You and your team just got back from a trade show. Huge success. Lots of people stopped at your booth, wanting to know more about your products. Some of them picked up marketing collateral at the show, but you want to nurture these precious leads with fast follow up. Now’s the time to send out case studies, data sheets and other literature relevant to their needs and interests.
You could do the kitting yourself by just stuff the appropriate pieces into a plain manila envelope and pop that in the mail. But wouldn’t it make a better impression if you packaged your materials in a personalized pocket folder? Or perhaps a spiral or perfect-bound booklet, so nothing can get misplaced? Then maybe ship it all in a specially designed envelope with teaser copy?
In marketing fulfillment , that’s called kitting and is commonly used to package items such as:
- Promotional items/literature
- Product samples
- Recruiting materials and employment applications
- Benefits booklets and enrollment forms
- Instructional packets and training materials
- Demonstration, display and point-of-purchase materials
- Dealer and franchisee supplies
- Media and investor documents
- Any other items and materials that need to be sent together
Kit or No Kit?
When should you consider using a kit? Generally, any time you have multiple, related items going to one recipient. Kitting can provide structure when you’re presenting a lot of information that might otherwise be confusing or overwhelming. By ordering your materials in a logical sequence, you can create a narrative flow that moves the recipient along toward the desired action.
If you use an online fulfillment system, building and ordering kits is easy. With Iron Mountain’s eKit tool, for example, you can assemble your kit or booklet in minutes by selecting components from your digital library. Then select your packaging – folder, envelope, box – and/or binding method and the order in which you want materials inserted. If you want to create a more personalized kit, you can use digital printing to add logos, signatures, contact information and more. (These systems make it cost effective to create customized kits for audiences as small as one individual.) Then indicate the quantity you need, upload your mailing list, and your fulfillment partner does the rest.
On the other hand, if you deliver the same content to large numbers of recipients – for recruiting fairs or new employee training sessions, for example – it makes good sense to pre-assemble your kits, assign them a unique SKU and store them in your fulfillment partner’s warehouse until needed. This allows you to order kits more easily (one SKU/item versus many), makes accounting and charge backs easier, speeds shipping (stockroom personnel pull one item, rather than many) and is also more cost effective because assembly is done in concentrated, dedicated blocks of time, rather than one kit at a time. Plus, you know all the needed materials are there when you need them.
Two additional benefits to custom kits:
- There’s less chance for error with order fulfillment. Everything is pre-assembled and sent at the same time, reducing the possibility of inadvertently missing or misdirecting an important document.
- You may also realize postal savings if,instead of packing individual items into standard sized boxes, you develop a custom box for your kits, thereby reducing the size and/or weight of your packages.
Partner With an Experienced Fulfillment Provider
Kitting can be a valuable part of almost any marketing strategy. But it’s important to choose a fulfillment company with the experience, technology and dedicated staff to do the job right. A few key questions to consider:
- How long have you been in business?
- Who are some of your long term clients?
- Can you handle all kinds of kitting – literature, point-of-purchase displays, demo materials, product samples and more?
- Do you offer digital printing so I can personalize materials?
- Do you ship orders the same day received? What is your cut off time for same day order shipping?
- Do you have service guarantees?
- Are your services scalable? Can you handle a sudden increase in order volume?
- What are your pick-and-pack and order fulfillment accuracy rates?
- Do your systems provide real time order and inventory data?
- Can you customize your system to meet our needs?
- Any other matters of vital importance to your company and marketing strategy.
Remember, fulfillment is the process by which your business “touches” prospects, customers and others who make your business successful. Make sure the company you work with represents you well. Please contact Iron Mountain Fulfillment Services if you would like to discuss kitting opportunities for your fulfillment services needs. Or learn more by checking out additional blogs on pick and pack.