Tri-C Publications, Inc. publishes the Summer Skills series of educational review books for students in pre-k through high school. Since its inception in 1991 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the company has sent millions of students back to school with stronger skills and more confidence. From the start, Foremost Graphics has printed all of the Summer Skills books (nearly 50 titles), plus sample books and other supporting materials.
Facing increased demand, Tri-C’s founders needed more space to house their operations. They considered building or purchasing a new facility to handle the expanded inventory and distribution needs. Yet because of the seasonal nature of the product—with 97 percent of orders fulfilled in May, June and July—the need for additional space was uneven. For nine months of the year, a larger building would be underutilized.
Thanks to our close business relationship, Foremost Graphics understood Tri-C’s business needs and proposed an alternate solution: We invited Tri-C to contract with us for comprehensive order fulfillment services.
That’s why today, in addition to printing the Summer Skills books, we also store and manage all inventory, receive and ship all orders, field all order-related phone calls, manage all marketing and advertising, and manage Tri-C’s postage and UPS rates to achieve maximum discounts. Foremost Graphics essentially serves as Tri-C’s offsite manufacturing and distribution division, complete with customer service and marketing communications functions.
This innovative integrated solution allows Tri-C to expand and contract operations without adding seasonal staff or dedicated warehouse space. The company maintains a small year-round office and pays us only for the storage and distribution services it needs. Foremost Graphics maintains the expertise on staff that allows us to provide the support Tri-C needs year round, whether sales volumes are heavy or light.
Collaborating as partners, we found a cost- and space-saving solution that makes sense for Tri-C’s business and fits perfectly with Foremost Graphics’ core competencies.