Not All Fulfillment Houses are Created Equal
Maybe you have a major mailing to send. Or you need a partner to warehouse and ship your product. A rebate program could be your concern. Each of these functions can be outsourced to fulfillment houses. But, the fact is, not all fulfillment houses perform each function.
The challenge when choosing a fulfillment partner is to select for today with an eye to tomorrow. When comparing fulfillment houses, consider those that can meet present and future needs.
Comparing Fulfillment Houses
While price is always important, when it comes to fulfillment houses there are other factors you will want to consider as well. Talk to business associates to develop a short list of fulfillment houses then explore their relative merits in terms of:
- Creative ideas
- The variety of services they offer.
- Order Fulfillment
- Literature Warehousing
- Kit Assembly
- Rebate Management
- Print on Demand
- Variable Data Printing
- Call Centre support
- Financial Transactions
- Ability to work in the Canadian multilingual and multicultural market
- The systems they have to manage your programme efficiently
When you compare a prospective fulfillment house in these terms you will see just how different they can be.
Selecting Fulfillment Houses
Fulfillment houses implement your creative plans. They do not only perform a simple pick and pack distribution service, they support your marketing efforts and should have a mindset that focuses on programs to increase sales, improve customer service and make you more competitive. Watch for this mindset in the fulfillment houses you consider seriously.
It is important that all those on your short list of fulfillment houses offer a wide range of services.
- A service you don’t need now may be critical in the future. For example, managing financial transactions is fairly new territory for fulfillment houses. Until recently, it was not in high demand. But with 24 hour delivery becoming commonplace, companies are turning to fulfillment houses to warehouse, take payment and deliver their products. It is now an important service.
- Less tangible criteria such as experience and creative ideas can be difficult to measure in an interview. On these factors, one must consider which of the fulfillment houses interviewed appear most confident, industrious and forthcoming with ideas.
- Always tour a few fulfillment houses before you make your final decision. You will see for yourself how current clients are treated, whether corners are cut that compromise a campaign and whether creative solutions are offered that enhance the overall success of a program.
Consider Fulfillment Houses with Your Future Vision in Mind
When choosing from the many fulfillment houses eager for your business, consider your present and future needs.
Plan for your organization to grow and change.
You need a partner that will stay one step ahead of that growth. One that is always ready with the services and systems in place for your next marketing campaign.