Managing Your Print & Fulfillment Challenges

Every day, you experience small victories and challenges at work. Vacillating between highs and lows is part of your life, career, and, as a microcosm of the bigger picture, every single workday.

What frustrates you about handling the print and fulfillment of your continuing education training materials? What do you find to be easier about the process? How can you limit the former, while building on the latter?

In a 2014 survey of training professionals (view the infographic here), we learned that associations are challenged with:

  1. Managing frequent content changes.
  2. Determining print quantities for new courses.
  3. Utilizing the best price per unit without overprinting.

Omnipress can help you with all three challenges, turning frustrations into tasks that no longer require quite so much of your attention or worry. Let’s unpack that a little bit.

Managing frequent content changes means updating your printed materials, which can be costly and wasteful—if you choose traditional, larger print runs. If you print on demand, however, small quantities are produced and just a microinventory is kept on hand, saving you money and resources.

Determining print quantities for new courses becomes easier when you work with professionals who have experience doing just that. Omnipress project managers work with training professionals like you every day and have a good idea of what might work for your association. If you’re uncomfortable relying solely on intuition, just ask for advice!

Utilizing the best price per unit without overprinting is a matter of balance between print on demand, which helps to prevent overprinting, and large print runs, which ensure the best price per unit. The Omnipress team can help you balance your association’s needs.

Learn how we helped one association reduce their print and fulfillment costs by 60%! Could we do the same for you? Can we help turn your daily frustrations into wins, because you don’t have to worry about them anymore? There’s only one way to find out—reach out to us and get the conversation started!

Spring Cleaning for Your Office Space—and Your Mind!

It is widely believed, and popularized by author and happiness guru Gretchen Rubin, that outer order can lead to a feeling of inner calm. When your physical space looks and feels organized, it’s easier to be more focused and productive.

Think about the places you spend most of your time. Mentally walk through your day and determine which spaces could use some deliberate tidying. I bet you can name ten areas of “outer clutter” you can name off the top of your head. (No judgment—I’m right there with you!)

What spaces did you come up with? Was it your kitchen fridge? Your bedroom closet? Your garage? (It’s possible that I’m projecting here!)

How about at work? Are your desk drawers disorganized? Is the office fridge packed with leftovers everyone has forgotten to eat? Maybe some light spring cleaning is in order.

Or did you name the boxes of course books, office supplies, and learning guides piled up in a spare office, waiting for you and your staff to create kits and send them out to instructors? Clear the clutter out of that room—for good—with help from Omnipress!

Not only are the books, pens, and exams an eyesore, but the process of creating custom kits, shipping them out to instructors, and managing inventory are tasks that clutter up your workday. Clear your mind and your office space. Trust Omnipress to handle fulfillment—including custom kitting—on your behalf.

The Omnipress team is ready and willing to take this task off of your plate so you can reallocate your time and office space to more mission-centric work.

You can use that office to create an informal meeting place and/or use some of the time you’ll save to create a system to keep your office kitchen clean and organized. I wish you luck!

Contact us to get help with your spring cleaning. Print, fulfillment, inventory, and kitting of your continuing education training materials only, please. We don’t do windows!

To learn more about how we can make it easier to produce and deliver your training materials, read our white paper Simplifying with an All-in-One Partner.

9 Reasons to Print Corporate Training Materials with Omnipress

Your printed corporate training materials are integral to the success; you can’t trust their production to just any printer. You have to be selective. The right printing partner will help your organization balance convenience, price, and quality. You’ll feel understood and valued.

There are many printers available to you, but only a few will meet these standards. Why should you print your corporate training materials with Omnipress? Here are a few reasons to get you thinking:

