As we know, operating a retail business of any kind and size requires, among many things, tight control of costs. This means careful oversight in merchandising, in-store operations, finance management, and many other areas.
However, there is one production area that seems to be overlooked at times, although it significantly impacts the success of sales—creative operations. In this case, time to market does not refer to deadlines attributed to warehousing logistics but, instead, the time to assure that promotional materials—flyers, newspaper inserts, direct mail, POS, and others—arrive on time to reach customers and meet their production requirements. As many advertising departments have moved in-house, the attention to detail is even more critical.
It seems that deadlines are always met, despite frantic last-minute changes, corrections, or timetables. While manual systems, and reliance on very loyal employees seem to always produce on time, there are more efficient and less expensive ways of getting there.
How can we do things better, and positively impact the bottom line?