Nuts & Bolts - Case Study: Redesigned for Better ROI
Challenge: Expand service capabilities, improve distribution systems and reduce waste
Solution: Revamp fulfillment processes
Results: Improved ROI and support for sales team
Preventing waste is paramount when creating an efficient marketing fulfillment program. For Columbia, S.C.–based Colonial Life, revamping collateral management processes maximized the company’s existing investments, saved money, improved productivity and boosted the bottom line.
In the fall of 2005, Colonial Life experienced distribution channel growth after integrating new product lines. As a result, the existing document system and resources began to buckle under the boost in fulfillment requests. The company decided to implement a strategic collateral management program using a Web-based solution from Iron Mountain Fulfillment Services Inc.
The new program was designed to broaden service capabilities and support distribution systems, says Tom Bise, Colonial Life’s assistant vice president of marketing communications, advertising and incentives. Because the system is scalable and can grow with the company, Colonial Life gradually expanded to a 24-7 fulfillment operation, decreased its overall warehouse footprint for reduced storage fees and eliminated more than 2,000 low-usage forms, according to Bise.
Using specific reporting and tracking features, the turnkey ordering system helped to improve Colonial Life’s ROI through the ability to track daily, monthly and year-to-date usage by region, form and total value of materials. According to Bise, “This allowed more accurate trending data to be used for establishing true reorder points and print expense projections by form and state.”
Adding a virtual library for the company’s collateral files improved ordering, pricing tracking and delivery. “In addition to improving search function accuracy, adding thumbnails, PDFs, product descriptions and positioning tips ensures the correct material is ordered correctly the first time,” Bise says, thus reducing waste in inventory and shipping expenses. The addition of e-mail confirmations and order tracking information also helped to streamline the ordering process by placing order tracking in the hands of the sales department.