MFSA/NAPL Conference — Survey Results Are Fulfilling
Pricing comments from leaders were noteworthy. “Complexity of project, quality checks and security requirements” drive costs and prices. “Containing overhead costs, while passing along client-driven overhead costs” is essential to sustained profitability.
It is interesting to note that two-thirds of the M&F specialists set up their fulfillment operations as a separate profit center, while only 42.9 percent of printers do.
Fulfillment Profit Center
The profit leaders of both groups (30 percent) report that their fulfillment is more profitable than other parts of their business. (Nearly 24 percent of printers simply don’t know!) Both groups (about 38 percent) report increased profitability trends for their fulfillment centers the past three years, with nearly 60 percent expecting improved profitability for the next two years.
The driving impetus for printers to expand into fulfillment was evidenced by the response that 73.5 percent of the inventory stored by printers was also printed by them. For fulfillment clients who also buy printing, 74.4 percent of those printers report that the print volume from the same clients has increased, with 65.1 percent reporting that these same clients’ profitability to the printer is also improving. Loyalty is another reconfirmed fact, as turnover among clients buying both fulfillment and mailing is 3.3 percent, while turnover among clients buying only printing is 9.6 percent.
Both groups report an increasing trend in more complex fulfillment projects (65.5 percent for M&F; 56.8 percent for printers), and a full 25 percent of both groups report turning down fulfillment projects that were perceived to be too complex.
Global Fulfillment Scene
Peter Gillet, managing director of the United Kingdom’s MarketPoint Global, provided insight on the international fulfillment scene. Global marketing strategies and database management exist, but “all campaigns are local,” commented Gillet. His suggestions on how to find international partners to implement these local campaigns suggested an extraordinary opportunity for MFSA and NAPL to serve as facilitators in this process.