08/02/2017 |  MRM News 

Press Release 7 Feb 2017: MRM Appoints New Managing Director

Award winning marketing services, handling and fulfilment business MRM has kick started its 2017 with three senior appointments within its management team.

Founding partner Peter Kerr takes on the new role of Executive Chairman following the acquisition of ex Howell Penny Client Director Marc Rigby as Managing Director. Chairman Mike Wood has now taken on the role of Strategic Director.

The appointments cap a successful 12 months for the business in which MRM were recognised with four IPM COGS Awards including the prestigious Grand Prix for their incredible work on the 2016 Sport Relief Campaign.

 

The Market Harborough business - now in its 24th year of trading - concluded an MBO last year following 5 years as part of the French based HighCo Group. It numbers the Department of Health, The Co-operative Group and British Gas amongst its 70 strong client base across a wide range of industry sectors.

Peter Kerr comments, ‘Whilst last year was hugely exciting for the business, that success needs to be the platform for accelerated growth; the marketing environment in which we operate is evolving. We are no longer just a service company – we are a service agency offering a wide range of marketing solutions. And to ensure our business model is in line with the needs of the market, I wanted to bring some fresh skills into the company from the world of agency & brand marketing. Marc’s background will help us augment our delivery capability and build the breadth of service we can offer to our clients. Along with Mike Wood, our former Chairman and M&A specialist, I will be devoting more time to exploiting some key strategic opportunities that we have identified in the market.’

Marc Rigby, who boasts Interfocus, IMP and Saatchi & Saatchi amongst his past marketing agency roles commented, ‘I was astounded not only by the core traditional skill sets here but by the levels of digital expertise inherent within MRM. We are well positioned to deliver a wide range of marketing service solutions as both a strategic and tactical partner. I am looking forward to the challenge of blending our processes, data and people to help our clients connect their brands, products and services with their audiences.’

 

Notes to Editors:

  • Established in 1993, MRM is an independently owned marketing services provider based in Leicestershire, England. With strong industry links via the Institute of Promotional Marketing, the company provides both digital and physical (fulfilment) marketing campaign support to some of the UK’s best known brands.

  • Contact for further information: Marc Rigby, Managing Director marc.rigby@mrm.co.uk, or Julie Townsend, Marketing Manager Julie.townsend@mrm.co.uk or call 01858 410510.

06/12/2016 |  Response Handling 

Christmas Production Planning for our Order Fulfilment Service

 

Our Operations Director Phil Owen gives us an insight.

‘Christmas has always been our peak time of year with many of our clients having ‘giftable’ product ranges.  Because of the influx of production staff needed and increased campaign complexity, we need to make sure that we plan with as much detail as possible to minimise the risk of things going wrong.’

How do you start planning for these peak months?

‘There are three main elements to production planning. First we have known business that has an uplift in volume; for these clients we look at previous history together with any changes made in the business. For example many clients have increased their customer base since last year, so we know that demand and volume will increase.

Some of our clients increase their product ranges so we need to factor in an increased number of SKUs.  Although this is the simplest form of planning there are always unknown setbacks. With any new business that we have acquired over the year, we work with the client in order to gauge the fluctuations in activity that are likely to occur, and we then work backwards from there.

Probably the most complicated area to plan for is seasonal campaign activity as there are often so many different elements that are involved’

What makes campaign activity so complicated?

‘Well to start with, a lot of the activity is triggered by the media which, while briefed by the client, is completely out of our control.  Campaign activity creates the highest volume, and as we may use direct mail create a call to action, order demand can fluctuate a lot.  Planning for this is a challenge for our business.

What changes to you make to the production plan to deal with these issues?

‘Firstly we need to increase our work force, and recruiting people with the relevant skills and capabilities is a challenge.  We must always allow time and budget to ensure the correct training takes place to maintain our quality standards.

Another issue is the management of natural ‘churn’ (replacing people working on the campaign on an unknown cyclical basis).  We have two systems in place to manage this. Firstly we have a working database of family, friends and people that we can call upon to offer seasonal work. In addition, when we need a large influx of staff into the workplace , we work in close partnership with a recruitment agency which holds recruitment drives on our behalf to ensure that we have the right amount of workers on a specified date.’

How do you calculate when extra workforce will be needed?

