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Marketing Procurement: 5 Best Practices for 2020

Strategies for containing costs, minimizing risks, and getting better marketing alignment in 2020 and beyond

These days, procurement leaders responsible for sourcing marketing collateral are finding themselves needing to accomplish more with less. This is especially true in the manufacturing industry, where individuals or small teams often have to balance multiple roles and responsibilities within their organization.

Manufacturing organizations, with a network of local dealers, vendors, and sales representatives, need to stay competitive by designing and executing omnichannel marketing campaigns while managing the equipment, supplies, and logistics that give them life.

Cost containment, while still a central concern, is only one of several challenges facing procurement professionals today. Leaders now have to stretch themselves further to minimize a growing set of risks across the supply chain and align themselves more closely with corporate marketing strategies to keep budgets manageable and competitive edges sharp.

This never-ending juggling act is leading many to adopt better practices, revisit vendor relationships, and take advantage of new technologies to help them manage all the moving pieces needed to achieve growth today and tomorrow.

More and more, these enhancements aren't just beneficial, they're necessary. As many procurement and marketing professionals know firsthand, managing your own marketing execution and coordinating a pool of vendors and service providers, each with individual contracts, pricing, and procedures, has become frustratingly slow, time-consuming and highly complex.

Recent research only confirms this with hard numbers. The Deloitte Global Chief Procurement Officer Survey 2018 found that only 48 percent of procurement leaders in the manufacturing industry rated their 2018 performance better than the year before—the lowest across sectors, and below the overall average of 61 percent.

But the same research sheds light on where manufacturers see the solution: improving procurement operations. "Operational tools," in particular, was cited by procurement leaders in the manufacturing industry as the technology area with the most significant impact going forward.

To help you build a plan for print procurement improvement in 2020 and beyond, we've compiled a few best practices with insights into how to act on each of them.

1. Consolidate your marketing suppliers/vendors into a single point of contact.

Supplier/vendor consolidation is nothing new. But few procurement leaders, as busy as they are, realize that the entire marketing supply chain—from creating, managing, and printing, to warehousing, fulfilling orders—can now be simplified into a single partner and point of contact.

A single-source marketing supply chain vendor like OneTouchPoint can alleviate the endless list of management tasks and minimize the supply chain risks inherent with multiple vendors, providing just one point of contact that manages on and off-site printing, warehousing, fulfillment and shipping (and all the equipment and personnel that go along with them).

For procurement leaders, especially those wearing multiple hats within their organization, the benefits are four-fold: streamlined processes, domain expertise through on-site and technology-managed services, fewer supply chain risks, and valuable time and cost savings achieved by working directly with just one vendor (instead of juggling many).

Next Steps: Grab our End-to-End Service Guide and identify opportunities to consolidate your current vendor network. Talk to us to learn how much we can help you reduce your procurement and marketing workload so you can spend your time where it matters most.

2. Centralize your marketing assets and make your distributors the lead marketers.

Strong local marketing has become critical for manufacturers who distribute products in stores across the country. Ironically, however, research shows this is precisely where most manufacturing marketers struggle.

When dealers, vendors, and sales representatives are each customizing and ordering their own marketing assets, the task of ensuring consistent quality and adherence to your brand can be a full-time job on its own (let alone managing and fulfilling everyone's orders).

Today, 67 percent of top-performing companies have a strategy to centralize brand and marketing functions while empowering local offices and vendors to conduct their own marketing efforts. With a centralized system in place, manufacturers can set up a system to succeed precisely where their competitors stumble.

It's the kind of simple, elegant system most procurement and marketing folks dream of: The national marketing team drives the overall brand messaging, quality, and consistency, while vendors, dealers, distributors, and sales representatives can execute approved, on brand local marketing campaigns, turning potential buyers into loyal customers.

Storing assets in a central hub eliminates virtually all of the time wasted searching for the latest versions of marketing pieces or reinventing existing collateral. It also maximizes brand consistency and integrity while minimizing the marketing team's oversight over orders and fulfillment.

For example, OneTouchPoint helps procurement and marketing teams free their time by providing internal teams, dealers, and distributor networks access to marketing assets, including pre-approved templates (ads, flyers, social posts), promotional pieces, training material, and more. Approved users can access and order marketing pieces, as well as customize, personalize, and localize specific content that can be downloaded, purchased, or have pieces printed on demand. Larger orders can be fulfilled from our warehouse and shipped directly to the correct location.

