Order Portals save Time, Money, Fuel and Headaches

12 Oct

This is a guest post by John Simonetta, owner of ProformaGreen, an eco-friendly promotional items consultancy. John’s blogs are designed to keep us up to date on the “greening” of his industry.

Not all the changes in the promotional products industry relate to actual products. New technologies are starting to make their way into our industry as well.

The neatest thing I have seen lately is the new concept of order portals from companies like Creative Merchandise, LLC, based in California.

Client Order Portals are custom web ordering platforms to make ordering promotional items even easier as they allow companies like ours to display our client’s logos on actual in stock merchandise in real time.

Why is that green? The number one question we get is how is a logo going to look on X item.

In the far past the only way to address this question was to develop a spec sample, i.e to run one item to serve as a sample for the hundreds of, say, coffee mugs to follow. Today we often run .pdf proofs instead of spec samples, but there are still thousands of spec samples being done in our industry.

The problem is that to run something even as simple as one mug spec sample is the same process as running 10,000 mugs. We use the same big machines, same screens, same setup but all that work and energy produce only one item.

It is like using a bulldozer to plant a single flower bulb in your front yard.

Plus we then need to send that sample via post to wherever our client might be, and most of the time it is a rush so that item is going via overnight delivery inside the belly of a plane. So that is more energy wasted.

At that point – it seems more often than not – the client says something like, “oh I don’t like that, let me see it on the $0.99 beer koozie instead”, and we start the whole thing over again.

The idea of an order platform is that your brand is preloaded into the database such that you can see what the product looks like without the guess work.

For that reason these portals have also proven a great time saver for clients as an asset for ordering, planning and budgeting when they are considering promotional products.

And portals can be customized to show only the items you wish to see as each site is for an individual client, not a mass info page like an online catalog might be.

This allows a company or organization to develop one online platform with centralized control for all their many offices or departments. Again saving time and cost, all of which equals saving energy.

For examples of this new tool see our shop for the City of Plano, Live Green program (currently set for both eco and non eco goods).

Building and maintaining an order portal is cheap for what the client gets. Proforma Green charges only $50 per month and we waive that fee for charities, 501-3Cs and other civil organizations. Another cool aspect of order portals from Creative Merchandise is that they can be turned into full blown customer stores if needed with just a little custom work.

If your in the marketing or promo business, please contact Jason Walker at jason@creativemerch.com for more information on this concept or visit Creative Merchandise online at www.creativemerchandise.com.

If you need a order portal to make ordering for your business or organization simpler, contact us at info@proformagreen.com

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