Today is your chance to be the supply chain HERO for your customers! It’s no secret the challenges facing the promotional products industry today… supply chain, inventory shortages, labor pressure and more. NOW is the chance to face those concerns head on and be the supply chain HERO with your customers.
H- HEIGHTEN AWARENESS: Product Choice is More Limited
Inventory issues are occurring more and more often in today’s environment. Suppliers are not only low in inventory but also cannot depend on the normal supply chain to back fill orders. In addition, timelines for custom imports are extremely long and not guaranteed. To avoid the let down, offer strongly stocked products upfront, including offering more than one item. It is also a good idea to determine a back-up choice and potential alternative color option.
E- EDUCATE: Shipping Costs Have Gone Up
Many factors have contributed to higher shipping costs: Increased Demand, Stimulus checks(people spending, items need shipped,) overwhelmed ports, and too few ships, dockworkers and truckers. For now, there is NOT a short-term fix, and these factors are creating a snowball effect across the United States’ supply chains. Being transparent about shipping costs will help set proper expectations with your end users, so they are not surprised
R- REMIND! REMIND! REMIND
Holidays will be here before you know it - Start planning for Q4 orders NOW! Whether it is holiday gifting, employee appreciation, trade shows, etc. NOW is the time to start prepping! A great place to start is to review what orders you had during Q4 in 2020 and 2019, and if those orders are repeating for 2021, start making suggestions! Many suppliers are taking orders NOW for delivery in Q4! At AIA, we have an entire team dedicated to Supplier Relations! Our SR team has partnered with the top industry suppliers to provide options like these to AIA Owners.
O- OVER COMMUNICATE
Right now- take our word for it- You can’t communicate enough! As we have all heard, the entire U.S. is experiencing labor issues. These labor challenges have had a direct effect on just about everything in the promo world! As we all know it takes people to produce our promo orders. These shortages influence every step of the process- delay in order entry, delay in artwork/proofing, delay in production, delay in invoicing, etc. You may not be able to totally overcome this, BUT you CAN be upfront, explain the challenges, and COMMUNICATE every step of the process, to ensure a better customer experience!
Now you have a talk track but is something missing? Every HERO need a side-kick! By partnering with AIA, we provide business coaching, back office support, marketing and so much more! See for yourself by contacting us today!