IPC is an international trade association based in the Chicago suburbs that serves manufacturers of printed circuit boards and related components throughout the world. One of its primary functions is to develop and deliver educational and training materials to their members around the globe. In 1998, Lake County Press began providing printing services for the various training manuals and testing materials. Initially, bulk orders were delivered to the organization’s offices and IPC handled order fulfillment to individual members using its own web portal ordering site.
After a few years, we approached the organization with ideas on how it could reduce its internal costs by leveraging our warehousing and fulfillment capabilities. In 2003, we began shipping educational and training materials directly to IPC members from our fulfillment facility. At that time, nearly 1,000 different SKU’s were transferred to LPC’s location, including training manuals, VHS tapes, 3 ring binders, test booklets, CD’s and DVD’s. Since then, we have worked closely with IPC to help them lower the number of products (SKU’s) actually stored in our warehouse and have successfully transferred CD and DVD replication to an on-demand, per order fulfilled item rather than storing them on a shelf. In addition, we have transitioned many of their test booklets and smaller format printed material to print-on-demand (POD) items, allowing IPC additional savings on both their storage and obsolescence costs.
Today, we are in the process of implementing another major cost savings measure for IPC by integrating its web-based ordering system directly into our Pro-Mail Inventory Management system. When executed, it will eliminate the manual process of entering information from hard copy orders that we receive on a daily basis from IPC into our system in order to pull-n-pack and fulfill orders. The entire order entry process will be automated and IPC will see a significant cost savings each month since we will no longer be performing manual data entry on their behalf.