Vendor Consolidation Enhances Brand Quality, Elevates Unboxing Experience | Manufacturing
RRD’s comprehensive printing and fulfillment services overhaul in-box recipe book production, provide cost savings
A manufacturer of high-quality blenders and other food-preparation products includes a complimentary recipe book with every order it delivers. While the book contents vary at times, they all feature quality bindings, full-color photos, and recipes and tips to help the consumer get started as soon as the product is unboxed. As a value-add item, the books are intended to increase purchase affinity and also support healthy eating habits.
Historically, RRD supported the company by printing approximately 3,000 books each quarter. In addition, the company worked with several other suppliers for various print and fulfillment-related needs. However, as they grew, so did their need to scale the processes involved. The company sought a means of consolidating vendors in an effort to increase speed and efficiency at every stage — from printing to fulfillment.
The company chose to expand its existing partnership with RRD, bringing book printing, inventory management, and fulfillment all within the RRD enterprise. They immediately benefited from streamlined operations, as well as increased speed-to-market and cost savings associated with transporting project components from vendor to vendor. In addition, the company now only had to communicate with a single point of contact for support throughout the production and fulfillment processes.
Opportunities for additional efficiencies and refinements were identified, including:
Print forecasting: The company had previously worked primarily in a print-on-demand format, ordering book components as needed. In doing so, however, they were paying variable pricing rather than capitalizing on volume discounts. RRD’s solution enabled the company to forecast planned orders and receive print-order recommendations that identified opportunities for cost-volume efficiencies.
Inventory management: RRD’s inventory management systems brought a new level of functionality, transparency, and accuracy, adding further efficiencies and cost savings. Through live updates, RRD communicates a real-time view of available inventory compared to committed quantities for the company’s 300+ SKUs. The enhanced inventory management pairs with print forecasting to prevent product-availability gaps while minimizing obsolescence and overages.
Materials and cost management: As the partnership has evolved, RRD has identified ways to elevate the quality of materials while providing cost savings through improved manufacturing capabilities and materials.
Unifying printing, inventory management, warehousing, and fulfillment under a single vendor has enabled faster, high-quality printing, improved access to real-time inventory, and enhanced accuracy in the fulfillment process. RRD has established contingency plans to ensure the company can create and access the product it needs, regardless of supply-chain fluctuations. Additional benefits include:
- Streamlined process for in-box recipe books, from print through to order fulfillment
- Elevated material quality, aligning with the company’s consumer brand experience
- First-ever forecasting system to enable consistent bulk-volume pricing and cost savings
- Responsive and reliable daily order fulfillment
- Real-time access to available vs. claimed inventory of more than 300 SKUs
- Decreased cost per book