Inventory Reports: How Do Yours Measure Up?

How many reports do you rely on in your daily life to keep everything on track? It may be more than you realize! Consider your electric bill (which is essentially an energy report), your smartphone’s battery display (a real-time status report), you children’s report cards, the steps on your fitness tracker, and even the gas gauge in your car. Monitoring your life is a full-time job, and thankfully, many devices and processes are up to the task.

If you spend your workdays managing print and fulfillment of continuing education training materials, you may count on inventory reports (pun fully intended) to make sure you’re not running out of course books.

The report, just like any other, is only as good as the data that goes into it. When was the last time you did a physical count of the course books in your back office or warehouse? Can you imagine having half a day free in the next week (or, being more realistic, month) to take care of it?

If you’re like many of our customers, time is at a premium, and, truth be told, it would be better spent developing new courses and managing current ones. So cut out the middle man between your inventory report and the data that supports it. Omnipress is pleased to have a team of seasoned professionals on hand who spend their days printing course books, fulfilling orders from learners, and managing inventory.

The inventory management system is kept up to date, in real time. The report you run is accurate, every time, and you can count on Omnipress to make adjustments at you request. A dedicated project manager will work with you to determine appropriate quantities for a new print run to meet the current and projected needs of your organization.

Self-monitoring is a growing trend. (Check out this podcast on it from NPR’s To the Best of Our Knowledge.) Professionally, inventory management is part of your role, and the more accurate the reports you run, the better you’ll be able to keep tabs on your printed training materials. Omnipress can help make the process easier for you.

Print & Fulfillment Just Got More Affordable!

Your association could be wasting money on printed continuing education training materials and not even know it! If your content is updated frequently and you choose large print runs for your materials, it’s likely that you’re inadvertently leaving a lot of money on the table.

That’s just what (ISC)2 found when they started working with Omnipress for print and fulfillment of their continuing education training materials. Partnering with Omnipress led to a 60% cost reduction in printed course materials!

Check out the infographic below for more information. Over the next several weeks, we’ll delve deeper into other aspects of the infographic to show how your association can save time, hassle, and money by working with us.

Visit omnipress.com to download the (ISC)2 case study!

Manage Print Cost Infographic

Everything Changes! Or: Why You Should Print on Demand

 

Everything changes! That’s true of the industry your organization serves, and it’s true of the continuing education (CE) materials that learners use to master best practices and stay current on new innovations that are gaining traction.

Many associations print their CE materials on demand to handle the challenges of frequent changes to content. Few things are more frustrating than having to throw away hundreds of course books (that don’t come cheap!) when content has to be changed. Time, money, and resources were wasted because print runs were set too big.

If only you had the opportunity to do it all over again! Unfortunately, the past is past, and there’s no going back for a second chance. You can, however, take steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Next time, print on demand.

When you choose to print your CE training materials on demand, your provider works with you to come up with an estimated number of books you’ll need. As the orders roll in from your learners, and inventory begins to deplete, the provider will notify you.

A microinventory is kept to prevent delay in getting course books out to learners, but there won’t be shelf after shelf of boxes that could go to waste. And while there’s no guarantee that all books will be used before content changes, you can rest assured that with print on demand, you won’t be charged for any course books that weren’t ordered.

Think about that! Won’t you feel better knowing that fewer books are wasted, and none of your association’s money was set aside for resources that your learners never even used?

Everything changes—your CE content, your learners’ expectations, and even the best way to handle your CE training materials. When you partner with Omnipress, though, you can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that you took steps to reduce waste and protect your budget with print on demand.

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.

Why Print-on-Demand Makes Sense for Associations

Innovation is important in your industry—and in every industry, as a matter of fact. As an association training professional, innovation often starts with you. Updated content keeps your courses fresh and forward-looking. However, if you choose large print runs for your books, revisions can really cost you.

If you expect that your course content will need frequent revision, whether that’s due to impacts of emerging technologies or legislation that’s coming down the pike, you should consider printing your training materials on demand.

You’ll avoid two types of waste: leftover books that are no longer relevant (or correct at all) and money on the table. Large print runs usually mean price breaks, but how much do you really end up saving if you throw hundreds of books away?

Omnipress encourages print-on-demand solutions for some associations because it tends to be a better fit for organizations whose content is dynamic. To be a leader in your industry, as most associations strive to be, stagnation is the enemy. If you keep training content constant as the industry is changing, you may be doing a disservice to your learners.

When you print on demand, you estimate how many volumes you’ll need on hand based on past enrollment. As learners order course books, the inventory begins to deplete. A micro-inventory is kept on hand (often with your fulfillment partner, if applicable) to cover any extra orders that may come in. If none do, your bottom line isn’t impacted; you only pay for the volumes that were ordered. Inventory reports are available online, 24/7, so you can keep an eye on stock and request more course books as needed.