‘Resource planning begins in September.  We work closely with our clients and log all known information on volumes, type of items, packaging required and deadlines etc and our tried and trusted formulas deduce how many man hours are needed and how many additional staff are required from when to complete the job in time. That’s the point at which we contact the agency if we need to, to tell them how many employees we need with the relevant skills and when we need them by.’

What are the impacts on SLAs during the peak times of year?

‘This is why early resource planning is essential.  We must work to protect the agreed SLAs with our clients irrespective of the time of year.  We work closely with our couriers, carriers and suppliers to ensure that deadlines and collection routines are adhered to. Despite what you may think, it’s a very complex supply chain, and a very important part of our job is to manage all components~ not just the elements that we do.’

24/11/2016 |  Industry News   MRM News 

Our 2016 IPM Cogs Awards Wins!

Team 1 Our 2016 IPM Cogs Awards

HighCo MRM wins Grand Prix Trophy at 2016 Institute of Promotional Marketing ‘Cogs’ Marketing Services Awards

The 2016 IPM ‘Cogs’ Marketing Service Awards took place on Friday 23 September at a gala lunch ceremony at The St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London.

We’re delighted and proud to announce that for the second year running, we’ve won Gold for both Handling & Fulfilment and Direct Marketing for the work that we’ve been doing with Comic Relief, and Bronze for Event Management for NYX Cosmetics at IMATS (International Make-up Artist Trade Show).

At the end of the evening, we were stunned to be awarded the most coveted ‘Grand Prix’ trophy ~ the overall winner across all gold winners in all 14 categories!

22/11/2016 |  Promotional Handling 

Points Collector Schemes for building customer loyalty

A beautifully simple yet effective promotional mechanic  ~ incentivise and reward loyalty by offering a catalogue of gifts/vouchers against which the customer can redeem their collected loyalty points.   Monthly statements are created and issued to advise the customer of their points balance.

Our developers have devised and created a system which manages the redemption of points and despatch of the reward item (either direct from stock or drop ship).  Our in-house Customer Response Centre handles any scheme queries and takes orders via phone and email. We can handle the ‘spike’ in calls around statement mailing times and liaise with our project & production teams to handle any special orders for particularly important customers.  We hold high value vouchers in secure storage and manage the despatch of these via appropriate methods to ensure they reach the customer safely.                 

Orders are picked, packed and despatched every day (we operate in an environment where customers are leaving feedback in open forums so we are geared up for fast turanrounds) and we can offer our clients the benefits of consolidated purchasing ~ really competitive rates for despatch and materials/packaging stationery. We are set up to respond quickly and efficiently to customer queries and we have great relationships with client approved third party suppliers to allow the same response times.

 The system we have developed allows immediate update of points balances once an item has been ordered.  Our fulfilment system provides a seamless stock receipt/order process/pick & despatch process and this information can be viewed by our Customer Response Centre, our project managers and our clients via a secure portal.

08/11/2016 |  Promotional Handling 

Cash Backs ~ Easy, Smart and Consumers Love Them

Are you launching a new brand and want to encourage trial? Is your brand better than a competitor’s but you have less presence or budget?

Consider a cash back campaign! Also known as a Try Me Free or Money back Guarantee – a cash back is a multi-discipline promotion that can be used for a range of promotional purposes. In the last 18 months, we’ve seen a resurgence in their popularity, particularly for higher value products where the promotion is used to convince a consumer to purchase a product and claim a cash back post purchase, but also with new brands launching their products where they’re offering the consumer the chance to claim their money back if they’re not 100% happy with the product.

From validation through to reimbursement via BACS payments to a consumer’s bank account, using MRM’s cash back platform couldn’t be simpler; all we need are some brand images, any promotional graphics and your strapline and we manage the rest. We use our cash back platform to create your promotion, register a user friendly promotional URL, manage the validation of all claims and make prompt payment to your consumers. We’ll also give you free live reporting via our secure online portal, providing full transparency of the success of your promotion. It really couldn’t be simpler! Call us today on 01858 410510 and ask for Vikki or Mel for more details.

08/11/2016 | Uncategorised

A Pudsey Production Line is Hard at Work…

With Children in Need Appeal Night just over a week away, the Ops team at MRM (now known as mini Pudseys) are working into the night this week to ensure consumers, schools and corporate partners all receive their Pudsey branded merchandise on time to be able to raise funds for this well loved charity event.