  1. Unparalleled quality: First and foremost, your printed materials have to contain the right information and look great. No one wins if page numbers aren’t correct, or a page is inserted upside down, or color isn’t consistent throughout the book. (We have heard all of these problems, and more, from clients as they explained frustration with their former printers.)
  2. Single-source convenience: Omnipress has the ability to integrate everything you need for your corporate training materials, all under one roof. In addition to printing, we offer order fulfillment (including custom kitting), inventory management, and online training materials.
  3. True flexibility: Some books don’t need to be updated very often, so longer print runs make sense. Others experience frequent content revisions and should be printed on demand. Omnipress can help in both scenarios.
  4. Multiple outputs: We can print just about anything you need for your courses. In addition to course books, workbooks, and instructor manuals, we can also produce flashcards, quick reference guides, exams, and certificates. Other options are also available. Just ask!
  5. Branding assistance: Do your course books reflect your brand accurately? Or could the look of your corporate training materials use a little sprucing up? We can help! The Omnipress team can help you reinvent your brand to match the reputation you’ve built in your industry. (For an example, read the Vibrations Institute case study!)
  6. Formatting and design services: If your training content needs formatting or design help between your desk and the course book that learners receive, you can rest assured that the Omnipress team is here for you. We will work with you to bring your content to life, making it easier for your learners to read and understand.
  7. Binding options: Each binding type has its pros and cons. Determining the right option for your title doesn’t have to be a chore. We can help you figure out if saddle stitch or plastic coil is the best choice for you.
  8. Tab options: Within the volume, organization of your content is important. Index tabs are a good match for plastic coil volumes, whereas bleed tabs work better for perfect-bound books. Color divider sheets work well in binders.
  9. Dedicated project manager: More than any other factor, this is the reason our customers like to work with us. When you partner with Omnipress, you work with one dedicated project manager. This person gets to know your organization, your process, your products, and, importantly, you. Call in with a question and you’ll talk to the individual who knows your story. You are much more than an order number to us. We are on your team, helping ensure the success of your training program—and you personally—by serving as your printing partner. With Omnipress, you will experience what true customer service is supposed to be.

You deserve to work with the best printer for your organization. Given these reasons, and the dozens more you may discover when you choose to partner with us, Omnipress might be just the right fit.

Get Back to the “Fun Stuff”

Think about your workdays as a training professional at an association over the last month. Name 10 tasks that were necessary, but joyless. The tasks are must-do, but you dread them and wish someone else would take care of it so you could get back to the “fun stuff,” like brainstorming new courses, recruiting knowledgeable and engaging instructors and creating course content.

For some training professionals, kitting training materials is one of those tasks. It’s important to put together these items for trainers, but actually doing it eats up a lot of time and energy. A typical kit might include one instructor manual, 20 course books, 20 study guides, 20 exams, 25 Scantron sheets and 30 #2 pencils. If you have to pack up 30 of these, with each being shipped to a different location, your day is pretty well spoken for.

There are many reasons to work with Omnipress for fulfillment, and maybe custom kitting isn’t chief among them for you. But maybe it is. Maybe taking this important but time-consuming task off of your plate would be helpful enough to change your mind about handling print and fulfillment on your own.

Whatever it is that changes your mind, there will come a point when you realize that any money you save by handling fulfillment of training materials in-house just isn’t worth it anymore. Your time is valuable; there are few (if any) associations that have enough human resources to implement all of the ideas and goals the team can dream up. With time at a premium, who wants to spend that precious resource packing and shipping boxes?

The solution is finding a partner you can trust to handle these tasks on your behalf. If you have to babysit them, checking at every step that the correct materials have been shipped to the right place, you won’t be saving much time and frustration. Working with a talented team of professionals who understand how important your training program is to you, and the necessity of getting things done right the first time, is the best way to ensure that outsourcing your print and fulfillment will lead to the results you crave—less hassle for you and more time to spend improving your training program… You know: The “fun stuff.”

The Fulfillment & Inventory Management Tipping Point

When your library of corporate training titles is small, it’s relatively easy to handle fulfillment and inventory on your own. But there comes a point when doing it on your own becomes untenable, and that point is different for everyone.

Maybe it’s when you hit 10 titles, or 20. Perhaps you’ll feel it when you begin shipping internationally and realize you may be a bit over your head when it comes to tariffs and the like. (Even shipping to Canada can be tricky.) Or maybe that point will come when you have to consider purchasing a larger office space to keep up with the boxes you’ve been tripping over for the past six months.

Whatever your tipping point is, it’s worth keeping an eye out for it. Sometimes we hear from clients that they had no idea how much time and effort they were spending on order fulfillment and inventory management until they started working with us.

Reallocating that time to activities that directly improve your training program can make your team more productive. Our customers have found the time and headspace to work out creative solutions to problems that have been plaguing them for ages. Some have gone as far as to say that everything changed—for the better—once they started working with Omnipress.

There’s no need to take our word for it. Dr. Rebecca Keller, Founder and CEO of Gravitas Publications (the company behind Real Science-4-Kids textbooks), spoke with Omnipress for two episodes of the podcast Training and Development Talk. Listen to Real Science-4-Kids Outsourcing Case Study or Print Books Build Better Brains to hear Dr. Keller’s story. You can also read the case study here.

