Managing a marketing supply chain is a complex undertaking, with each component just as critical to all the rest. From print production and distribution to inventory management and report analytics, each part of the chain is crucial to overall business success. But for even the most skilled marketing leaders, managing every link is a full-time job (or more) in and of itself—and one they have to tackle on top of everything else they’re already juggling.
But supply chain management doesn’t have to be such a circus act. The right partner can make it easy. This guide will break down the basics of Marketing Supply Chain Management and illustrate how OneTouchPoint’s single-source solution can help optimize each part of your process.
What Is Marketing Supply Chain Management?
Marketing Supply Chain Management is a comprehensive process aimed at reducing risks and enhancing efficiency in the creation, production, and distribution of both physical and digital marketing materials. It’s a comprehensive process designed to minimize risks and optimize efficiency in the creation, production, and distribution of both physical and digital marketing materials.
Without the right system in place, these logistics are a hotbed for mistakes, delays, and unnecessary expenses. But a well-oiled marketing supply chain management machine minimizes the time, resources, and headaches involved in executing on high-powered marketing strategies.
Here are just a few of the problems that efficient supply chain management can prevent:
- Brand inconsistency—or costly delays, and reworks—caused by well-meaning local marketing managers using outdated assets or designing their own collateral.
- Sprawling print costs (and unpredictable quality and accuracy) as brand reps source their own production vendors.
- Inventory management issues, such as shortages or overstocks, causing potential loss of sales due to unexpected production needs and waste of money (and materials) due to unnecessary warehousing of outdated materials.
- Overwhelm the marketing and procurement teams as they handle too many operational and administrative tasks and wrestle with unsophisticated, decentralized systems.
Overall, marketing supply chain management has two primary values:
- Risk Mitigation: With enhanced control and visibility, and fewer moving parts, the right management system significantly reduces the potential for errors and the expenses that come with them.
- Efficiency: A well-implemented supply chain management solution reduces costs and streamlines every part of the marketing execution process, including:
- Reducing the time spent handling administrative tasks and manually managing with disconnected systems, freeing marketing and procurement leaders to focus on their core responsibilities.
- Enabling precise customization, downloading, and printing of materials on demand.
- Consolidating vendors to eliminate the need to manage multiple contacts and contracts.
- Controlled Personalization and Multichannel Marketing
Effective personalization can make marketing messages more engaging. Likewise, multichannel marketing expands your brand’s reach across various platforms. But delivering personalized marketing campaigns across traditional and digital channels is a lot to handle—much less doing all that while maintaining brand integrity and airtight compliance.
How OneTouchPoint Helps: Our brand management platform, U.Connect, supports the end-to-end management of your local, national, and global marketing campaigns, programs, and asset management—from production to distribution—with complete oversight. This even includes powerful personalization opportunities such as retargeting in the digital space and customizing printed pieces with localized details and even individual recipients’ names.
- Digital Asset Management and On-Demand Printing
With brand representatives managing local campaigns across the city, state, or country, it’s important to be sure every stakeholder has easy access to the latest assets and a trusted, high-quality print partner. Centralization of digital assets and integrated on-demand printing are modern necessities in the marketing supply chain, and the right single-source solution can integrate these two crucial aspects into one, simplifying the process and increasing efficiency.
How OneTouchPoint Helps: OneTouchPoint’s integrated digital asset management (DAM) system makes managing assets seamless. Coupled that with our in-platform on-demand printing capabilities, and every brand representative is empowered to be their own CMO. We help our clients minimize waste and reduce lead time from order to fulfillment, promoting efficiency and cost savings in asset creation.
- Inventory and Warehouse Management
Inventory management is a supply chain balancing act, as marketers need to be sure they have all the stock they need on hand at a moment’s notice without wasting money on overprinting materials that then sit collecting dust in expensive warehouse space. Keeping track of stock levels and usage patterns can help minimize waste and reduce warehousing costs, but to take things even further, many marketing leaders are shifting away from the traditional model of bulk ordering and maintaining large stocks in favor of more efficient on-demand printing.
How OneTouchPoint Helps: Our vendor-managed inventory services guarantee that your shipments are properly produced, stored, bundled, and packaged, ensuring swift delivery into the hands of your valued consumers without the hassles of overprinting and then storing obsolete materials.
Our comprehensive suite of Order Management System (OMS) capabilities empowers you to maintain complete control over inventory and production, and we pride ourselves on being a true partner in building a tailored solution to your management needs.
- Print Production and Distribution
High-quality print assets are a cornerstone of any successful marketing campaign, with custom-printed materials including everything from brochures and promo kits to large-scale signage. With so many different types of physical collateral—and so many distribution channels involved—traditional supply chains are easily overwhelmed.
The obvious solution may be to use different systems or vendors to manage different print and distribution needs, but this piecemeal approach can introduce more complications than it solves. Single-source solutions simplify this process by managing all aspects of the supply chain—ordering, production, and distribution—from one central location.
How OneTouchPoint Helps: As a leading printing service provider, OneTouchPoint promises high-impact, top-quality custom graphics and printed assets regardless of the scale of your project. Our comprehensive suite of print production capabilities means no project is too complicated—or too simple.
What’s more, OneTouchPoint also handles your distribution needs to ensure your campaigns reach their destinations swiftly. (In fact, we send over 155 million pieces of mail for clients annually.) U.Connect, our through channel marketing automation (TCMA) platform, helps manage the multichannel distribution seamlessly, avoiding overloads and inefficiencies.
- Onsite Supply Chain Management
Onsite supply chain management is an expensive prospect with significant human resources requirements. Outsourcing that management to a third party is a great way to cut serious cost out of the budget and lighten the logistical load as well. This often involves having supply chain management partner take over inventory, printing, and mailroom management within the company’s offices, streamlining tasks and managing them more efficiently than is possible with full-time employees.
How OneTouchPoint Helps: OneTouchPoint teams can take over onsite marketing supply chain management responsibilities, providing both cost and time savings to your organization. While we manage the logistics, your marketing team is free to focus on doing what they do best: nurturing client relationships through high-touch strategy and multi-channel outreach, with beautiful collateral at every turn.
- Analytics and Reporting
To outsiders, well-executed marketing campaigns feel like magic. But leadership knows the importance of tracking and analyzing key marketing metrics to make data-driven decisions that drive continued growth. But when the supply chain is managed by multiple teams or vendors, it can be difficult to get a comprehensive look at how things are really going from end to end of the supply chain. Here again, a single-source solution can help by giving companies a more holistic view of their operations and greater control over their data.
How OneTouchPoint Helps: OneTouchPoint offers comprehensive reporting on every channel and every link in the supply chain. This enables our clients to analyze critical marketing execution metrics in real time. We also offer ERP integrations and Salesforce integrations to keep all your data in one place for easy access and analysis. Here’s a sampling of the key marketing execution metrics our clients can access at the drop of a hat:
- Cost savings
- Scheduled audits and results
OneTouchPoint’s U.Connect TCMA platform streamlines each link in the marketing supply chain, providing an efficient solution that allows marketing teams to focus more on strategy and less on logistics. Trusted by over 3,000 customers, including Fortune 500 companies, OneTouchPoint increases the return on your marketing investment, one touchpoint at a time.
Looking to optimize your marketing supply chain management? Contact OneTouchPoint today or request a quote on your next project. Let our experts provide the insights and solutions to deliver phenomenal results at a great price.