In With the New
Warehousing and fulfillment
A few years ago, Hazelden made a request for proposal for outsourcing of its publication warehousing and fulfillment. Having used Banta as its prepress and printing vendor for soft cover books and catalogs for 13 years, Hazelden included the printer in the request-for-quote process.
"We needed to upgrade our warehouse and distribution technology and inventory management system, but we couldn't justify the capital expense," says Nick Motu, Hazelden's vice president of marketing and sales.
As an alternative, the organization conducted an extensive needs analysis and accepted a proposal to develop a comprehensive supply-chain solution that encompassed a full spectrum of inventory management and fulfillment services from Banta's Harrisonburg, VA facility.
The Harrisonburg facility now warehouses, assembles, fulfills and distributes all of Hazelden's publishing orders, which, in addition to books and catalogs, consists of calendars, pamphlets, CD-ROMs and assorted gifts.
"Outsourcing to one supplier that warehouses, assembles, fulfills and distributes all our orders allows us to focus on our core competency of providing educational services and creating publishing materials," explains Motu.
Based on this experience, Hazelden will consider outsourcing its database and Internet capabilities to revamp its Web site and online bookstore, as well as the implementation of a digital content management system.
"I'm looking forward to developing a state-of-the-art digital content management system, which allows us to put all our marketing and sales tools into an integrated system," explains Motu. "I envision content development, digital image storage and retrieval, archiving, product management, promotion, circulation, sales management, and marketing all incorporated in a real-time database management system."
A company that seeks to revamp its workflow management system should look for "more than a vendor," recommends Motu, one that clearly emphasizes service and demonstrates a strong understanding of business needs. He advocates doing as much as you can with one supplier, in order to maximize the relationship and to gain access to new technologies, techniques and trained personnel for greater efficiencies and faster time-to-market.