[INFOGRAPHIC]: What to consider when selecting vendors for your gift or loyalty card program

by Marisa Cogan

When I joined CPS in July of last year, I did what any new marketing person would do – I asked a lot of questions, scoped out the competition and educated myself on our products, services and target markets.  I quickly discovered that the card industry, along with the companies that supply cards, is very complex.  For a retailer or an association that is looking for a vendor to run their card program, it can be difficult to distinguish the good from the bad.  After all, not all card companies are created equal. Some have a many capabilities, but very little capacity (which is bad if you are looking for a quick turnaround), while others have weak quality control systems, which can come with compromised accuracy.  So what factors should you look at when comparing vendors for your next card project?

Below is our comparison – an “Us vs. Them”, if you will – but you can use this same “checklist” to do your own comparison of other card companies.  Not all categories will be important to your situation, however, this guide can help you ask the right questions to ensure that your program aligns with the card company’s capabilities.

Also, below are some questions you may want to ask your card vendor:

  • How many production facilities do you have?
  • Where are they located?  And will their location save me time and money when shipping my product?
  • Do you have a back-up facility in case of emergency?
  • What is your production capacity?
  • How quickly can you turn around my project?
  • What type of lead time do you need?
  • How many associates will I work with to complete my project?
  • Can I work with one person throughout my project?
  • What services do you offer?
  • Do you manage everything in-house or will you outsource my project?
  • Do you have a documented quality control process?  How does it work?
  • Do you have camera-verification systems to ensure that my cards are error-free?
  • Who are some of your clients?
  • What is your client retention rate?
  • Can you provide samples of your work?



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