How to Avoid Problems with Product Kitting and Fulfillment Services
Sometimes a good idea fails because of bad execution. Think of the six neighborhood guys that met to shovel the deep snow off an elderly neighbor’s driveway. When they got there, they discovered they had one—count ‘em, one—snow shovel. It’s like that with kitting and fulfillment services, too. It’s a no-brainer—a great idea. But with the wrong partner, it won’t be much help.
The whole point of kitting and fulfillment services is to do the job more efficiently. When you assemble packages or packets for mailing or sale in a streamlined, all-at-once process, you save time, money, and space. Unless, of course, you don’t … due to choosing the wrong partner.
Choose a Partner, Not a Pretender
Kitting and fulfillment services sound simple enough. Just find a space, gather all the items needed, and pull in people to pack them, right? As a result, though, plenty of less-than-qualified vendors think “hey, we can do that” and seek projects. You’d better hope they don’t win yours.
A company with little experience in product kitting and fulfillment services can know the lingo without really understanding the challenges involved. They don’t know the problems that can surface, or what to do about them if they do. An experienced kitting and fulfillment provider helps you avoid trouble in three areas.
Clearly, doing things in ‘bulk’ is the most efficient. You realize savings from more efficient labor costs and benefit from economies of scale in ordering products to be kitted. You even save money on shipping. First, you send fewer mailings. Second, products can often be consolidated into standard-sized boxes, which often cost less to buy and to ship.
An inexperienced partner may be learning on the job, so you don’t get quite the savings you should in ordering, gathering product, and distribution. That partner may not even know some of the things experienced vendors consider automatically. The wrong partner could waste the money that kitting and fulfillment services are designed to save you.
Space is an under-appreciated factor. Effective kitting and fulfillment services take up less space, period. Solid partners minimize the space you need to allow. Inventory is tightly monitored and managed. Storage needs are minimized or eliminated. Many competent partners are equipped to tackle the entire project at their facility. That cuts your space needs down to zero and adds incredible efficiency to the operation.
Again, that inexperienced partner is unsure of how to manage inventories, predict needed quantities, and get packages out the door. Thus, storage space is tied up with an oversupply of one item while another has been allowed to go out of stock. A needless waste of space. That creates frustration instead of efficiency.
There’s a reason production lines became the rule in industry. Products are assembled in less time, and with fewer mistakes. The repetition raises accuracy and increases “throughput.” There’s a lesson there. Think of how much more time is saved when you rely upon people experienced in kitting and fulfillment. Your employees may be wonderful people. But if kitting and fulfillment is not their usual job, they will take longer.
That same thinking applies to the value of an experienced partner vs. a kitting and fulfillment “newbie.” A partner without much experience is less comfortable and therefore works more slowly to avoid mistakes. (I guess that’s better than racing ahead out of control, but you shouldn’t have to settle for one of those choices.)
Send the Wrong Partner Packing, and Call Superior
How do you recognize the “right” partner for your product kitting and fulfillment needs? Well, first, look for one that is ISO certified. Like Superior Business Solutions. That way you know that the partner’s work processes are locked in to produce exceptional results on a repeatable basis.
Second, look for a partner with a vast network of resources. Like Superior Business Solutions. With nearly 2,000 print and promotional product vendors in our nationwide network, we know who to call for the best pricing and reliability. The ability to supply printed pieces and products directly for the kits can, most times, be an incredible advantage.
Finally, look for a partner who you can trust. After nearly 100 years in business and being named Best of Print and Digital by our customers, we have proven reliability.
Contact Superior today and find out how we can be the right partner for you for kitting and fulfillment services.