Direct Talk

Traffic Control for Marketers
April 25, 2016

If your marketing department has had to manage its own inventory of materials to send out, you know just what a job (or rather, “jobs”) that involves. What makes a third-party materials management program different?

For one, there’s a smooth transition as a marketing piece moves from where it’s printed, all the way to your customer’s doorstep. Under one warehouse roof, a materials management center takes an order, picks it up, batches materials together if needed, and stores it as long as you need. When it’s time to ship, the center packages the order, loads it, and sends it on its way. Because different parts of your marketing materials may come from different vendors—say, hanging signs from one, rack cards from another, and catalogs from yet another—those will have to be managed and coordinated in a way that makes sense.

Another key difference is a tracking system that keeps tabs on how much inventory you have left, where things are in the “pipeline”, where shipped items are in the process, when they will arrive, and when they have arrived. Perhaps the difference that’s most notable is that several of your own people are free to concentrate on more valuable tasks now that someone else is handling materials management. In other words, you could be saving time, labor, space, and money.