8 Ways a Print & Fulfillment Partner Saves Staff Time

Published by Gina Wentling | Topics: Associations, Fulfillment, Print, Training

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Clock FaceWhat’s more annoying than wasting time? Knowing it could have been avoided. Don’t you just kick yourself when you find a much more efficient way to do something time-consuming? Why didn’t I think of that?

So why do so many associations and other organizations decide to use in-house staff to handle print, inventory, and fulfillment of their continuing education training materials? The perception is that taking care of this in-house is the most efficient, cost-effective method.

But when you take a closer look at the alleged time savings, that argument starts to fall apart. Your staff members don’t profess to be shipping experts. Many of them chose to work for an association to support its mission. When you work with a print and fulfillment partner, those staff hours can be redirected and dedicated to mission-centric work. Imagine all that you can accomplish with all hands on deck.

How does a print and fulfillment partner like Omnipress save staff time? We can think of at least eight ways …

  1. Communicating with multiple vendors: If you have just one vendor for print and another for warehousing and fulfillment, reaching out to both might not be too much trouble. But even that can be streamlined. Add in a vendor to put your content online, and another for mobile delivery, and suddenly your phone is ringing off the hook.
  2. Preparing shipments: Even if UPS drops by your office every day, it takes time to weigh the packages, print and affix labels, and prepare shipments to be taken away. Add to that the occasional trip to the store or drop-off point when you need an item shipped today and didn’t have it ready until the end of the workday. (We’ve all been there!)
  3. Shipping internationally: Complex shipping processes requires a learning curve, especially if you’re sending materials out of the country. Do you know the custom regulations of Mexico off the top of your head? Don’t forget that Toronto and Vancouver count as international shipping, too—Canada actually has some of the most complicated regulations. Taking that on without a shipping partner takes time.
  4. Making content corrections: Change is a certainty, and content changes for training materials is inevitable. Sending updates to a printer to get ready for the next edition and working with the fulfillment house to discard the outdated copies is double work in and of itself. Add in your digital providers and you’ve spent three hours correcting a typo.
  5. Packing boxes: Making sure each learner receives the materials ordered takes time, and the more titles you carry, the more time it takes. And don’t forget the time it takes to confirm shipping information!
  6. Counting inventory: Locating and counting books to ensure quantities are sufficient for the next course is no small task. Your sixth sense on how many books you have on hand doesn’t always cut it. Current, correct inventory is a necessity.
  7. Running reports: Working with data is the bane of every organization that ships in-house. Answering an executive director’s question (“How many of those workbooks did we ship last year?”), if you ship boxes to individual members and track inventory independent of shipping, can eat up a whole afternoon.
  8. Order entry: Whether it’s new book orders coming in, packages going out, or even ordering shipping supplies online, data entry is a drag and a waste of time.

This is certainly not an exhaustive list. I’m sure our clients would suggest other ways Omnipress has saved them time that we don’t even realize. Even so, it should be clear that printing and fulfilling continuing education materials in-house doesn’t really save as much time and money as you might have thought.

Many of our clients have told us that these “time sucks,” as they have been called, more or less disappear once they start working with us. Once the inventory leaves their office and the onus for packing, inventory, and shipping is set squarely on our shoulders, the workday becomes easier, more productive, and more fulfilling.

See for yourself! Contact us to learn how your organization can save time (and, by the way, money) by partnering with Omnipress.


About Gina Wentling

During her time as Marketing Communications Coordinator (2013-16), Gina wrote hundreds of blog posts for Omnipress. Her work has also been published in association publications. Read More.

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