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Is Print-on-Demand the Missing Link in Your Fulfillment Strategy? - United Mail | Blog

Is Print-on-Demand the Missing Link in Your Fulfillment Strategy?

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Is Print-on-Demand the Missing Link in Your Fulfillment Strategy?

Is Print-on-Demand the Missing Link in Your Fulfillment Strategy?

Today’s organizations need to turn on a dime in response to consumer expectations and market trends. This often means adjusting your marketing literature and printed collateral on short notice. Not only that, but the increased complexity of the production process, the need to integrate multiple systems, and the use of specialized equipment are making it more challenging to manage the fulfillment process in house.

That’s why more companies are turning to literature fulfillment services to support their marketing efforts. These services manage the fulfillment process for you, leaving you to focus on other critical parts of your business. Not all fulfillment services are created equal, though, and many are missing a key component: print-on-demand (POD).

Different Types of Fulfillment Services

Consider a few of the most common types of fulfillment services you can use:

  • Literature fulfillment, such as brochures, catalogs, flyers, or sales packets, is commonly used by financial institutions, creative agencies and educational institutions.
  • Direct mail fulfillment, such as letters and postcards, is popular among insurance providers, collection agencies, government institutions and utility companies.
  • Incentive fulfillment, such as gift cards, is often used by fast-casual dining, retailers and health-care providers (e.g., to encourage health screening).
  • Online product fulfillment, such as samples, often involves assembling kits and handling warehousing and shipping.

Whether you’re sending a brochure, a flyer, a gift card or a sample pack, the process will likely involve a literature fulfillment component that includes producing and distributing printed materials. In the past, companies would print hundreds of thousands of pieces to spread out the setup costs and take advantage of bulk rates. However, this practice no longer makes sense in today’s fast-changing business environment in which printed materials can quickly become obsolete.

For example, many organizations have to change the content of their marketing materials before the stacks of literature are used up. This fact, along with rising storage costs, the environmental implications and the need for personalized marketing materials, means that printing and storing marketing literature in large quantities is no longer a cost-efficient solution.

Enhance Your Fulfillment Strategy With Print-on-Demand Services

To overcome the downsides of traditional literature fulfillment services, organizations are turning to print-on-demand options. Unlike literature fulfillment, print-on-demand services allow you to produce just the right amount of marketing materials when you need them.

What Are Print-on-Demand Fulfillment Services?

POD is a digital printing technology that allows you to produce materials on an as-needed basis. Instead of printing in large quantities, print-on-demand allows companies to take advantage of the cost-efficiency of small-batch printing.

The Benefits of Using POD Fulfillment

POD brings many benefits to your business, including:

  • Reduce overhead costs and waste associated with warehousing, shipping and disposal of excess or outdated print materials.
  • Gain the flexibility to correct errors right away and have the adjustments reflected in the latest run with minimum waste.
  • Increase operational cost-efficiency, streamline workflows and improve process monitoring when paired with web-to-print technologies.
  • Update all marketing collateral regularly to reflect the latest company or product information, logo design and branding guidelines.
  • Achieve print cost reduction and better manage cash flow by producing marketing materials as you need them to avoid overestimating and overpaying.
  • Become more responsive to fast-changing market demand and consumer sentiment by sending out the right promotion with the right message at the right time.
  • Simplify internal workflows and ordering processes by integrating with Digital Storefront to better control spend, usage and distribution.
  • Empower your sales and marketing teams to create timely and relevant materials so they can implement their strategies with more agility and improve results.
  • Combine with Web to Print 2.0 features, such as variable mapping, variable content, variable images and personalized URLs to support personalization strategies that are proven to increase marketing ROI.
  • Minimize environmental impact by reducing the use of paper, ink, etc. This is more important than ever as consumers are making purchasing decisions based on a brand’s environmental footprint.

Incorporate Print-on-Demand Into Your Fulfillment Strategy

Print-on-demand services can be key to improving your fulfillment strategy. From reducing overhead costs to implementing your marketing strategy with more agility, POD has become an indispensable tool in many marketers’ toolkits.

To optimize your ROI, you need to choose a vendor that understands your industry, has a track record of providing the type of fulfillment service you need and takes the time to learn about your business objectives. Also, it should leverage the latest technologies and fulfillment methods to help you reduce costs and increase efficiency.

Our team of talented support representatives, technicians, specialists and operators have years of experience in helping our clients leverage the latest POD technologies to meet their business goals. Contact us to have our team perform a materials audit for you and see how your company can benefit from using a print-on-demand platform.

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