Keep stock of your promo products all year long
Promotional products can many times be ordered day or night, all week long, depending on the item thanks to online shopping. However, just because you placed your order at 3am Saturday morning, doesn’t mean that it can be processed and started right away. Buying promotional products is an intricate process. You are adding your company’s branding and/or messaging to the item. It requires thorough proofing and review in order to ensure accuracy and quality in the final product.
So if you are placing your 3am order because you are in desperate need of some giveaways for an event you’re hosting on Tuesday, you may have a very difficult time getting the item you want, with the branding you need. What should you do instead?
Estimating needed inventory for promotional products
Start the year off right with marketing, HR, sales, etc. calendars that identify key initiatives you will have throughout the year that will require promotional products. This calendar can give you a bird’s eye view of what your organization will need from a promotional products standpoint.
Next, consolidate the calendars and review and estimate the number of promotional items you are going to need for each event and initiative. Take into consideration any branding updates your company may be planning or considering when you are estimating your quantities, but overall, it’s always best to over-order than to under-order.
Storing and upkeep of the promotional products
If you are ordering a handful of promotional products in the hundreds or even thousands quantity range, the idea of storing them in your facility may be overwhelming as well as impossible. Depending on your office, you may have to look into outside storage options, but be sure to consider cost to store and ship from the storage facility to the locations on your lists.
You may also consider having these items stored with the teams who requested them. This can be a great idea and take a lot of pressure off of you. Two considerations, we recommend:
- Give them an inventory list and have them check-off and sign it when you deliver their items. This way you don’t have them coming to you later saying their full request was not delivered. Or, if any items are missing you can hunt them down right then.
- Have a replenishment plan in place.
- Proactively check in with them and ensure they didn’t use up their stock before the events, or
- Agree as a group that any replenishment needs will be on the teams’ radar, and what they need to do to replenish.
No matter what approach your office takes, be sure to keep an inventory checklist so you can confirm all of your order was fulfilled (or your final quantity upon receipt), and include a sign-out form with quantity taken any time someone does tap into the inventory.
This article is part of a series titled Promo Buyer 101. This series is perfect for anyone who is just starting to buy promotional products for their organization, or is a veteran buyer but is looking for tips and ideas for branded merchandise needs. Check out the other articles in the series and be sure to share with your colleagues.