Ordering promotional products can be both an enjoyable and frustrating experience. Enjoyable because you get to choose the phenomenal and useful products that will help to elevate brand awareness. Frustrating because the ordering process itself can sometimes be all over the place, and if you are dealing with unreliable suppliers – this can push even the calmest and most resilient of marketing managers over the edge. You want to ensure that your promotional products ordering system is as streamlined as possible so it’s an easy process that doesn’t waste your or your employees’ valuable time. But how do you achieve this? Here are five tips to get you on the path to streamlining your ordering system (to stay sane, save time and money, and to keep you on top of your inventory):
There is no point ordering in a whole new batch of branded pens when you already have 1000 in a cabinet in the marketing department. Make sure every action taken regarding inventory is recorded in an agile document that has been shared with the team. Make sure that it’s as detailed as possible with new orders, old orders, inventory in stock and inventory still needed, clearly noted. You can go the good ol’ excel spreadsheet route, or find the best inventory ordering/management software for your needs (because your life can be easier!). This will ensure that you are totally on top of your inventory, making the overall inventory control and ordering process that much easier.
We probably all played ‘telephone’ when we were kids, so we know only too well how quickly things can be misinterpreted and misunderstood when important bits of communication go through the wrong channels. It’s vital to ensure that channels of communication are open and clear when it comes to the ordering of promotional items. Make sure your team understand what needs to be ordered, when, and in what quantities. The last thing you need is to waste money on duplicate orders, or be in a situation where you don’t have the promotional products you may need for a specific event!
We have probably all had a moment where we go to pick up stock from the storeroom before an event only to find that what we thought was there isn’t – which is borderline catastrophic! That’s why it’s a good idea to always keep some of your favourite branded items in stock and set aside in case of emergencies. Again, an inventory management system can help you keep track of this kind of stock.
Take a look at the data
If you haven’t gathered this already, we are big fans of making use of some software or system to help you keep track of your promotional products, the ordering thereof and any associated data. So seriously, do yourself a favor and incorporate one that works best for you. Ensuring that everything works on one unified platform will substantially help you to streamline the ordering and tracking of promotional products. What’s more, it will standardize the ordering of these products across your global company, and make everything not only more efficient and streamlined, but easily accessible.
One way to avoid sticky situations with suppliers is to make sure that you work only with the most reliable and best of them. There’s little that’s worse than when your magenta logo comes out red on 5000 water bottles or they arrive two weeks after your holiday event. Know what the lead times are on your most popular items, make sure these are noted so that you can ensure the ordering of these items is always done in good time and that you deal with the right (and best) suppliers.
You might find that you need to hire someone to manage all of this, or you might want to invest in a better system than you already have. There is, however, another option: Let Proforma Durkee set up an online store for you which is fully customizable, easy-to-use, and ensures that everything to do with the ordering and tracking of promotional products is done in one place and can be accessed from anywhere in the world, at any time. If you really want to ensure that your ordering system is streamlined, then this is definitely the way to go! Contact us today for more information.