Mailing & Fulfillment Special Report — Getting Started In Fulfillment
These materials are available in the shipping department of the bindery. The only difference will be the large variety of packaging materials that may be required, such as padded envelopes, Tyvek envelopes and special corrugated boxes for kits.
Step 6: Networks and Phones. It is expected that the print company network will be installed in the fulfillment facility. The amount and type of computer hardware required will be dependent on the software vendor selected.
Several vendors require fully hosted applications, which require the procurement of servers and the installation and maintenance of software in your facility. Other software providers are Application Service Providers (ASPs), which are accessible through a Web browser and store the operational program and software in a central location.
In either case, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s suggested configurations for optimal operation. It is not the right place to skimp. Sharing servers and telephone lines will slow down the operation of your program and adversely affect customer operations. This is a high-tech business, so you need to respond in a high-tech fashion. Do not try to cut corners in providing the right access to Websites and operational equipment.
Step 7: Personnel. Most fulfillment centers can be started with two or three people. These would include a fulfillment manager, warehouse manager and a warehouse/fulfillment specialist.
The fulfillment manager should be a fulfillment industry expert and have a very thorough operational understanding of the fulfillment software package being utilized. This individual should also have the ability to make sales calls, guide clients through the fulfillment setup process and serve as the initial customer service person.
The warehouse manager should be hired initially, because he/she will be responsible for installing the most important part of the fulfillment system—the warehouse management system. That person will also be charged with writing all back-end procedures and training new personnel as the center grows.