Mac’s Revs Up Catalog Fulfillment
Problem: It took Mac’s Antique Auto Parts several weeks to fulfill catalog requests.
Solution: Implemented QuikPak’s catalog-fulfillment service.
Result: Prospects now get catalogs within seven days of their requests.
Multi-title niche cataloger Mac’s Antique Auto Parts, a supplier of replacement parts for vintage and classic Ford vehicles, couldn’t seem to deliver catalogs to requesters in less than four weeks. That was before January 2001 when it implemented a new catalog-fulfillment service.
Back then, Mac’s mailed its 12 catalog titles using bulk rates through a service located near its Lockport, NY, headquarters. Because each of the catalog titles has a different weight, it took the company three to four weeks to gather enough requests to meet the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) 50-pound or 100-piece mailing requirement. It then took another four weeks for catalogs to arrive in prospects’ mailboxes.
To remedy this, Rick McIntosh, president of Mac’s, outsourced fulfillment to QuikPak, a company that stores and manages client inventory on-site, cleans and de-duplicates addresses, and assigns each catalog a USPS trackable code.
Mac’s now transmits to QuikPak all catalog requests twice a week, whether they amount to 10 or 1,000 data transmissions at a time. QuikPak in turn sends catalogs to requesters in three to seven days. (Mac’s also uses other QuikPak services such as flyer inserts and fulfillment to foreign addresses.)
McIntosh credits the fulfillment turnaround to the company’s significant sales increase in 2001, which continued even after the events of 9/11 and still is growing today. Fast catalog fulfillment also goes a long way toward customer goodwill; McIntosh says the company frequently gets customer compliments about how quickly it delivers catalogs.
He claims these results are worth the added expense of an outsource provider. “[QuikPak’s] processing costs us almost twice as much as true bulk-rate processing,” he admits, “but getting catalogs into our customers’ hands 10 to 14 times faster is worth every penny.”