After more than twenty years working on the front lines of direct mail operations, last year the unprecedented impact of the pandemic reached my desk. Direct mail operations became challenging in surprising ways. Overcoming direct mail disruption has become my priority.
Direct mail advertising is at the center of what I do. Published data shows consumers prefer it to other forms of media. Our own experience has shown dramatic lifts measured over non-mailed audiences. Our direct mail programs feed lead and sales channels that clients rely upon.
With various supply chain challenges growing, business is anything but usual right now. Impacting vendor choices, timing, pricing, and even our scheduling confidence. The last thing we want is to limit our offering or flexibility. My team has embraced new strategies to manage the evolving disruption in the supply chain.
We can’t predict the future, but we can be prepared.
The time for preemptive and flexible organizational strategy is here. We’ve achieved successful outcomes by putting ourselves ahead of the curve. Now is the time to ensure that you’re prepared – with the right relationships and plans. It’s easier than is sounds.
How to optimize your lead times.
Lead times have gone through the roof, but businesses that plan further ahead and work with the right team of print professionals can manage these setbacks.
Take the Medicare Annual Election Period for example. The last thing we all want is to add uncertainty to that season. But we’ve seen lead times increase uncharacteristically throughout the pandemic, so much so that print materials for Q4 campaigns must now be considered a priority whole quarters earlier. These delays are unprecedented. Overcoming direct mail disruption will be key. If you’ve read our article Understanding Direct Mail Supply Chain Disruption, you already understand the cause.
Optimizing lead times now involves planning and reserving inventory much further in advance than before. Is this frustrating? Yes. It also saves businesses time and money, and ensures campaign deployment stays on schedule. Lead times may be longer, but proactivity makes it manageable!
Don’t be a supply chain victim.
Businesses are now readying themselves for fall and winter campaigns. Organizations aren’t taking these supply chain developments passively – they’re empowering their staff to make smarter decisions, reaping the benefits down the line. The future of the paper supply chain is here. Now is your organization’s chance to produce one of the few pieces of direct mail your ideal customer will receive in Q4.