We can’t wait to tune in on Friday 18th November to see what the BBC’s celebrities will be getting up to this year to raise funds – but in the meantime, do check out the Children in Need shop, there are some fabulous items of Pudsey merchandise this year – we’re loving the brushed sequin tshirts!

As with every client, prior planning is key to the success of an event, so we’ve been working hard with the client to plan resources, manage replenishment stock deliveries and to turn orders around as quickly as possible. If you’re looking for support with your e-commerce fulfilment requirements, call us for a chat to see how we can help, just call 01858 414714 to speak to Mel Sheldon.

29/10/2015 |  Uncategorised 

HighCo MRM’s Double win at the IPM Cogs Awards!

Co of the Year Winners 300x200 Co of the Year Winners

 

We’re very proud to announce that we won GOLD in the Handling & Fulfilment category at this year’s Institute of Promotional Marketing’s Cogs Awards on Friday 25th September.

These awards celebrate the best work and innovation in the Marketing Services industry (recognition and reward for service providers ~ the teams involved in making promotional campaigns happen) and we were up against some very tough competition. The case study in support of our category submission was Comic Relief ~ and this award recognises our achievements in the run up to the record Red Nose Day 2015 event.

We were also delighted to be voted Company of the Year. Peter Kerr, HighCo MRM’s Managing Director commented

“We were up against some incredibly tough industry competition and so we are absolutely delighted to have won this award. When you consider that this is judged by our clients and competitors that is quite an achievement.”

16/03/2015 |  Fulfilment Services   Handling House   Promotional Handling   Response Handling 

Our Part in Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day 2015!

DSC00583 resized Our part in Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day 2015!

IMG 1730 resized Our part in Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day 2015!

So, today it feels like the morning after the night before!  We’ve successfully completed Mission One of our 5 year Comic Relief contract, happy in the knowledge that we have played our part in helping to achieve a record Red Nose Day on-the-night total of £78M and helped to contribute to the incredible £1 Billion that has been raised since the creation of this iconic charity.

During the last week in the run up to Red Nose Day…

Last week, in the run up to Red Nose Day, it was quite literally all hands on deck, in both the operational areas of our business and Client Services department. It was obviously vital that we got Red Noses sent out to schools and businesses, fundraising packs sent out to members of the public – and of course branded merchandise to help everyone celebrate the massive Red Nose Day 2015 event. So, we worked to tight SLAs with little idea of the likely volumes for the following day…with daily resource planning giving us the usual opportunity to forward/contingency plan and to move resources around to meet the ever changing order volumes in each area.

Great British Bake Off volumes

One of the most interesting challenges was managing the surge in orders each Wednesday evening as millions of viewers tuned into the ‘Great Comic Relief Bake Off’, to watch celebrities including Jonathan Ross, Gok Wan and Joanna Lumley trying to create a baked masterpiece… with mixed results!

Data Integration at its finest

Working with a third party agency who have built this year’s Red Nose Day online shop, we’ve worked hard to ensure our data integration is smooth and seamless as it’s really important that we provide live and accurate stock levels, to ensure consumers can’t order a product that’s actually out of stock. This works in reverse through our API, meaning orders are received into our system every couple of minutes.  This has helped us quickly identify any (rare) issues and ensure orders are packed and out of the door and en route to the customer.

The Making of Red Nose Day- a few seconds of fame for HighCo MRM!

We were delighted that the BBC came to film at our premises to be able to broadcast our part in ‘2015: Making it Funny for Money’. We were even more delighted to make it to the final edit and this was presented by Radio 1’s Greg James and aired at the end of the event, in the early hours of Saturday morning (view us on BBC IPlayer for the next couple of weeks at the link here (skip to 41 mins 40 seconds to see our bit..!)

Our work’s not yet done ~ Measuring Response

It’s not only personalised print to ensure that a member of public or school receives their fundraising packs – we have also personalised all printed items that will be returned to us for subsequent data capture and validation of Gift Aid when the donations begin arriving into us.  This will to allow us to efficiently capture the correct information and match back to the original customer record.

We’re incredibly proud of our achievement and the part we have played in making it happen ~ we look forward to seeing the final £ figure raised!

14/11/2014 |  Uncategorised 

Our Big Charity Month

Supporting charities is something that is close to the heart of HighCo MRM and we relish the opportunity to get the whole business involved in events where possible. The below events are ones that we have chosen to take part in during the past month but we don’t limit ourselves to these charities. We understand that everyone has a charity that is important to them for a number of reasons and we take suggestions from all our staff as to what fun days to take a part of.

