Mailing & Fulfillment Special Report — Getting Started In Fulfillment
The warehouse/fulfillment specialist need not be a full-time employee, but can be a bindery person who can be trained and utilized as necessary.
Fulfillment projects can be completed by temporaries with the warehouse manager or specialist providing needed supervision. Note that there are no direct IT personnel assigned to the center. If you have in-house IT staff, they should only be utilized as necessary and not assigned directly to the operation.
All IT time spent with the fulfillment center should be billable to the customer. The operation just isn’t profitable enough to sustain a full-time IT employee. The most common mistake made by startup operations that affects bottom line performance is over-staffing.
Step 8: Sales and Marketing. Most printing companies are dragged into the fulfillment business by their customers. In fact, 88 percent of the companies responding to the last survey stated that as the primary reason.
Actually, getting into the business is not as hard as growing it and making it a profitable entity. So, it is imperative that company ownership and management make a concerted effort to market and sell the fulfillment capability to additional customers and to use the fulfillment offering to attract new clients.
The first step is to decide how to sell the service. The most successful method has been to utilize the print sales personnel to open the doors, and then rely on either management or the fulfillment manager to assist and drive the sale from that point forward. More sophisticated and larger printing operations may need a specialist in the business to provide establishment selling skills to the organization.
Ownership must also provide a basic marketing campaign to take the new service and new company message forward to clients and prospects. Don’t depend solely on your existing print sales reps to develop their accounts, as there has been a general reluctance on the part of print salespeople to accept new services.