08/03/2018 | POS, Point of Sale, fulfilment

From pallets of FSDUs to giant bears…point of sale storage & fulfilment is never boring

Fulfilment of all shapes and sizes of stock is at the heart of the MRM business - around which we have developed our system architecture using new technologies and a robust physical infrastructure supported by ISO approved processes.

Point of sale is the perfect example of how we blend process, technology and human expertise as it requires us to store and control hundreds (if not thousands) of SKUs (stock lines) within our warehouse and to know exactly where each SKU is located. Often the SKUs can be a similar product that has been produced in a different language, so stock codes are vital (Swedish and Norwegian are identical to most people!).

Managing stock is the control element, for a client to have confidence that we will store their products correctly and appropriately – with controls that will allow them to have instant access to know exactly how many of the Estonian brochure we’re holding and what the minimum re-order level is. We try to make it easy on our client by providing automated alerts to tell them when stock needs to be re-ordered, before it runs out.

Then we come onto the technology element – how is the order data being provided to us and what controls are in place to limit what stock can be ordered and by whom? For a number of clients we provide secure ordering websites, accessed via login that are developed with business rules to limit who/what can be ordered. This is important if we’re holding stock to support a client’s sales force – to ensure we’re providing cost controls on quantities and frequency of order!

If you already have a website developed for Point of Sale ordering, we’ll integrate with you seamlessly to ensure that your orders feed through to our fulfilment systems in real-time (or daily, you choose). By working with secure technology to pass your order data through to us, we both remain compliant with GDPR as well as giving us the ability to start to fulfil orders as soon as possible.

But it’s not always about getting a Point of Sale order out ASAP. Unlike ecommerce order fulfilment, where the consumer is waiting at the door within hours of the order having been placed, Point of Sale fulfilment has different priorities. It’s about getting the stock to a retailer at the right time, ready for the promotion that the National Account Manager has negotiated for a gondola end display. Or ensuring the stock is delivered for a photo shoot, or experiential marketing  event in a shopping centre where there isn’t actually a physical address for it to be delivered to (oh yes, we’re good at these too!). This is where human expertise is absolutely critical – to be able to select the most cost effective and appropriate despatch method for each delivery type.

Why use a dedicated handling house to manage your Point of Sale? Firstly, because the printer is a specialist in exactly that – printing, therefore they may not have the expertise and resources to collate orders into store kits, use suitable retailer packaging labelled as per each retailer’s distribution centre instructions and to have a range of distribution options on hand to provide exactly what your brand needs for despatch. And if one size doesn’t fit all in terms of the kits you need to fulfil, our end to end system integration will ensure the right kit is put together for the right destination, minimising wastage and maximising the likelihood of compliance.

MRM’s expertise is in handling major Point of Sale campaigns, whether we’re shrink wrapping 750,000 lightbulbs to be inserted into shippers (constructed on site at MRM) then packaged up to be delivered into store, or arranging the delivery of 15 pallets of branded literature, product and stand equipment for an experiential marketing campaign in a shopping centre (this is where the giant bears come in!). Some Point of Sale campaigns are one off and planned in advance, to ensure we’re rolling out graded kits to a portfolio of outlets to be merchandised in store on a specific date – while others are longer term strategic campaigns where a brand launch means field sales teams need to be able to call off additional merchandise and products to be delivered to their customers to drive sales.

Our Project Management team at MRM, is experienced in managing all your campaign needs – we’ll do the liaison with stores or distribution centres to check each retailer’s individual needs for delivery and identification. We’ll work with your printer and creative agency to establish the best way of ensuring compliance for those preciously negotiated in store displays – to make sure you’re getting return on investment and driving sales of your brand.

At every stage we provide transparency of our operation via live reporting so you can see exactly where we are in fulfilling orders to your customers. Less than an hour from London, MRM is perfectly positioned in the centre of the UK to benefit from the most cost effective distribution rates – you’ll find our handling & despatch hard to beat.

And at the end of the campaign we’ll use a range of environmentally friendly options to destroy or help re-use unused stock.

 If you’d like to know more, please pick up the phone for a chat on 01858 414777 and ask for Julie or Mel. Or you can send us an email and we’ll get straight back to you – julie.townsend@mrm.co.uk