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UPS Increases Charges for Holiday Shipping

Start saving your pennies now, in a few months you may need the extra cash to ship your holiday goods! UPS is adding yet another surcharge to packages shipped between Black Friday and Christmas. The surcharge will be an additional 27 cents for each ground shipment, 81 cents for next-day air and 97 cents for two- or three-day delivery. It may not sounds like a lot, but it will certainly add up especially from a business standpoint.

Businesses now have to decide what their best option is during this holiday season. They can either, eat the cost, have the consumer pay for the shipping, or increase the cost of the goods to compensate. None of these are very opportune situations and may leave the consumer dissatisfied. Another option could be for the retail stores to promote their “holiday” deals a different week. These peak surcharges won’t take place the two following weeks after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but will pick back up again from December 17 – December 23. There is a slight grey area to this new development; the surcharge is only applied for residential shippings. Meaning, retailers and shoppers can have the item sent to the store for pickup to avoid the extra costs.

The reason for UPS doing this isn’t necessarily to make more money, but to stay profitable and meet their margin. During these busy times of shipping, they have to increase labor, and add on more transportation to get the high volume of packages out. As quoted in the Wall Street Journal from Sanford C. Bernstein*, “Without them, Christmas kind of doesn’t happen.” With a huge increase in online shopping, there is truth behind what Bernstein says.

If you are interested in learning more and how this might affect you, please contact your client service rep at Fulfillment Plus, Inc!

*Citation here 

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Looking to Expand Your Product Line? We Can Help!

Adding additional product or service to your current stable business can be tricky, but if done correctly it can transform your business and create exponential growth opportunities. With our help, and the simplified steps below, you can successfully bring new opportunities to your clients.

First: Do Your Research
You may have a great idea of a new product or service, but does it fit within your current business model? For example, you wouldn’t expect to go to a McDonalds for a car wash. On the other hand, a better example is HelloFresh who expanded their line of product to include kitchen utensils. This company already has a clientele base that is interested in how-to-market-a-new-productmaking their cooking experience better and easier. What better way to help that process along, than providing them with the right tools to do so. A great way to research, is ask your current clients what they feel your business is missing and what they need/want.  

Second: Find the Resources
One of the biggest problems companies face, is the implementation of a new process/product. Everything may look great in writing, but do you have the people and resources to execute? The best plan is to have a dedicated staff to roll out the new product. That way they can be attentive to all details and issues that may arise. You don’t want to overload an employee with current responsibilities and then implementing a whole new product (depending on size), that may lead your new product development to suffer.  This is one area we can help! A lot of companies find it cheaper to outsource their services, and we specialize in handling all projects big and small. This gives you comfort of mind knowing that the production of distributing is taken care of.

to-do-list-toolsThird: Create a Plan
Establish a timeline, this is important so you can stay on track and have attainable goals. Next in the plan is to create a budget. Implementing a new product/service can be very expensive (time, people, materials, marketing, etc) and you want to make sure you are not wasting money or resources so it’s important to stick to your timeline!

Fourth: Test Your Product/Service
Before your big launch, you want to incorporate a soft launch into your timeline. This is the best way to test your new product and work out any kinks there might be. Depending on your new concept, try it out on close family and friends or gather a select group of loyal customers that will be honest with you, but you’re not scared of losing their business. Once you receive the feedback you can incorporate that into your new product line and when you officially launch, have ease knowing that it will be implemented flawlessly.Tested

Fifth: Market Your New Concept
How are you priced among competitors? If there is similar product in the market place you are competing with, you might want to launch yours at a slightly lower price, or offer “introductory pricing” to get the customer hooked. But, important to keep in mind, you don’t want to be priced so much lower that your brand is looked upon as “cheap”. Next, if you have a sales team, they should hit the ground running. If not, or in addition to your sales team, blast it out on social media, put out direct mailers and find your key brand advocates. In addition to our services we can also provide social media help and implementation of your blogger kits which is the newest trend and a must for your company’s product! Blogger kits can be compared to your company’s resume. This can take form of a pamphlet, images, audio, video, product samples or a combination of all. The importance of creating an impressive Blogger Kit, is not only will you spark the interest, but you’ll be perceived as a company who is credible, and trustworthy. Taking the time to invest in this, will in result create the consumer to invest their time and money in you. First impressions are everything, so now is the time to shine!

In addition to the above steps, continually improving your products is the last and final step. Nothing in business is ever completely done, so always pay close attention and continue to keep everything up to date. Staying stagnant for too long can sometimes be a death sentence to a company. Clients are always looking for the “newest, and best” so you should strive to be top of their list and Fulfillment Plus Inc. is here to help you do so!

New Year’s Resolutions? We Can Help!

A New Year means time for New Year’s Resolutions and goals to accomplish throughout the next six to twelve months. This is a great time for companies to take a moment from the Change-Ahead-sign busy day to day rush and analyze how the past year went, and what they can do to improve business. It might entail establishing a new system to put in place, organizing an existing one or cleaning and organizing your place of work! Whatever it might be, Fulfillment Plus is here to help you with those New Year’s Resolutions.

One of the first and possibly most important step is to go through your existing inventory. It’s crucial to make sure that you are not only over stocking and duplicating, but ensuring that none of your existing inventory is out of date. One of the many services we offer is “Lot Control”. This means we can tell you when your inventory is expiring, but also automatically ship out product that is set to expire first which ensures your clients will never receive outdated product. We have our own internal IT company that allows for this to happen, which is something not many other Fulfillment companies can offer.

social-mediaOne very common goal for companies is to increase business, and one way to do this is to increase your social media presence and get your brand out there. We offer many options with social media that you can help you spread the word. With an in house social media coordinator, we can accommodate your needs from setting up your social platforms, sharing your content, and guest writing for your blog or sharing any of ours!

