Federal Express

Commentary & Recap: Futurist Libey Examines the Present at MeritDirect, Part 2 of 2
July 14, 2009

Last week, we recapped the first half of the keynote presentation given by investor, catalog owner and motivational speaker Don Libey during the MeritDirect Business Mailers Co-Op in White Plains, N.Y. In part 2 of our recap below, Libey touches on the importance of having unique products, offering convenience, hiring the right people and getting enough capital.

7 Ways To Cut Parcel Shipping Expenses Right Now
March 1, 2009

Parcel shipping costs are on the rise, with UPS, FedEx and the USPS all recently increasing general rates. While costs are going up, successful catalog/multichannel companies are finding ways to reduce expenses and improve their bottom lines. What about you? Here are seven keys to getting started.

Are You Losing Customers in Your Warehouse?
September 16, 2008

A recent visit to a major B-to-B cataloger (sales in excess of $100M) proved to be quite a revelation for me. During the course of my visit, it was revealed that the company was struggling to maintain its fill rate. When I asked what its fill rate was, the answer was shocking — below 80 percent! It’s been almost two decades since I’ve heard a number that low.
Once again, this example reinforced for me how important it is to make sure the basics are right in our businesses. With such a low fill rate, I suggested this company slow down on all other

Advantage: Shippers
July 1, 2008

When multichannel marketers negotiate with parcel shipping companies, who has the advantage: carriers or shippers? Current market dynamics make today the best time to bid your business. Recent earnings disclosures by FedEx and the United Parcel Service indicate a slowing or decline in their domestic parcel businesses, making them hungry for new business and willing to fight to keep existing accounts. Slow domestic growth rates in the transportation industry means promoting competition among parcel carriers is a winning strategy in managing your shipments for lower unit costs. Carriers’ Upper Hand However, initiating a competitive bid process in today’s parcel environment is a complex

And You Thought the USPS Needed Help!
June 17, 2008

I’m on vacation this week in the Dominican Republic, a great country with extremely warm, friendly people who enjoy life and laugh easily.
But somehow the concept of direct mail marketing seems to have missed them. There’s no great mail service to speak of here. (Not like our great Postal Service, he said facetiously). Bills come by mail, but not much else. And you can forget about catalogs. They don’t have them here.
The more affluent order online and have their items shipped via FedEx or United Postal Service. Some actually have P.O. boxes in the states — mostly Miami. They have their

Good or Bad? How We in B-to-B, too, Have Trained Our Customers to be Last-minute Shoppers
December 11, 2007

I’ve heard a number of nervous comments from B-to-B direct marketers who rely on seasonal products or end-of-the-year sales peaks. Everyone seems a little concerned as their order curves are behind last year’s — in some cases more than 20 percent behind. I’m not worried … yet. Here’s why:
Over the past five years or so with all the advances we’ve seen in technology, there’s been a continual shortening of production and delivery times. What used to take four to five production days, now takes one to two. Shipping and delivery times also have been cut, due to advances made by the likes of

Negotiate Better Deals with Parcel Carriers
May 8, 2007

Published rates have spiked throughout the parcel industry, and will impact the bottom line of any cataloger who ships goods through any of the major parcel carriers. But according to Tim Sailor, founder/president of Long Beach, Calif.-based Navigo Consulting Group, the impact doesn’t have to be negative. Despite recent rate hikes, catalog/multichannel shippers still can cut good deals if they play their cards right. “Shippers don’t have the advantage now, since carriers are incentivized to sell their services at the highest possible cost,” Sailor said during a session at last week’s National Conference on Operations & Fulfillment in Schaumburg, Ill. Recent rate

React When It’s Sent Back
April 1, 2007

When it comes to processing returns, it’s all a matter of approach. Certainly, nobody wants a lot of returns and processing. But if you approach returns processing as more of an opportunity than a burden, you may be surprised at the results. “The biggest mistake I see with the returns process is that returns are treated as an operational procedure. But it’s an excellent marketing opportunity,” says Debra Ellis, president of Barnardsville, N.C.-based Wilson & Ellis Consulting. “It’s personalized contact with the customer that you don’t get when a customer orders online or through the mail.” The bottom line is that customers who’ve had positive

The 50 Best Tips of 2006
November 1, 2006

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