Think about how your training program has evolved over the past five years and where you see it going by 2020. Not much change? That’s fine, and Omnipress can help with traditional print runs, too. On the other hand, if you see differences in content and class offerings on the horizon, you should take the time to ponder whether print-on-demand is the right choice for your association’s training program.

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.”

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!

 

It’s About Time: Inventory Management

How much time does your association staff spend locating and counting training manuals? What if they spend that time on mission-critical work instead?

Your staff resources are critical and always in short supply. Reclaim the time lost on inventory and fulfillment by working with a vendor partner you trust to get the job done right—without having to do it yourself.

Besides the fact that counting boxes is no fun, it’s the type of skill best left to those who do it regularly. Whether you have two titles or 200, it helps to work with a company that can handle inventory on your behalf. If that company also prints course books and other training materials, and fulfills orders from learners, all the better.

Your association’s mission probably has to do with education, training, or professional development. In order to best fulfill that commitment, it helps to clear the minutia from your to-do list. That leaves your staff the freedom and resources to focus on priorities that have a clear, direct impact on your mission as leaders in your field.

It’s easy to think that a few dozen—or even a couple hundred—boxes around your office is no big deal. It doesn’t take that much time to pack and ship boxes, and occasionally do a rough count.

But any time you’re not serving the mission and purpose of your association is time that could be better spent. Moreover, it’s likely that the staff is spending more time doing these tasks than you may realize.

Maximize staff efficiency and move your training program to the center of your staff’s attention and workload. When you work with a single-source solution like Omnipress, you will alleviate many of the burdens on staff time that you might not have even known were a problem to begin with.

If you struggle with allocating staff time and who doesn’t, consider how your program could benefit by recouping time spent on fulfillment and inventory. Then reach out to Omnipress and get the conversation started.

 

Achieve the Happy Medium: Outsourcing Fulfillment of Your Corporate Training Materials

When you decide to outsource a task, you may want to maintain some control over the process—without having to do it yourself. At the very least, you’d like to remain aware of what’s going on.

This is true when it comes to print and fulfillment of your corporate training materials. The idea of having a trusted partner handle this on your behalf is attractive; packing and shipping boxes is not your idea of a good time, or even a productive workday.

On the other hand, you’re not entirely comfortable leaving this task to anyone who might not have your best interest in mind. Part of the reason you hadn’t outsourced this process long ago is your commitment to delivering not just course books and manuals, but also your organization’s promise of quality and timeliness. Leaving this in the hands of anyone besides you and your colleagues feels disingenuous.

The best choice is to find a happy medium—a process you don’t have to implement yourself, but can follow closely to make sure your learners’ needs are met. When you partner with Omnipress for the print and fulfillment of your corporate training materials, you have 24/7 access to standard reports so you can stay in the loop. Custom reports are also available to meet your organization’s specific needs.

To learn more about Omnipress’ complete suite of services for corporate training programs, download our whitepaper—Simplify with an All-in-One Partner: Best Practices for Continuing Education Training Materials. Give it a read and let us know what you think 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!

Proven Corporate Training Experience

Last week on the blog, we explained why Omnipress is the right choice for corporate training companies. Did you know that Omnipress has already worked with many companies in this category?

We are happy to count small publishers like Gravitas Publications and Carden Educational Foundation among our clients. Dr. Rebecca Keller, CEO and Founder of Gravitas Publications, discusses her science textbooks, Real Science-4-Kids, and working with Omnipress in two episodes of Omnipress’ Training and Development Talk podcast:

Real Science-4-Kids Outsourcing Case Study with guest Dr. Rebecca Keller
Print Books Build Better Brains

For additional information on how Omnipress helped Gravitas Publications flourish, read the case study!

Other companies, like Vital Learning, also fit into the corporate training category. Any company that provides training materials can find a partner in Omnipress.

After all, many of the same principals apply to providing training materials for associations and for corporations and small publishers:

  • Print on demand makes sense for companies that experience frequent content changes.
  • Finishing options, including many types of binding and indexing, are available.
  • Order fulfillment is best performed by a provider with experience dealing with international shipping. Training materials can be sent anywhere in the world.
  • Online access to materials can be handled under the same roof as print and fulfillment. Students appreciate having additional avenues to information.
  • Inventory management, done in conjunction with order fulfillment and printing, saves time and frustration.

As you can see, Omnipress has experience with producing, delivering, and managing corporate training materials. We would like more, though—we want to help other small publishers and corporate training companies fulfill their educational missions.

Can you think of a company that could benefit from Omnipress print, fulfillment, and inventory management services for training materials? Contact us today!

Take Our2022 Training
Trends Survey

Each year, Omnipress collects data from training professionals to benchmark educational content trends. The results will be published in our annual Training Trends Report in early April.

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