Category - General-chatter
Posted by: Todd | Posted on: September 7th, 2012 | 0 CommentsA question commonly asked of us is “with whom does All Points compete”? On the surface this an easy question to answer, however, not an easy one to answer if you truly look beyond our competitor’s websites and marketing brochures. Pick and pack services, by themselves, can be performed by a variety of companies. Everyone from conventional printers, freight couriers, ecommerce companies, and general warehousers participate in moving product from point A to B. We even see so called fulfillment ‘experts’ having problems with shipping accurately, on-time deliveries, and adding value within their service offering. With nearly two decades of experience, my advice to companies looking to outsource or make fulfillment changes is to look beyond the slick marketing, do your homework, and dig deep into core capabilities. After you feel comfortable with the prospective company’s capabilities, the next step is to delve into the company’s culture. Talk with the company’s employees. Equally as important, call existing and old clients to discuss how easy they are to work with at all levels. You’ll be surprised at the answers you get when you simply ask several pointed questions on the company’s culture and their ability to add material benefit. In closing, competition is everywhere and all pick and pack programs shouldn’t be treated equally. Your program will have special nuances that not all fulfillment companies can or are willing to adapt to while providing best practices in the industry. It’s about finding a fulfillment partner that has the core service offering that meets your goals, has flexibility, and fits into your culture.
Posted by: Duane Kalinowski | Posted on: April 24th, 2012 | 0 CommentsI have been fascinated by the social media craze and have paid particular interest to how our corporate clients are using it. It is not an exact science, so of course, it’s all about experimenting – testing and tweaking and changing formulas. Have you heard of Smashburger®? Their 100% Certified Angus Beef® burgers and special toppings have aided in their success. But Smashburger’s secret has been their social media outreach. They have grown from 3 locations to 150+, building brand awareness and boosting sales by engaging consumers and running coupon offers and promotions on Facebook and Twitter. As the owner of a fulfillment company, at first this social media stuff was scary. The way people are communicating is changing drastically. Could this change the fulfillment industry? ‘Yes and no’ would be my answer. As a marketing execution/fulfillment company, we have seen some marketing departments cut their traditional print, promotional and direct mail campaign budgets. Instead, that money has been directed into organizations’ social media platforms. So, yes, we did see an initial drop in budgets but long term, we believe they will come back. Why? Everyone has heard of Tide® laundry detergent. Did you know it has over 2,500,000 Facebook fans? That’s crazy, I know. How did they do it? Through product sampling and give-aways, by running sweepstakes and awarding lifetime supplies – many, many ways. When I saw this statistic, I had my ‘A-ha!’ moment. The consumer still loves free stuff – promotional items, branded merchandise, swag – you name it. If you’re going to use social media to drive brand awareness, traditional marketing and branding methodologies still come into play. They may just underlie or trigger the social media tactics. We have seen it firsthand. So am I worried? Nope, I’m excited by all the opportunity social media brings to the marketing execution world!
Posted by: Duane Kalinowski | Posted on: March 28th, 2012 | 0 CommentsAll Points is currently conducting a promotion geared to clients that asks them to name our new digital press. It made me stop to think how dramatically the fulfillment industry has changed. When I started All Points, we fulfilled orders received via phone and fax. We manually logged information into a book to process UPS packages. Mass quantities of generic materials were printed and warehoused. Marketing communications with targeted, unique messaging were not viable. Today, with digital print, social media, eCommerce, hand-held mobile devices (and the list goes on), our industry may be the most impacted by these kinds of technological changes. The way we interact with – and serve – our clients, from Fortune 100 to small businesses, has changed and will continue to do so. All Points embraces that change. That’s apparent by our robust on-line fulfillment programs that have replaced yesterday’s fax orders, and by our in-house on-demand, variable printing. If you had told me five years ago that we would own a digital press, I would have said you’re crazy! I always wanted to stay away from owning that type of equipment. But in watching all these changes and listening to our clients’ needs, the decision was easy. We’ve had the press now for four months and it is amazing to see the quality and volume of work this machine produces. The Digital Age continues to evolve at All Points and we couldn’t be happier!