Four tips for sourcing promotional merchandising


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WFA research has identified four tips that help advertisers procure promotional merchandising material more effectively and efficiently.

Based on 20 responses from the global Communications Purchasing Action Group working group, the responses provide some key pointers for brands looking to improve the way they source promotional merchandising.

More than a third of respondents spend less than $10m globally while more than a quarter spend more than $100m. Just under half expected their spend to stay the same in 2012 with around a quarter expecting budgets to increase.

1. Match global and local requirements: 30% of respondents use a local supplier model, with a similar number adopting a hybrid global/local agency approach.
Brands need to identify what is appropriate for each level of the organisation to order. Even local-sourcing focused companies sometimes used regional suppliers for key regional activity. Others adopted a model where standard items are procured centrally but one-offs are left to the local markets.

2. Ensure clarity in the supply chain: Internally you should optimise the number of suppliers by clustering the needs of marketing where possible and create an online e-catalogue that marketing teams are incentivised to use. Be aware that local teams who want to be innovators can derail regional opportunities to leverage scale.

3. Determine the optimum number of suppliers: Respondents commonly felt that an excessive number of suppliers and the frequency of custom requests generated inefficiencies within their merchandising programmes. More than 60% of respondents feel they have too many suppliers and too many custom requests.

4. Be aware of PR concerns: Negative PR around using low-cost labour in fast-developing markets can seriously impact on corporate reputations. Brands need to ensure the manufacturing meets your standards of social responsibility

For more information on the results of the survey please contact Steve Lightfoot at or visit the WFA's Global Knowledge Base.

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