Case Study: High Volume Pick & Pack Campaign
In the spring of 2012, we worked on an excuting pick & pack (multiple choice) campaign, in which consumers could select any 5 items from a combination of six product samples and six coupons featured on a website. Our role was to fulfill 100,000 packages with contents varying by consumer selections, while working to ensure the highest possible rate of delivery within a given timeframe.
Like all effective sampling projects, there was significant project planning at all levels. From our perspective, we were involved in:
- the physical design of a presentation box, ensuring it met the criteria for the Dimensional – Small product, while still maintaining the structural integrity that kept it looking great when it arrived in the consumer’s mailbox.
- developing a data strategy to ensure that all packages were delivered within the specified timeframe, and at the best possible postage costs
- ensuring that we had processes in place to manage all facets of the project, delivering the right items to the right consumers
Design of Presentation Box
After reviewing a variety of sample box designs from other campaigns, the client opted to go with a high-end presentation box.
The first step was to design a mock-up that would house the mix of sample products representing the largest physical volume – and to keep this within the Dimensional – Small size. Interestingly, if the piece had been mailed as Dimensional – Large, it would have increased overall postage by about $12,500.
The dimensions and design characteristics were forwarded to the box manufacturer for construction of a prototype, prior to making the die for the boxes. After the physical design was approved and finalized, the die line was sent to the graphic designers, who created the final look for the packaging.
Delivery Logistics and Data Analysis
As noted in section 5 of this document, delivery times can have a dramatic impact on sampling programs. As this project had a stated timeline of 4 – 6 weeks for delivery, it made sense to fulfill requests from the furthest destinations first.
Once the website went live, we began to recieve data at regular intervals. Upon receipt, we analyzed the mix of selected products and coupons, along with the geographic distribution. As expected, there were some commonalities that allowed us to segment streams, mailing to some of the furthest destinations first, without affecting postage costs. Not only did this help to keep overall postage costs below budget, it also helped in our efforts to meet all delivery times.
Package Assembly and Selection of Contents
This was a complex project, with a combination of over 500,000 product samples and 600,000 coupons to draw from. To be successful we recognized that:
- All consumers needed to receive the selected mix of product samples and coupons
- Assembly workers would need ongoing station replenishment so that there would not be any work stoppages in production
- We would require an orderly flow of work-in-process and finished items staged for shipping
To simplify the assembly process, we used custom stations that had separate bins for each of the product samples and slots for each type of coupon. Additionally, every piece was coded with a combination of the letters A – F and the digits 1 – 6, representing to the selected combination of samples and coupons.
A key part of the assembly process included filling the presentation boxes with the requested items. All of the boxes were pre-built and delivered to the final assembly stations along with product samples and coupons, ensuring that there were no stoppages in production.
Once addressed and assembled, the packages were sealed with a two-inch round wafer seal. We went with a non-perfed seal so the package would not accidentally split open during assembly or transit.
Projects like this are very exciting. We are firm believers in the value of product sampling and enjoy being part of a process that helps our clients win new customers and maintain customer loyalties.
As you might expect, the campaign itself was highly successful, and we were thrilled to be a part of such an exciting and innovative sampling project. From our perspetive, the key to this success was a careful blance of rapid production and quality assurance, making sure that the right items were shipped to the right consumers, within the specified timeframe.