Made up of companies that design, customize and/or distribute the mugs, magnets, calendars, pens, t-shirts and other products that organizations and individuals use to promote themselves, the worldwide promotional products industry includes 3,500 supplier firms and more than 30,000 distributors, according to the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI).
Acting as independent agents and selling products to their clients, distributors develop ideas for using promotional products in marketing or promotional campaigns, buy the items from the supplier and then sell them to end customers. This supply chain requires a high degree of orchestration, detailed sourcing strategies and close attention to the variables in a world where each product is customized to the buyer’s needs.
Modern Tech Tools for the Promotional Products Industry
To operate efficiently, the promotional products industry needs modern technology tools that can effectively run their multifaceted operations. In How New Promotional Products ERP Solutions Can Increase Efficiency and Decrease Operating Expenses (and What to Look for When Selecting One), Promo Marketing Magazine discusses the value that technology like ERP provides in the promotional products industry.
The magazine advocates for cloud-based technology that’s offered with low upfront costs, doesn’t require regular upgrades, and is “always on” with 24/7 availability as a few of the top considerations companies should focus on when shopping for an ERP. Here are six ways NetSuite helps promotional products companies tackle their current challenges and plan for future success:
1. Unified business processes across the enterprise
When they have a single, integrated platform for CRM, accounting/ERP and ecommerce in place, promotional products companies can automate key business functions across all departments, including sales, marketing, service, finance, inventory, order fulfillment, purchasing, and employee management.
2. Reduced manual work and rework
Your employees no longer have to re-enter data in different systems, rectify inconsistent or inaccurate data, or wait for batch updates. Instead, all your employees view and share accurate data in real time, leading to greater collaboration among departments and increased productivity across your business. This is a huge win for promotional products companies that rely on different teams to pull together complete, finished products.
3. Better visibility and better decision making
NetSuite’s customizable dashboards offer real-time access to key performance metrics, supporting intelligent, timely business decisions. In addition, full visibility into unified customer records results in more efficient and highly personalized sales, fulfillment, and service processes. The dashboards provide data from all departments, which means executives and employees can spend more time analyzing and acting on data and less time gathering it.
4. Flexible reporting capabilities
NetSuite financial reporting gives promotional products companies powerful tools that they need to be able to analyze and display data. Save time with prebuilt financial reports that are easily tailored to highlight specific results. Develop custom reports with multiple versions using the right layout for each audience. Combine financial, statistical and operational data with multidimensional analytics to glean new insights into performance. With NetSuite, you don’t just get reporting—you get a comprehensive view of your business.
5. Customizations without the headaches
NetSuite automatically carries forward customizations with each new software release (of which there are two annually). This eliminates the need for consulting resources and system customizations that must be made via product-specific programming language.
6. Global business report
With NetSuite’s multi-currency capabilities, end customers can choose the currency they want to transact in. The web store can display and sell in any currency that you set up and lets your customers choose their currency. All prices are automatically updated to display your customers’ preferences. And, NetSuite supports your multi-national company with multi-language capabilities that include English, French, German, Spanish, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Russian and Japanese.
Covering the Bases
In this ever-changing business environment, promotional products companies need unified ERPs that not only provide strong financial management capabilities, but also support customer relationship management, supply chain management and other requirements. Suitable for all types and sizes of business, NetSuite helps promotional products companies achieve their business goals with a single, unified, cloud-based platform that covers all of the bases.