Improving customer satisfaction is another important goal, happy customers equal more business. When partnering with a reliable and efficient Fulfillment company, you can check this one off your list! Fulfillment Plus makes sure that your product will arrive on time as fast as possible within the designated ship method selected. Our proprietary fulfillment management system allows our clients the ability to track inventory from assembly to order processing/pick pack & ship. In addition to tracking your inventory fulfillmentduring the order processing phase, we can also provide the same tracking for returns. For example, when we receive a return back to our facility, it is first scanned, and then placed into QC for inspection.  From there, the item either goes directly back to inventory, or can be refurbished, returned to vendor or discarded.  Using an assigned Return Authorization (RA) number, the information on the item/order being returned is tracked and available to view in the client portal in real time. This makes it faster and easier to handle the situation at hand.
And lastly, get to know your Fulfillment partner! We are here to help you every step of the way and make your goals ours. Fulfillment Plus makes it a priority to also know your customers and provide top notch service. Our tagline is a great way to sum it up, “When your reputation is on the line, rely on ours.” Working with us, we will help your company run seamlessly and will help you meet your New Year’s Resolutions for 2017!

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Blogger Kits, The Newest Trend

One question that many industries have, is how to get their name and products out into the market. For one, Brand Advocates are a great resource to have. Not only is it free advertising for you, but it’s usually coming from a person that consumers trust, which results in them seeing your brand as trustworthy, and this is very important. The first step in attaining Brand Advocates is getting your product to the consumer for them to use, and ultimately enjoy the experience. The newest trend in doing so, are preparing Blogger Kits to spark the interest of the product and we can help with that!

Think of your Blogger Kit as your company’s resume, you want to put all the information on your product and keep it interesting to get the attention and interest you need. This can take form of a pamphlet, images, audio, video, product samples or a combination of all. The importance of creating an impressive Blogger Kit, is not only will you spark the interest, but you’ll be perceived as a company who is credible, and trustworthy. Taking the time to invest in this, will in result create the consumer to invest their time and money in you.

A few tips on how to create an effective Blogger Kit:

  • Keep it professional, but fun
  • Keep it clear and concise, so the message comes across easily
  • Short and sweet, don’t use long paragraphs but instead bullet points
  • If mailing out, also post online to make sure information is always kept up to date

Examples of a successful campaign include:

  • A company that created a Blogger Kit to introduce a new product. There were themed kits sent out that included samples of their product, and also activities and props for a get together with friends. Not only can the consumer experience the product first hand, but now all of these props will be a constant reminder of what a great experience they had because of this kit.
  • An entertainment company that uses blogger contest kits to encourage bloggers to use their audience to watch a specific new (or old) tv show or movie.
  • A large retail office supply chain sending supplies/office gadgets to business around the country and then having the employees of the businesses posting pictures to blogger websites and the retailer’s websites.

If you bring your idea to us, we will execute it so you don’t need to worry. Since Fulfillment Plus Inc. caters to your needs, no project is too small or too large. Call us today to find out more!

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Fulfillment Plus Inc. is Here to Support YOU

As a fulfillment center that provides both business to business and business to consumer services, there is almost nothing we can’t do for you as our customer. Not only do we provide a plethora of services but they are customized to your company’s needs. Below are a few examples of what we can offer, and if it’s not listed, call us today and we’ll be happy to work with you to customize a fulfillment program that works best for your company!

Brand Advocates: Who better to manage the fulfillment operations for your marketing program  than the company working with you to ensure it succeeds? Through our social brandmedia outlets via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more, we will gladly brag about your product and get the word out there. And the best part about it? It’s free! As a loyal customer of ours, we believe in your brand, and your products, and want to help you spread the word.

Cellophane Wrapping: This is a very beneficial feature for almost any product, not just food or pharmaceutical and drug companies. The purpose of cellophane wrapping is that it protects the product without adding any additional weight or restrictions. This is key because with the new shipping regulations of charging dimensions as well as weight, you don’t want to be charged extra for your products, just because you’re trying to protect them during the shipment! And the best part is, you don’t need to outsource this because now we can do it in-house.

Printing: Need something printed? No problem! When provided with the artwork and specs, we can get you a competitive quote within 24/hours.  We will monitor stock levels and reorder when necessary.  

Promotional Items: Looking to promote your company or brand? A great way to do this is sending out promotional items or samples! Fulfillment Plus Inc. can do the research, order them, package everything together and then ship them out for you! As our client, all you need to do is approve the steps along the way, and we can handle all of the heavy lifting and time consuming steps.

Fulfil_Adjust (1)Return Management: With our new system we devised a program where returns are customized to the client and is now done with a simple bar code scanning. For example, when we receive a return back to our facility, it is first scanned, and then it goes directly into our system to the order/orders related to the return. All of the information on the item/order being returned is entered and available to our clients immediately so they can decide how they would like to handle the situation. The next decision is up to the client on whether we should put it back into inventory, (if unopened and not damaged), or return to the manufacturer if it is damaged, or any other reason for not being able to sell.

 
Stamping and Branding: Coming to us is a one stop shop. We can take your product and tailor it anyway you would like including stamping and branding the final package.  We understand that first impressions count and we make your company’s outstanding. From the moment your customer receives their package, we can offer ways to make them see your company on every layer of packaging from the outer carton tape to the inner tissue paper.  We understand the importance of branding and can manage even the very smallest of presentation details. We get it done quickly and efficiently.

If you are looking for a true fulfillment partner, call us today.  The bottom line, when your reputation is on the line, rely on ours!