As well as the great work we do during our working days we have staff who take part in marathons and walks, who volunteer in the local community and donate to charity where possible.

A great big thank you goes to everyone in our business who gets involved!

Wear it Pink Day

As part of breast cancer awareness month we took part in wear it pink with lots of the staff dressing up in pink outfits and submitting their baked entries to our bake sale.
Vikki made a pink rainbow cake that sold out in minutes and Laura’s muffins were extremely popular.

IMG 0160 Our Big Charity Month

 

The Suffering

Our Commercial Director, Mel, had a great idea about joining an obstacle course as a big team. After many emails and a lot of persuasion 12 of us signed up to the race and didn’t know what we we’re getting ourselves in for.
The day didn’t start well with the rain and it got slightly worse when the organisers admitted that it might not be the 5k race we expected – more like a 9k course!

We all made it through the course and, although there are still a lot of bruises around, we did have a great day and raised a whopping £2,524.26 for our 5 chosen charities!

The pictures below are for your amusement…

 After photo Our Big Charity Month

 

Children in Need

We have never had so much effort from the men in the company as we have had for the Children in Need Superhero theme this year! We think they have been just waiting for the chance to break out the costumes for the day!

The company made a great effort at dressing up and to raise even more money we held our renowned bake-off – the savoury version. Mary Berry eat your heart out!
BBC Radio Leicester visited and interviewed some of our staff and even got some comments from our Bake off judges. What a great atmosphere in the!


IMG 0173 1024x768 Our Big Charity Month

28/10/2014 |  MRM News 

HighCo MRM at London Fashion Weekend... It's a (not so) Glamorous Life!!

LFW1 HighCo MRM at London Fashion Weekend…….It’s a (not so) glamourous life!! LFW2 HighCo MRM at London Fashion Weekend…….It’s a (not so) glamourous life!!LFW3 HighCo MRM at London Fashion Weekend…….It’s a (not so) glamourous life!!

Somerset House on the Strand played host to the London Fashion Week/Weekend events in September 2014, and we were there to help our clients Essie and Maybelline.

The beautiful neo-classical building provided an excellent façade for the event  ~ a whirlwind of designers, make-up artists, models and what seemed like a million people making the whole thing hang together.

..And that’s where we came in. 

If you ever thought an event of this type was 100% glamour, think again!  Every single person involved works very VERY hard.  None stop. 

Setting up two Maybelline make up stands (themed ‘Uptown’/’Downtown’) and an Essie nail bar (three manicurists) on the face of it sounds straightforward. And then the stock gets delivered, there’s a skip blocking the entrance and the 200+ lines of boxed stock for the entire event needs to be ‘handballed’ off the truck!   So it’s carried down two flights of steps (several fourteen minute return trips from the truck), along with tills and card machines.  The stock is held remotely from the stand itself, due to space restrictions (there are four beauticians, an event manager and a sales manager operating in a small space on each stand).   

There’s an hour to get set up before the event opens, so the pressure’s on!    The queues are building, everyone is fighting for space to get a selfie in front of the Fashion Week sign and there are only minutes to brief everyone about till operation and cash management on all three stands before the doors open.  Then we brief the process of ordering stock from the temporary (very dark!) basement stock room (from where we manage radioed orders and stock balances).

The event begins; everyone works extremely hard for the 11 hour day, selling the product, advising on colours and product information, running up and down stairs with stock replenishment orders (passed the rooms of semi-naked models getting ready for the next runway show). It’s boiling hot, there’s no air conditioning and as well as requests for drinks there are other random requests throughout the day which are fulfilled all in the name of great customer service!

At the end of four very long days, each stand gets cleared down, tills cashed up (15 mins only allowed to cash up the tills at the end of each day) and the balance of the stock is packed onto a truck for despatch back to the HighCo MRM warehouse. 

We’re exhausted but elated and proud of the important role we’ve played in making the event such a huge success in terms of both organisation and the amount of sales made by our clients Maybelline and Essie. But our work doesn’t end when the show does!  Back at our warehouse, we re-count and re-box the stock, validate the till reports against the cash taken during the event and provide detailed reports of wastage and sales by product by day.

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