Product fulfillment and collateral fulfillment involves the storage and distribution of different types of items. Collateral fulfilment refers to the warehousing and distribution of print materials used in marketing such as direct mail pieces, brochures, and signage. Product fulfillment, on the other hand, refers to the storage and distribution of consumer goods like t-shirts, water bottles, and other promotional items.
Storage needs for product and collateral are quite different. For example, tens of thousands of pieces of print materials can be stored in just a few square feet while product storage takes substantially more space. In many cases, product storage can exceed collateral storage by ten times.
This is why many printing companies work with other companies for the storage, handling, and distribution of products.
Distributing product and collateral involves different practices, too. Product can be much heavier or contained in much bulkier packaging. Collateral packaging usually utilizes cardboard while product packaging can utilize aluminum, glass, and or plastic. When products are stored, different filler materials are used to maintain their shape and packaging.
The scope of handling products is quite different from handling collateral. The expertise of other warehousing companies can be invaluable in ensuring that the integrity of products stays intact and is distributed in an effective manner.
Distributing products will likely involve skid shipping through “less-than-truckload” (LTL) carriers. Collateral, on the other hand, can be distributed through regular package carriers.
There are a number of services that product fulfillers can provide that many collateral fulfillers cannot. Some of these include:
- Bundling products into sets
- Kitting product with collateral materials
- Packaging and shipping large quantities of product with LTL carriers
- Applying UPC labels to products
- Generating graphic intensive display cartons
Tracking Orders with Pel Hughes
Our team at Pel Hughes prides ourselves on delivering exceptional client service. This is why we offer an interface called “Storefront” that allows our clients to place orders, view their orders, check the status of their orders, manage inventory, and house an online content library with brand-approved materials. Storefront also integrates with UPS and FedEx. This interface makes managing your collateral—from conception and print to distribution—efficient and effective.
Pel Hughes is a woman-owned enterprise that serves companies in numerous industries—including healthcare, education, finance, and small businesses. If you need assistance with specialty projects, direct mail campaigns, or database management, give us a call at (504) 486-8646 or fill out a contact form on our website.