As your business grows, your marketing team members may find themselves wearing many hats; often so many they feel overwhelmed. One simple solution is an online company store.
In addition to regular marketing content creation and publishing, marketing managers are often also responsible for ordering company branded merchandise, confirming logo specs for various orders and managing the communication between departments.
Unfortunately, we haven’t figured out a way to add more hours to the day just yet, so we must work smarter. You hired your staff for their expertise in accounting, marketing and customer service, which means their time and expertise are wasted in menial ordering tasks that take a significant chunk of time. If this sounds familiar, an online company store program may be the perfect solution.
If you don’t have a controlled, central process to manage sourcing and purchasing marketing materials and branded merchandise for your organization, you could be wasting precious time and money in figuring it out again and again. Not only does this increase the likelihood for increased errors and inconsistencies, but it also represents a huge amount of time.
Necessary Steps in the Procurement Process of New Merchandise
Sourcing a vendor and placing an order may sound like a simple task when assigned in a meeting, but once an employee sits down to do the work, it becomes a much larger project. If you haven’t documented the necessary specs and guidelines for ordering branded materials, employees may be forced to make their own decisions or wait around for approvals.
Tasks required for each order may include:
- Research vendors and available merchandise
- Wait for vendors to answer questions
- Decide between embroidery and screen printing
- Request and approve samples
- Back and forth communication about art files
- Determine and approve logo size and placement
- Choose between 1-color or 2-color
- Select specific colors for printing
- Negotiate and approve price
- Review and approve proofs
- Manage follow up and order tracking
Now these are just the most common steps to ordering marketing materials and branded merchandise. Your employees may add extra steps like digging through old shared files for missing information, talking to multiple vendors at once or even take up other employees’ time asking their opinions.
Time is Money and 15 Hours is A LOT of Money!
We estimate this whole ordering process can be up to 15 hours of work for a single employee. That’s almost 2 whole days of work!
Now, multiply 15 hours by the number of employees involved in ordering and the number of orders each employee is involved in per year across all your locations. Any way you spin it, ordering materials and merchandise represents a great deal of time; time that could be better spent doing the work those employees were actually hired for.
Outsource the Time-Consuming Ordering and Get Back to Doing What You Do Best
The real beauty of an online company store program is that this lengthy ordering process becomes outsourced. You complete the selection of product just once and we automate the rest so your employees and partners can order in 5 minutes instead of 15 hours.
An online company store solution makes it amazingly simple for employees and partners to go online, see all the products and materials offered, select colors and sizes and place an order.
All those detailed artwork questions have already been figured out so all your team has to do is select an option from a drop down menu of available, approved materials. They can even preview their selection right there, on the screen, instead of waiting a week for proofs to arrive and approvals to be processed.
Many online company store providers will go the extra step and provide an account team to manage and follow up on all your orders so your employees don’t have to. A professional account management team will review your order and identify anything that looks out of place before going to print. They follow the ordering process from start to finish, ensuring brand consistency and on-time arrival of materials.
Take a moment to consider how much time your employees and partners will get back to do the jobs you hired them to do.
Take Back Your Precious Time
We’re always struggling to find more time for new projects, training new employees, spending time with our families and while we’re at it, how about time for yourself?
With the widespread onset of automation we’re able to order birthday presents to be delivered to our doors without stepping in a store, coffee makers deliver a steaming cup of joe in sync with your buzzing alarm clock and smart phones have taken over the responsibility of managing our busy schedules. So why are you still manually placing every order for new marketing materials and branded merchandise?
An online company store program remembers your selections the first time and makes placing a new order as quick as 5 minutes. In addition, your account management team will manage the entire process for you so your employees can get back to what they do best.
Now the question is… what will you do with all your extra time?