Who doesn’t love the anticipation that accompanies the arrival of an eye-catching, branded box?
Unfortunately, opening up that experience comes with a bottle of Tylenol when you are a promotional product distributor. However, given the insanity of the past year, snail mail has made a comeback and branded boxes/promo kits are all the rage. If you’ve been hesitant to jump on the bandwagon, don’t worry. Get ready to grab the reins because I have some insider tips to kitting that will save you the headache.
- DON’T: Overpromise
Kitting can be complicated, time-consuming and difficult to execute. Delivering the “wow factor” experience requires setting realistic expectations with your client up front. Allow yourself plenty of time for assembly and delivery. Be super clear and firm on in-hand dates. Individual shipments will take time; custom shipping labels per kit, etc. Take into consideration the time of the year — holiday season/peak season = delivery delays. If expectations don’t feel reasonable, then they probably aren’t, so best to be clear and consistent from the start. Saying “yes” to everything is easy, but saying “no” is the key to avoiding unnecessary drama and stress.
- DO: Keep it Simple
Stick to a 1:1 ratio of supplier:PO. When selecting items for the client, think about things that are easily packaged, or packaged together. Remember that weight + size dictates shipping fees. Getting creative with packaging – using a tumbler to house a pen/pair of socks, etc., can help cut down costs dramatically. The fewer variables in the kits themselves, the less likely errors will occur.
- DO: Lean on Key Supplier and Freight Partners
AIA’s MVP supplier network of trusted partners and allies are there for you. Utilize suppliers you can trust and that have historically proven themselves. Plus, with AIA’s negotiated freight partnership and rates, your kitting conundrum just got a whole lot easier. Find a freight partner you can trust and have used historically. Now is NOT the time to introduce a brand new freight carrier. Kitting is complicated enough so work with partners you already trust to ensure delivery is as smooth as possible.
- DON’T forget about Margin
Residential shipping rates are almost always more expensive than business/corporate deliveries. Keep this in mind during the quoting process with the deliveries going to homes or offices. Also, most suppliers charge a drop-ship fee. For kitting items that are not already pre-SKUed — most suppliers charge a fee for this or don’t do it at all. Remember when in doubt, ask.
Looking for more tips and resources to grow your business? AIA gives its distributors the power to engage the market with confidence. I’m not kitting, see for yourself!