5 Tools That Can Make Your Gift Card Fulfillment Program More Efficient

by Marisa Cogan

If you are a B2S cardgift card manager, you know what an undertaking it can be to keep your retail locations stocked with cards – it can be a full time job within itself. But it doesn’t have to be. With help from the right card fulfillment company, you can substantially cut down the number of hours you devote each week to managing your B2S (business-to-store) card program. The key is finding a vendor that offers tools that simplify the process. In this article, we’ll take a look at five options that can make your B2S gift card fulfillment program a lot easier to manage.

Easy ordering for your stores

Ordering cards should be easy. Work with a vendor that offers an online ordering platform so that your store managers can order cards directly from the fulfillment house when they need them, and at their convenience – any time day or night. A custom branded site with simple page navigation works best, as the simplicity will save time, prevent erroneous orders and help your store associates feel comfortable with their (new) ordering responsibility.

Administrative Controls

Now that you have placed the ordering responsibility in the hands of your stores, you will have more time to devote to your other job responsibilities. However, you will still need to set-up and administer the program and manage inventory levels – tasks that become much easier with the help of your fulfillment vendor. With a B2S management platform, you can have the ability to administer access controls, establish quantity and ordering limits and set permissions. Inventory alerts and reporting should accompany your dashboard of capabilities to round out a seamless fulfillment program.

Flexibility

Card programs can get complex quickly, especially when you are working with multiple card types, brands, or designs. You’ll want to work with a vendor that offers flexibility when designing your fulfillment program. They should be experienced in fulfilling complex card orders with variable quantities and have a stellar track record of doing this type of work. Accuracy and on-time-delivery will be the most important aspects of your program and if you select a vendor that is not good in these areas, you’ll know almost immediately. A vendor that can work within your specifications will be the best choice. If you need a two-day fulfillment turnaround and the vendor gives you some push back at the request, it is more than likely that they will struggle to meet your expectations month after month.

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Inventory Management

Managing your inventory is key to running a successful fulfillment program that will make everyone happy. If your program includes three card types, four distinct brands and ten different card designs, inventory management becomes complicated quickly. Your card fulfillment vendor should provide inventory tracking that provides real-time reporting, or at the very least, weekly reports with a snapshot of your inventory levels. They should also alert you when inventory get tights and make suggestions for replenishment levels. This will prevent your stores from running out of the more popular cards.

End-to-End Fulfillment

Some retailers like the option of having one vendor that provides it all – from card production through distribution – this reduces the opportunity for errors and improves turnaround times. Also, a vendor with a quality management system that verifies every card that leaves the facility is a must if you want to sleep peacefully at night.

Having these types of options will improve efficiency, and ultimately allow your company to reap the financial rewards of keeping gift cards stocked and available in stores. Your B2S card fulfillment vendor should serve as your partner and help guide you through the entire process – from set-up through to shipping and beyond.

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