In her first podcast with Omnipress, Dr. Keller offers excellent professional advice, including the activity that led her to seek out Omnipress in the first place. “Sit down and write out two lists: This is what I really want to do, and this is what I’m doing that I don’t want to do.” Then figure out how to get the second list done—without having to do it yourself. You probably think that you have it under control, “but if you’re coming home exhausted every night and don’t have the freedom to think about how to create new things, something is broken.”

Think about how you currently handle the fulfillment and inventory for your organization. Did you recognize yourself in Dr. Keller’s words? Was there something familiar about her predicament?

Reach out to us for help and you may find yourself agreeing with another one of her statements: “Working with Omnipress has been transformative for me as an author to really be able to embrace a different business model. I can now be an author who publishes my books when before I had to be one or the other. I don’t think I would be where I’m at if I wouldn’t have stumbled upon Omnipress online.”

What Does Fulfillment Mean to You?

What does it take for you to feel fulfilled in your life and your career? For some, a sense of purpose leads to fulfillment. With a job in corporate training, though, you probably realize that the work you do matters. Many employees and other professionals are able to move forward in their careers thanks in part to the training courses your company coordinates and provides.

Sometimes fulfillment refers to a process that brings your course books and learning guides from Point A, a warehouse, to Point B, your training site. At Omnipress, we have row upon row of shelves filled with program books for conferences and educational materials for training. Hundreds of organizations count on Omnipress to deliver knowledge each year.

For others, fulfillment is the feeling of pride that comes with a job done well. When a training director sees that a new course earns positive feedback from learners, that person feels fulfilled. That moment and that feeling are deeply rewarding; it represents the reason most training professionals decided to pursue a career in continuing education in the first place.

Does packing and shipping boxes (done by you personally or members of your team) lead to a feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment? If I were the betting type, I’d wager not.

You probably didn’t go into continuing education so you could spend your work day sending out course books and learning guides. Moe likely, you got into the business to bring important information to professionals in your field, to help them succeed and grow in their careers and do your part to make the world a better place through sharing this content with people. That’s where fulfillment comes into play for most training professionals we have met.

To improve your personal fulfillment at work, leave the print and fulfillment of your organization’s training materials to Omnipress. Believe it or not, we do get satisfaction from packing and shipping your training materials to learners. It’s the small part we play in the process that leads to your fulfillment and your learners getting the information they need to do a better job. We all fulfill an important function in delivering knowledge to professionals.

Increase your fulfillment, at work and in life, by trusting Omnipress to take care of order fulfillment of your training materials. We are happy to help you fulfill your educational mission while leaving you and your team the time you need to create content, provide instruction and manage courses. We hope you’ll find Omnipress to be more than a fulfillment partner—we want to be your partner in achieving your own vision of fulfillment.

Plan Ahead with Inventory Management

Planning ahead is sometimes easier said than done. Despite our best intentions, family trips never seem to get the full attention they deserve. There’s plenty of time to figure out an itinerary when we get there, right? Or take tax season as another example. The national math assignment is given in late January, but April 15th seems to come up sooner every year.

That’s why we sometimes outsource planning. We visit a travel agent who can help us sketch out that dream vacation. We bring a shoebox full of receipts to an accountant every spring.

When it comes to your association’s continuing education training content, planning includes good inventory management. You could do it yourself by keeping boxes in your office space and counting on your staff to keep tabs on how many course books, workbooks and learning guides you have on hand for each class.

But you know how busy your association staff gets. Though every single member of the team has the best intentions to keep the numbers current, it’s entirely possible that books may be sent out without removing them from the system or spreadsheet where you track inventory.

Even if your staff does a great job tracking inventory, you can probably think of a dozen things off the top of your head that you’d rather have them spend their time doing. Rare is the association that has enough staff time to accomplish all of its goals.

Prepare for the future with reports that show inventory trends over time. When you trust another company with order fulfillment and inventory management, all you have to do is keep an eye on the reports and plan your print runs accordingly.

With a little experience, you’ll learn when you need to have more books on hand and which months are slower. You may have a sense of this already, but it backing up with concrete numbers helps you understand just how many books you’ll need and when. Adjusting your inventory to meet your association’s needs helps to reduce overhead and manage costs.

