As 2016 comes to a close, many of our clients are looking forward to next year to see how they can streamline marketing operations, cut costs and simply run better. It’s the perfect time to stop and take stock of what worked and what didn’t this year, and one thing we hear constantly for clients is that many of the print work we do, while smooth during the actual printing process, causes major operational headaches for them once it arrives.
In a largely digital world, shelves or warehouses full of printed materials, promotional products and event exhibits can often go unmaintained. For large companies or those with a variety of field offices, ordering print and promotional materials can turn into the Wild West, with office administrators and marketing departments often unsure of whether everyone is using consistent branding (this is especially painful after a rebrand or any changes to guidelines).
And for all these operational headaches that come along with print products, we have a very simple solution for our clients. Don’t do it.
As a full service printing and marketing services companies, we long ago learned that we could help relieve a major pressure point for our clients if we took on those logistics and operations management functions ourselves. So as you’re looking towards 2017, here are five ways we can take away your operational headaches:
Ensuring Your Branding is Consistent
Our Marketing Collateral Management systems allow you to store both print and digital assets to ensure that when a member of your team places an order, the correct branding is used at any time. We can also store specific items, like collateral, to ensure everyone at your organization has access to the most up-to-date version and can order it without confusion.
Eliminating Outdated Marketing Materials & Waste
One of the biggest issues that companies face when dealing with printed materials is storing everything and ensure it’s all up to date. With digital materials, this is a relatively simple process, but once an item’s taking up physical space in your building, it’s easy for it to stay there well past its useful date. This opens you up to sending out outdated materials, tons of waste in terms of having too much material on hand and, of course, taking up valuable real estate.
To this end, many customers choose to print on demand through Ambit. This means we store a library of materials for them digitally and they can quickly and easily log in to print what they need and get it quickly, with free delivery to the Greater Boston area. Many of our clients use this to order materials directly to events or conferences, as well, saving them the hassle of packing and shipping.
Complying with USPS Direct Mail Rules
If you did a direct mailer in 2016, you probably know that getting mail pieces out the door to the standards of the USPS is a logistical nightmare. For everyone except us, that is. Don’t let the process scare you off this extremely effective mode of marketing next year.
At Ambit, we’ve got an entire department devoted to direct mail. From working with the data you have or developing a list for you, to creating a mail piece that fits the campaign and the USPS rules to actually complying with those rules and getting the mailer out at the proper time, we take direct mail off clients’ shoulders.
We can also integrate mailing services from Ambit into a drip marketing campaign, sending out mail pieces on demand as part of your overall customer acquisition strategy.
Reducing Issues with Ordering from Multiple Vendors
For many large organizations with multiple departments or field offices running their own programs, the process of getting materials printed can be inconsistent across the organization. The administrative headaches associated with this are plentiful: pricing and invoicing is all over the place, printed materials may not look the same within the organization if brand guidelines aren’t updated properly and the approval process can require unnecessary time and energy.
Many of our clients with these issues choose to use our eProcurement system. This provides a library of printed materials for your employees to choose from and ensures a consistent format, quick online proofing, predictable pricing and streamlined invoicing. For example, if a department were ordering business cards, they’d simply enter the data for the cards and the system would pre-populate them and provide an instant proof. For promotional items, they’d have a library of pre-approved options from which to choose. Need a brochure or postcard re-order? They’d simply need to log in to choose the most up-to-date version.
Everything is invoiced through a single system to provide ease of use for administrators and accounting, and the branding remains consistent no matter how large the organization is.
Getting Print Materials Where They Need to Be at the Right Time
Working with a number of large clients with multiple stores, field offices or events across the country over the past 20 years, we’ve become experts in logistics. We’ve got clients that need to get sales kits out to field offices, and they all need to land at a specific date. We work with companies running events where specific exhibit items, promotional products and collateral need to be delivered.
If you spent one minute in 2016 worrying about getting specific materials to a specific place at a certain time, resolve NOT to do that in 2017. We specialize in logistics and work with clients to ensure that everything they need is delivered on time and to the right place without any effort on their end.
At Ambit, we’re more than print – we are business services. To learn more about how we can help you with an end-to-end solution, from design to delivery, get in touch with us today.