Promotional Products — Broadening Portfolios
“For example, we design custom ‘bobble head’ figures that are based on photographs of actual people,” explains Nicely. “We can provide pretty much any type of product.”
Additionally, the company was recently selected by the Rita’s Water Ice franchise to aid in its expansion. WorkflowOne will deploy a Web-based order management system for Rita’s, allowing any of the 350-plus franchises the ability to order promotional items, signage, point-of-purchase, uniforms, as well as menus, franchisee manuals and packaging products.
WorkflowOne has the capacity to ship orders directly from the manufacturer to a customer or to one of its own facilities. The product can then be warehoused or packaged according to client specifications. And because WorkflowOne does a large volume of promotional products, it benefits from deep pricing discounts, which can be passed on to the client.
“To succeed in this business, whether as a print provider, distributor or broker, you have to provide value and a solution rather than simply a custom manufactured product that can be purchased from the lowest bidder,” Nicely stresses.
A big plus for getting into the promotional products business is the potential to form a deeper relationship with clients, leading to increased sales.
“We might be asked to participate in an RFP for a company’s incentive and rewards program, including the development of a line of personalized promotional products that includes logistics and fulfillment,” adds the Workflow One executive. “Based on our customer’s satisfaction with that program, we’ll be asked to get involved in additional outsourced programs.”
According to the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI), promotional product sales reached a record $17.8 billion in 2005.
Most printers don’t actually manufacture or print the promotional products they offer. They are more of a go-between for what their clients want, using a distributor or broker. Smaller printers prefer to utilize product search services such as pmdm.com to purchase from multiple suppliers, which can lower costs.