October '21

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 1 O C T O B E R G R A P H I C S P R O 9 3 • Accept pre-orders ahead of the shop- ping season for easier demand planning. • Incentivize be- havior that offloads strain. For example, ordering online (you don't need to waste time on the phone) and picking up in-store (you don't need to handle shipping). • Educate consumers early about changes they may experience this year. Start telling clients they should be thinking about holi- day cards/announce- ments/gifts earlier than usual. • Use your data and business intel- ligence tools to predict sources of delay across your supply chain and be transparent with your customers. • Get ahead of in- ventory planning and allocation. Cre- ate a communication strategy that is early and delivers the right messaging. TIPS FOR SUCCESS with it every day, so we know — we can tell, and we made the switch." For Master Magnetics Inc., a manufac- turer and distributor of magnets and mag- netic devices based in Colorado, continual communication with customers is key to ensuring they have the most up-to-date information and can react accordingly, says Jeff Calomino, magnetic solutions sales manager. "With the wide range of products and services we provide, we are constantly looking for creative custom solutions to meet our customers' needs," he says. "For example, one of the most valuable services we provide is our custom cutting and slit- ting capabilities for magnetic flexible and receptive material. Recently, because of these abilities, we were able to use prod- uct that was available and complete a big job for a new customer in just a matter of days. This job required us to make an exceptional number of cuts of vari- ous widths and lengths. In the end, our customer was able to meet a very tight deadline and came in under budget re- sulting in a very satisfied client." STAYING AHEAD OF THE GAME As manufacturers and distributors work through various supply chain constraints, global manufacturers like Magnosphere recommend customers place open orders as soon as possible to obtain a final locked price and minimize the effects of fluctuat- ing cost increases. Likewise, if product materials need to be substituted, then maintaining open lines of communication is key. A graphics shop must know if a substitute product is compatible with their printers and ink or stands up to consumer use like the previ- ous material. Just as graphics professionals expect transparency from manufacturers and suppliers during these unprecedented supply chain woes, they must be equally transparent with consumers about realistic turnaround times and what can be done with available materials. GP STEFANIE GALEANO-ZALUTKO is the president/ CEO of Zalutko Business Services of Central Florida. She can be reached at

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