Access Technology Solutions Direct Selling Services 34 Randall Decker (801) 420-9225 www.accessts.com Associated Global Systems Fulfillment 62 Sales (516) 627-8910 www.agsystems.com B&W Press Printer/Specialty Mailer 23 Paul Beegan (978) 352-6100 www.bwpress.com Belardi/Ostroy ALC, LLC Lists 22, 39, 60 Andrew Ostroy (212) 924-1300 www.belardiostroy.com BowTie Inc. Lists 6 Kristina Grubb (949) 855-8822 x3420 www.bowtielists.com Brown Printing Printer 41 Jill Tobin (212) 782-7857 www.bpc.com Catalogs America Printing BC Dan Sayin (727) 864-2000 www.catalogsamerica.com Catalyst Direct Marketing Lists 32, 65, 67 Fred Litzky (201) 405-1414 www.catalystdm.com Chilcutt Direct Marketing Lists 52 Jane McCoy (405) 478-7245 www.cdmlist.com Commerce Register Service Bureau 48 Bob Schweighardt (201) 445-3000 www.comreginc.com Creative Automation Direct Marketing 55 Bob Rajan (800) 773-1588 www.cauto.com Cyber City Teleservices Telemarketing Services IBC Erv Magram (201) 487-1616 www.cctll.com Datamann Software 24 Kathy Reagan (802) 295-6600 www.datamann.com Direct Tech Inventory Management 21 Jack Mahaffey (402) 895-2100 www.direct-tech.com DM Transportation Group Transportation Management 56 Bill Wilson (717) 258-0611 www.dmtrans.com DoubleClick Performics Search/Affiliate Marketing 35 Robin Simkins (312) 739-0682 www.performics.com Dydacomp Development Software 8 Rob Coon (973) 237-9419 www.dydacomp.com Edith Roman Associates Lists 3 Kevin Collopy (845) 731-2684 www.edithroman.com Endicia Mailing Software 57 Sales Department (800) 576-3279 www.endicia.com Foster Manufacturing Production Equipment 6 Ted Borowsky (800) 523-4855 www.fostermfg.com Iverson Language Associates Translation
Before 2000, every aspect of back-end support operations for the direct marketing industry was tailored to meet the needs of typical catalogers and their customers. In the 1970s and ’80s, direct marketing was limited to the mailbox. The costs and requirements for information systems, fulfillment operations, inventory management and transportation functions were limited by technology and developed exclusively to meet the expectations of catalog customers. Consumer catalog orders were generated over a 12-week selling season. Inventory planning was based on historic patterns of sales and procurement, with sufficient lead time to forecast needs, buy products, transport them to the fulfillment center and fill customer orders.
As you can see, the contents in this month’s issue are quite operations-heavy. We’re always trying to balance our coverage, and with a more general focus for our big double-issue next month, as well as a broadly focused June issue, we’ll turn to technology-related issues in July. Perhaps the most interesting thing we found in putting this month’s issue together was that, although there typically aren’t a lot of drastic changes in the whole area of catalog/multichannel operations, fulfillment and management, there are nevertheless noteworthy changes taking place. For instance, take a look at consultant Liz Kislik’s feature on necessary changes in catalog order takers’ approach
Upselling, the Multichannel Way It’s Time to Master the Phone/Online Upsell By Liz Kislik Since the 1980s, when the majority of catalog orders began shifting from mail orders to the telephone, it’s become standard practice to not just take phone orders efficiently, but also to incorporate the upsell as a regular part of call center operations. But it’s 2007, and the typical catalog order isn’t necessarily over the phone anymore. Consider this scenario: Your customer calls to place an order and everything in the process goes smoothly. Your order taker follows standard practice and offers one or more upsells. In the classic
What better way for a tips-oriented business magazine to wind down 2006 than with the top 50 tips of the year? My staff and I spent the past several weeks going through every article that’s run so far in Catalog Success and the Catalog Success Idea Factory e-newsletter this year to bring you the ultimate how-to “cheat sheet.” Throughout these pages, we’ve synthesized the year’s best tips, summarizing, and in some cases quoting directly, from stories and/or the sources themselves, where noted. Below each, you’ll see the industry expert who offered the tip. We reference the issue from which the tips originate so
By Nicholas C. Isasi Your vendors probably bundle freight expenses with the cost of goods and then give little consideration to the price to ship those items to your distribution centers. Indeed, most vendors actually use freight as an additional profit center. The markup for vendor prepaid freight can reach as high as 40 percent. That's why properly managing your inbound freight expenses can make the difference between a marginally good year and a successful one for your catalog company. Inbound freight typically represents 2 to 4 percent of gross sales for consumer products companies. Yet inbound freight costs seldom appear as a
What catalog/e-commerce operation couldn't use a little cost-cutting and productivity boost from time to time? While the economy appears more robust than just a few short years ago and consumers seem to be buying in a more consistent fashion, it's still a good idea to ensure that your expenses don't start to creep up and your staff's productivity remains high. To help you with these tasks as they relate to your company's operations and merchandise fulfillment, we've compiled several expert-written articles for this issue. Curt Barry, president of consultancy F. Curtis Barry & Co., outlines 15 ideas that are sure to boost your
In times when response rates suffer and average order values decline, earning a profit in cataloging can be more of a challenge than normal. In this environment, your expenses (e.g., marketing costs, overhead, fulfillment) become a larger percentage of sales, thus leaving few, if any, percentage points left for profit. Although there are many things you can do to check overhead expenses and keep marketing costs at a minimum, there’s one line on your profit and loss statement that can have the biggest impact on your ability to make money: cost of goods sold (COGS). Before taking the steps to improve your
As margins continue to be squeezed, reducing expenses has become a major topic of discussion among catalogers. In fact, many have put into place specific edicts to reduce operational expenses. That said, the purpose of this article is to offer ideas that can help you attack one major aspect of your company’s cost structure — vendor inbound freight (VIF). By properly managing your company’s VIF, you could make the difference between a marginally good and a very good year for your catalog. Current State VIF usually is included on the profit-and-loss statement as part of overall inventory costs. This low visibility line item normally
Want to raise productivity levels in your mail and call centers? Who doesn’t—especially in the wake of the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) latest round of rate increases. To be sure, postal/mailing solutions encompass a vast array of products and services. Here we offer a small sampling of the numerous technology applications designed to save your company’s mail and call centers time and money. This list, while far from exhaustive, includes software that you can purchase, free applications available to customers of some outsource providers and Web-based application service providers. When known, we’ve included some cost estimates for these solutions and services.