Inventory management helps you plan ahead; order fulfillment keeps the boxes out of your office. For an even simpler process, choose a single vendor that can help you with both, as well as producing the printed course books and even online training materials.

Omnipress is proud to provide all four services—print, fulfillment, inventory management and online training materials—for associations like yours. (We can also provide an online storefront that your association can use to sell both hard goods and digital files.)

Keep one eye on your inventory and the other toward the future. You can plan for the future while reclaiming your staff time when you leave inventory management to us.

It’s About Time: Order Fulfillment

Note: Last week, we discussed the issue of time as it relates to inventory management. You can read that article here.

Though on Sunday we turn our calendars to February, it’s not too late to establish some better habits for 2015. Many people resolve to better manage their time. This sometimes takes the shape of work/life balance, but it makes sense to take control of how you spend your time on the job as well.

Eliminating unnecessary or redundant tasks can help streamline your workday. If you work with a printer for your training materials that also handles fulfillment, taking on that work yourself is somewhat redundant.

Sure, you may save a few bucks. But the hoops you’ll need to jump through to teach yourself and your staff how to manage shipping, especially if multiple locations are used or international shipping is required, will make you wonder if it’s worth the savings.

If your years on this earth that taught you anything, it’s that there are experts in every activity you can imagine. Omnipress employs several experts in shipping and fulfillment. In fact, the average number of years with the company of Omnipress production team members is a whopping 20! With that much time invested, most of them certainly qualify as experts.

Your expertise, on the other hand, is likely in a different skill set altogether. To maximize your time in the office, focusing on your strengths is key. If packing boxes and handling shipping is indeed your strong suit, perhaps you’re in the wrong line of work. It’s much more likely, though, that you view order fulfillment as a have-to-do, not a love-to-do.

According to Dr. Rebecca Keller, CEO and Founder of Gravitas Publications, “I didn’t get into the game to get good at fulfillment. Life is short! We really don’t get that much time, so why waste it packing up books?”

Working with Omnipress gave Dr. Keller the time she needed to build her business. “I didn’t have a big enough vision to know what this would look like off my plate and how much it would free me up. Omnipress is really allowing me to see my dreams and my vision fulfilled.”

If that is the kind of fulfillment you’d like to see for your association in 2015, it’s time to think about outsourcing print, fulfillment, and inventory management of your training materials.

For more information on Dr. Keller’s story, read the case study or listen to one of Omnipress’ podcast episodes that feature her as a special guest. (You can enjoy Real-Science-4-Kids Outsourcing Case Study, Print Books Build Better Brains, or both.)

Make 2015 the year you get real about time management! The first step is recognizing how and where your time is not being optimized and take action to correct it. Order fulfillment might not be the best use of your talent and resources, but it’s someone’s specialty, and you’ll find that Omnipress is just the partner you need to make positive changes in your day-to-day life.

Get Your Corporate Training Materials Organized with Custom Kitting

Is getting organized, at home and in the office, a goal for you in 2015? We’ll leave it to another source (May I suggest Real Simple?) to help you around the house, but Omnipress can give you a hand with your office, at least in terms of your training materials.

Are your training materials piled in corners of your office space, waiting to be packed into boxes when learners place their orders? If your organization has taken on the task of creating kits and shipping them to registrants of your training courses, consider working with Omnipress to cross that task off of your to do list—permanently. Besides comprehensive print and fulfillment services, we can also help with kitting.

This can take the form of pick, pack, and ship, but we can also include items other than the content covered in your training courses. For example, some of our clients ask us to put together a package that includes course books, instructor manual, study guides, exams, completion certificates, and #2 pencils.

Others want to include materials for the classroom, like a wall chart. A third option is including a CD, DVD, or USB that contains a digital copy of your training content. It’s up to you! Wondering if we can accommodate your organizations unique needs? Just ask!

Custom kitting is just one more way that Omnipress makes it easier to manage your training content production and delivery. To stay even more organized, work with Omnipress for all of your training content needs: printed materials, physical digital media (CD/DVD/USB), online access to training content, order fulfillment (including custom kitting), and inventory management.

What would your kit contain? Let us know in the comments!

 

Simplify & Organize with Custom Kitting

Your days and evenings are full—during the holidays and otherwise. Sure, there are peaks and valleys throughout the year in your association’s continuing education training program, but it often feels like there are getting to be more peaks than ever, while the valleys are few and far between.

