Bill Spaide

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

Catalogers possessing high-performing operational units concentrate on the following five fundamentals. 1. Optimum Location Superior merchandise fulfillment begins with facility location, which should provide average or better solutions to the following criteria: - An adequate labor supply of both full-time and seasonal workers, as measured in terms of costs, availability, stability and productivity. Note: This is the single most important location-related criteria. - Proximity of suppliers and customers to the facility, as measured in both inbound and outbound transportation costs and delivery time. - Local economics includes reasonable construction or building rental costs; availability of government incentives; and reasonable taxes (e.g., income, personal

Catalogers can save 30 seconds to a minute per call by using those software systems that deliver both the call and the customer's data screen at once to the call center rep. —Bill Spaide of Spaide, Kuipers & Co., catalog consultants

When you get to be a bigger call center, say, 50 seats for more, your reps should only be on the phone. All other call center duties, such as call backs, processing faxed orders, etc., should be done by other people. In this way you can engineer your call center's utilization rate, and keep reps on the phones. —Bill Spaide of Spaide, Kuipers & Co., catalog consultants

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