One of the most powerful strategies available to print distribution firms today is to maximize the value of business forms. It's a point which this blog has made in the past, but which is certainly worth reiterating. Business forms are invaluable because they represent a consistent, steady source of revenue, allowing firms to enjoy significant profits without requiring much investment in terms of either time or effort. This permits print distribution company leaders to focus their attention on gaining new business, without jeopardizing their relationships with existing clients.
In the past, we've discussed these advantages in greater length and examined how print distribution companies can go about maximizing the value of the opportunities that a focus on business forms presents. However, it's imperative to keep in mind that these benefits are only available when firms can ensure their clients remain completely satisfied with the quality of the services they receive. This may be a fairly straightforward concept, but it can become rather complex in practice without the right tools. And because repeat business for these forms depends on reliability, any mistake can be exceedingly costly.
That's why it's so important for print distributors to embrace tools and strategies which can help improve management and oversight of their orders and related operations. A top-notch resource can be the difference between smooth sailing and a major complication.
Understanding the stakes
As mentioned before, the reason why business forms are so valuable from a print distributor perspective is that the client demands are minimal. Business forms are, by their nature, predominantly consistent – companies need the same shipping labels, order forms, contracts, etc. on an ongoing basis, with no variation. After all, a company is not likely to adopt new branding, a new address or radically different logistics or operations very often. As a general rule, such major components of the organization will remain steady from month to month, and even year to year.
That's the upside. The downside from a print distributor perspective is the heightened pressure to deliver all business forms on time, as needed, with no complications. Hiccups here will seem all the more unacceptable because of the seeming simplicity of the supplier-client relationship.
But for a print distributor providing dozens upon dozens of clients with business forms, it can be easy to make a mistake and miss a shipment or a deadline – that is, unless the distributor has a system in place which can make oversight and management easy and reliable.
The right approach
So what does such a system look like?
There are a number of key components that print distributors should look for when considering a support application. For one thing, these companies need a tool that can reveal the status of orders and where they are in the production process at any given time. Additionally, the tools should offer real-time reporting on inventory quantities and release orders, allowing firms to closely track their resources and current capabilities.
But that's not all. The oversight and management application should also allow print distributors to place exact repeat orders through the system. This can be a useful feature for print distributors in general, but it's particularly powerful when it comes to business forms which are so inherently repeatable. The easier and simpler it is for print distributors to place orders for their clients' business forms, the less likely it is there will be a costly delay down the line.
It's also important for print distributors to have the ability to provide updates and insights for their clients. With this in mind, it is valuable to invest in an application that makes it possible to produce invoices on-demand. This makes it simple and easy to keep clients informed as to the status of their business form orders. Similarly, the application can and should be able to offer advanced shipping notification emails, keeping both the print distributor and its clients aware of the status of business form orders.
With these capabilities on hand, print distributors can take full advantage of business forms, without running the risk of making a costly misstep or stumbling into any delays.