Any time you have the opportunity to get something off your plate so you can focus on your educational mission, you’ll take it, or at the very least, take a look at it. If the task is especially time-consuming but could make your courses more efficient and organized, you’ve got another great reason to consider having someone else handle it.

Custom kitting certainly qualifies. It would take you and your staff a long time to assemble kits for each class, but it does help the instructor stay organized. You might think of kitting as a nice-to-have, but once you try having someone else handle it, you’ll see how convenient it is. Many of our clients try it once and never look back.

What does kitting look like? Though every organization is different, here are a few examples from our updated training services white paper:

Example #1:
1 instructor manual
20 student course books
20 Scantron sheets
25 #2 pencils

Example #2:
25 student workbooks
25 quick reference guides
25 highlighters
1 wall chart
25 marketing brochures

Kitting is just one aspect of our comprehensive order fulfillment process, which is only part of the suite of services we offer associations. Omnipress can guide you through the steps of providing training materials to your learners, starting with print on demand (which can include formatting and design services), continuing through order fulfillment, which is linked to inventory management, all of which can be complemented with online training materials. We’ll be there for you from the beginning on, answering questions and offering suggestions along the way.

Stay organized and spend more time on mission-critical tasks. As your print and fulfillment partner, Omnipress has your kitting and bundling needs, shall we say, wrapped up.

How to Improve Your Process for Corporate Training Materials in One Easy Step

Many steps are required to take your training materials from a Word document on your computer to a finished course book, ready for learners to read. After they are formatted, designed, and printed, the books need to be shipped, either to individual students or to the class location.

You need to keep track of those books and order more when needed, so inventory management is also on your to-do list. Do you offer online access to training content? Then there’s even more to do. Are learners given a USB drive, too? … You get the idea, and if your head is starting to spin, you’re not alone.

It’s best for learners to offer training materials in multiple formats, and managing the distribution of those materials is important. But if you have tried to take care of all of these steps on your own, you should know that there is a better way.

There are many companies that can help you with the individual components of training content delivery. You can call on a graphic designer to do the formatting and design, a printer to handle production of the course books, a warehouse for fulfillment and inventory management, a webmaster for online access, and a … fifth vendor for USBs or DVDs.

If you take this approach, your list of tasks to do will be shorter, but you might spend all of the time you saved, just getting all of your vendors on the same page. You’ve moved the work off of your plate, but it’s been replaced by endless communication steps to coordinate the process you outsourced. In the end, “improving your process” has solved nothing!

What you really need is a one-stop shop for your training content delivery. One source to get it all done—formatting, design, printing, fulfillment, inventory management, online training content, and physical digital media (USBs, CDs, and DVDs).

Omnipress to the rescue! A single-source solution for training materials isn’t a pipe dream—it’s a reality, and the only step you need to take to get started is to contact us. To learn more about Omnipress as a provider of training materials for corporations and small publishers, read 7 Reasons Omnipress is the Right Fit for Corporate Training Companies and Anatomy of Corporate Training: Delivering Continuing Education Materials. Want more detail? Try our white paper, Simplifying with an All-in-One Partner: Best Practices for Continuing Education Training Materials.

When you’ve learned more about us, we’d love to get a chance to know you! Leave a comment below, call us at 800-828-0305, email us through our website, contact us through live chat on the website, or find us on social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook). We look forward to hearing from you!

Our New Training White Paper Is Available – Download It Now!

Providing learners with continuing education training materials—which can include printing books, fulfilling orders, managing inventory, giving online access to materials, and more—can be a daunting task. Many organizations find it helps to partner with a vendor that can support them along the way, offering suggestions and giving advice as they tackle the complexities that the process brings.

Say, for example, your industry makes a lot of content updates. If you stick with conventional, large print runs, you might end with a lot of outdated books—which translates to a lot of wasted money. A trusted provider might suggest that you switch to print on demand to save hassle and money.

When an organization’s training program moves from a domestic market to include other countries as well, we have found that this is a good time to consider finding a partner to handle order fulfillment. International shipping can be tricky; it can be easier to work with a company that has experience with shipping regulations and tariffs around the globe than to take on these tasks yourself.

To learn more about these issues and many others about providing learners with continuing education training materials, we invite you to download our new white paperSimplify with an All-in-One Partner: Best Practices for Continuing Education Training Materials.

read_now

We are committed to providing you with relevant, compelling content, from posts on this blog to white papers to email newsletters. What would you like to read about? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

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