendor’s watchful eye enables you to more easily manage all of your marketing engagements — from small, last-minute mailings to multifaceted global campaigns.
- Close the gaps in your supply chain: From compliance to budget to sheer availability of materials, when you’re juggling multiple vendors and managing marketing supply chain in-house, it’s easy to let things slip through the cracks. The right vendor-managed service provider closes the gaps and gives you complete control over your supply chain.
With the right partnership and systems in place, marketing leaders can enjoy reduced staffing needs (and expenses), faster time-to-market on all of their campaigns and initiatives, and dramatic error reduction across the supply chain.
Finding the Right Partner
In a perfect world, you’d find a managed services provider who could handle as much of the everyday management burden you want to hand over. So identify which of the areas above are causing the most delays, budget headaches, and general frustration among your teams, and start digging into potential providers’ capabilities in each area.
OneTouchPoint’s expert teams are ready to join your team, taking over any or all of these marketing management functions on your behalf. Here are just a few of the activities we take pride in handling for our clients:
- Ensuring the right assets are ready to go
- Maintaining accurate (and relevant) inventories
- Brokering print and premium goods on our clients’ behalf
- Providing full print and mailroom staffing and management
At OneTouchPoint, we understand how much marketing leaders have on their plates, and we are ready to lighten your load. To learn more about how we can do that, read more about our vendor-managed services here and here. Then, when you’re ready, contact us to talk in detail about how a partnership with OneTouchPoint would transform your marketing team.