Questions & Answers
- We are an agency trying to develop a sampling campaign and need some ideas on packaging and fulfillment. Do you have any recommendations?
- I have 5,000 large displays that I want to ship UPS Ground, but I am concerned about the shipping costs. How do I estimate costs and reduce freight exposure?
- Can I use my company shipping account with UPS or FedEx if I use an outside service to ship my packages?
- I am thinking about closing down my in-house fulfillment center. Will moving my inventory to a fulfillment house cost me more in storage and handling?
- I don't want my customer to know that I'm using a fulfillment house to ship my packages. Can I use my company name on the shipping label? By the way, I am using UPS as the carrier.
- I want to mail a small bottle of hand lotion to my customers using USPS. What is the best way to accomplish this?
We are an agency trying to develop a sampling campaign and need some ideas on packaging and fulfillment. Do you have any recommendations?
- Listening to a client and understanding their needs is the first step to success.
- Do not push a specific solution until you are sure that your concept addresses their needs.
- Present your ideas and solutions only after you understand the client's pain points, budget and marketing goals and objectives.
- Select a fulfillment and printing partner that understands how the piece needs to be manufactured in order to stand up through the mailing process, and who understands how the size, shape and weight will impact postage costs.
- We have experienced package designers and postal experts on staff.
- We take our Consumer Packaged Goods experience and add commercial printing power to provide cost effective solutions. With the help of our 17-unit press with in-line foil capabilities we can produce almost any idea that is conceived.
- Working with a single source reduces the layers of the process and eliminates possible communication errors or assumptions.
- There are many package designs that can reduce packaging costs and eliminate the need for additional collateral inserts.
- These designs enhance the message and reduce printing and fulfillment costs.
- They also lend themselves to cross brand promotions, reducing overall expense to the client and improving the consumer's overall experience.
Call us at NOVA and we would be honored to assist you any way we can. 314.993.3525
I have 5,000 large displays that I want to ship UPS Ground, but I am concerned about the shipping costs. How do I estimate costs and reduce freight exposure?
Great question. It is important to understand how the design of your display and they way you package it can impact your budget. And, you need to know a few things before you complete your design.
First, you have to understand how UPS calculates dimensional weight:
L x W x H equals the cubic inches. If total cubic inches exceeds 5,184 inches, divide cubic inches by 166 to determine the dimensional weight.
(L = Length in inches, W = Width in inches, H = Height in inches). Always round up box dimensions to the nearest inch. And, any fraction of a pound must be rounded up to the next pound.
- Box = 40.5" x 24.25" x 6" and weighs 10 pounds.
- Calculate cubic inches: 41 x 25 x 6 = 6,150 cubic inches. Remember, round up those inches!
- Since the total cubic inches exceeds 5,184, divide 6,150 by 166 to arrive at your chargeable weight of 37.04lb or the billable rate of a 38lb package.
- If the package calculation above was less than 5,184 inches you ship at the 10lb UPS rate, which would mean an average cost savings of $15.00 per package!
Also, there are additional handling fees for each package that meets the following criteria:
- Packages exceeding 60" on any side.
- Packages weighing more the 70 pounds.
- Packages that have both sides exceeding 30", but are under 5,184 cubic inches.
Now, here are some tips on how to avoid additional shipping and handling costs:
- Design your display so that the pieces can fold in half to minimize the length and width of the package.
- If your piece can't be folded, try to minimize the depth of the carton. Always keep in mind that your goal is to stay below 5,184 cubic inches!
- If you need to ship product or other program components that will add depth to your display carton, it might be more cost effective to ship the product separately.
- Consider other small parcel carriers too. FedEx has different criteria for determining dimensional weights. Often we can help you negotiate a one-time special rate if the project is large enough.
If you want to design and ship your package at the most cost effective rates, give us a call at 314.993.3525 and we'll ensure your success.
Can I use my company shipping account with UPS or FedEx if I use an outside service to ship my packages?
Absolutely! It only takes about 5 minutes to set up the account, ensuring that you receive your company's contracted rates.
I am thinking about closing down my in-house fulfillment center. Will moving my inventory to a fulfillment house cost me more in storage and handling?
Believe it or not, most often it is less expensive for the following reasons:
- If you currently have dedicated space for your materials, you have to pay for that dedicated space whether it is full or not. When you use a fulfillment company, you only pay for the space that is being used so when your space requirements decrease, so does your costs.
- If your program is large enough, you have a dedicated team handling the day to day warehousing, pick and pack and shipping functions. What do you do when there's not 8 hours of work to keep this team busy? Fulfillment fees are activity based, so you only pay for the activities that occur. You don't have to worry about keeping people busy 8 hours a day.
- Is fulfillment your core competency? Well, it is for a fulfillment company and in order to succeed, we have to be efficient and cost effective. We already have the experience, systems, processes and cost efficiencies in place to ensure your success.
- Most fulfillment companies, like NOVA offer other value added services such as kitting, assembly and mailing, so you can take advantage of consolidating and maximizing resources.
- You will always have more influence when using an outside resource because you define the expectations and service level agreement and the fulfillment company is held accountable.
- Best of all, using a fulfillment service allows you to devote more time to your own business goals and objectives.
It doesn't cost you anything to pick up the phone for a free analysis and estimate! What have you got to lose? 314.993.3525
I don't want my customer to know that I'm using a fulfillment house to ship my packages. Can I use my company name on the shipping label? By the way, I am using UPS as the carrier.
Yes you can use your company name on the shipping label. You also have to consider where you want undeliverable packages returned. You have a few options:
- If you are using the fulfillment company's shipper number, but your return address, the packages will be returned to the fulfillment center.
- If you set up your own account at the fulfillment center with your business address, the packages will be returned to you.
- Or, you can still set up your own shipping account with the fulfillment center, but with the fulfillment center's address and the packages will be returned to the fulfillment center while the billing goes directly to your business address.
Call NOVA to find out the best option for you. 314.993.3525
I want to mail a small bottle of hand lotion to my customers using USPS. What is the best way to accomplish this?
You didn't mention the size or weight of your sample, but here are a few tips to consider when mailing a liquid based product:
- Insert the sample into a polybag and seal or wrap it tightly in bubble wrap to absorb all leakage in case of breakage.
- Use an outer mailing container that is strong enough to protect the contents. USPS offers free flat rate mail boxes that are great for mailing small samples.
- If time permits, always take your assembled package to the post office to get approval before you mail.
There are other restrictions for some types of liquid products, but we would need more information. Your best bet is to let your fulfillment center do the leg work and provide you with recommendations.
So, leave the details to us! Call 314.993.3525