Next Steps: Take stock of how much time is spent working on the work when creating and ordering marketing collateral across your organization. Grab our handy Tip Sheet to learn how, with such a system, you could make your dealers the marketers they ought to be while freeing yourself to invest your time where it's needed. Talk to us to learn how we can radically improve your marketing operations based on the network you need to support.


3. Switch to print-on-demand and eliminate overages.

Anyone who's managed print procurement knows overprinting is one of the most frustrating and wasteful components of marketing execution. If you're still being forced into overruns, it should be an immediate signal that improvement isn't only possible, but could save you a lot in wasted spend.

OneTouchPoint's print-on-demand services enable you to print just what you need (any size, any format, any quantity), right when you need it. Print-on-demand alone can reduce—and nearly eliminate—overages and stock obsolescence while saving costs on warehousing and bulk printing.

What's more, our on-site, real-time inventory management services ensure you never run out of crucial collateral, whether it's a brochure, banner, floor sticker, or any other printed material. With OneTouchPoint's 99.92 percent accuracy rate, your orders will get where they need to go—correctly and on time.

Next Steps: Calculate how much printing overages have cost you over a given period and determine what that amount could achieve when reinvested into elsewhere. Talk to us to learn more about how print-on-demand can enable you to eliminate printing overages and stock obsolescence while saving costs on bulk printing and warehousing.

4. Use paper brokerage to save time and material costs.

In 2019 and beyond, procurement leaders shouldn't be wasting valuable time negotiating with individual material vendors or shipping services. By engaging a paper brokerage service, you can immediately reduce or eliminate unnecessary costs and get the assurance you're receiving the very best deals on materials.

At OneTouchPoint, our nationwide printing and distributions centers save time and costs by allowing us to print and ship materials from whichever facility is closest to a destination. Deep postal service discounts save money without sacrificing quality or speed.

These strategies can help companies save 20 to 30 percent on communication costs, and we don't stop there. Our on-site services allow clients to shore up prices on equipment and maintenance, and HR operations and personnel management, as well. OneTouchPoint provides flexible pricing structures, no volume commitments, and for a single manufacturing client, we’ve helped them achieve over $3.5 million in cost savings.

Next Steps: Just like your overage costs, get a sense of how much could be saved by getting the best possible price on your materials. Take it a step further by estimating how much of your time you could get back from eliminating your search for material deals. Talk to us to learn more about how we can ensure, on top of our end-to-end marketing services; you're getting the very best material prices with each order.

5. Unlock new opportunities for cost-savings and through data.

Still today, printing quantity decisions are often just educated guesses, making it unclear which marketing campaigns are working and which aren't. As a result, procurement and marketing leaders find themselves spending more money than they need to, simply because their processes and results aren't as visible as they could be.

By merely adopting technology like OneTouchPoint's U.Connect platform, which captures and measures this data, manufacturers can unlock a wealth of quantitative insights and the ability to analyze supply chain operations with useful figures.

These analytics provide many companies their first firm grasp on inventory and mailings, along with insights into which marketing assets are being used (or not) and which assets and tactics are most effective for each product, dealer location, or department.

By enabling marketing teams to take a deep dive into what they have, what they need, what's being used and what's not by local dealers & networks, we can help them plan for future design and development, allocating resources for initiatives that work and pausing investments on the ones that don't drive results.

Next Steps: Note where greater visibility into your marketing supply chain and marketing execution could provide useful metrics for measuring success and optimizing accordingly. Talk to us to learn how U.Connect may provide the data you need to make your marketing dollars go much further.

Bring these best practices to life with OneTouchPoint.

OneTouchPoint is rooted in manufacturing. We are the print and marketing backbone for production processes in companies across the country, enabling them to aggregate, integrate, and manage the components of their marketing communications supply chain with one partner. We make it possible to create, manage, print, warehouse, fulfill and ship technical manuals, direct mail pieces, product samples, marketing promotions, custom kits, and more from a single vendor.

To learn more about whether OneTouchPoint is the right single-source marketing solution for your organization, grab our Manufacturing Services Data Sheet and contact us, or request a quote on your next project. Our experts will provide insight and ideas to deliver phenomenal results at a great price.