Male office worker Editor’s Note: This month, we’ll revisit some of our favorite posts from 2015. Enjoy!

Get Back to the “Fun Stuff”

Think about your workdays as an association training professional over the last month. Name 10 tasks that were necessary, but joyless. The tasks are must-do, but you dread them and wish someone else would take care of it so you could get back to the “fun stuff,” like brainstorming new courses, recruiting engaging and knowledgeable instructors, and creating course content.

For some training professionals, kitting training materials is one of those tasks. It’s important to put together these items for trainers, but actually doing it eats up a lot of time and energy. A typical kit might include one instructor manual, 20 course books, 20 study guides, 20 exams, 25 Scantron sheets, and 30 #2 pencils. If you have to pack up 30 of these kits, with each being shipped to a different location, your day is pretty well spoken for.

There are many reasons to work with outside vendor for fulfillment, and maybe custom kitting isn’t chief among them for you. But maybe it is! Maybe taking this important but time-consuming task off of your plate would be helpful enough to change your mind about handling print and fulfillment on your own.

Whatever it is that changes your mind, there will come a point when you realize that any money you save by handling fulfillment of your association’s training materials in-house just isn’t worth it anymore. Your time is valuable; there are few (if any) associations that have enough human resources to implement all of the ideas and goals the team can dream up. With time at a premium, who wants to spend that precious resource packing and shipping boxes?

The solution is finding a vendor that you can trust to handle these tasks on your behalf. If you have to babysit them, checking at every step that the correct materials have been shipped to the right place, you won’t be saving much time and frustration. Working with a talented team of professionals who understand how important your training program is to you, and the necessity of getting things done right the first time, is the best way to ensure that outsourcing your print and fulfillment will lead to the results you crave—less hassle for you and more time to spend improving your training program. You know: the “fun stuff.”

Honorable mention of 2015 fulfillment posts:
The Fulfillment & Inventory Management Tipping Point