Priority Envelope News

3 Just-in-Case Questions to Ask Your Envelope Supplier

Posted on by

This is Part 1 of a 4-part series on the benefits of a strategic supplier. Read More: Part 2: Why You Need an Innovative Supplier | Part 3: How a Strategic Supplier Saves Money | Part 4: How Strategic Suppliers Are Insurance Policies for Success


A customer came to us in a panic late one Friday afternoon – they had run out of envelopes ahead of their Saturday deadline. Even worse, it was Easter weekend, when most suppliers were shut down.

Priority Envelope was there to help. We rallied our team and had their envelopes ready for pickup by 1 p.m. Saturday, ensuring our customer met their deadline.

This story illustrates the importance of working with a strategic envelope supplier. Where many suppliers view every job as merely transactional, a strategic supplier views themselves as a collaborative long-term partner – a problem-solver who has your back through thick and thin.

Ensure smooth operations and prevent disaster by asking the following three questions before you commit to an envelope supplier.

1. What Are Your Response and Turnaround Times?

Strategic suppliers are highly responsive and, as the previous example shows, capable of rapid turnaround times.

They don’t consider relationships transactional, and they don’t merely sell envelopes – they sell solutions to your problems. If there’s a printing snafu or you run out of envelopes, they’ll bail you out. They’re not just suppliers, they’re project managers and consultants, providing value-added solutions such as design support for envelopes and packaging.

Strategic suppliers work to meet your deadlines. If you call on a Friday and need it by Saturday, they’ll do what they can to make it happen. Transactional suppliers, on the other hand, will likely say they can’t even start until Monday – take it or leave it.

Strategic suppliers are:

  • Quick to respond, quote, and turn
  • Project managers and consultants
  • Long-term partners

2. Will You Do Short Runs?

A strategic supplier prioritizes all their customers, no matter their size. Small businesses and boutiques often struggle to find suppliers who will do short runs. Even larger companies find it difficult to get suppliers to devote attention to small jobs, and some suppliers won’t take on projects below a certain volume.

Even when they agree to small runs, transactional suppliers base their commitments on the size of the deal. Strategic suppliers provide white glove service for every customer and every project.

When it comes to support, a strategic supplier doesn’t distinguish between a 1,000-piece and 5-million-piece order. They are here to serve your needs and you can expect preferential treatment at any volume.

Strategic suppliers:

  • Treat all customers equally
  • Provide white glove service
  • Are happy to do short runs

3. How Do You Apply Your Experience to Support Customers?

Experience matters. It lends suppliers the insights to make strategic recommendations. A supplier who has been in the business for 20 years, for example, has seen it all: if you have a question, someone in their building knows the answer.

An experienced supplier understands their customers’ needs and can solve problems quickly. They’re willing to leverage their resources – such as shipping jobs between their facilities – to expand their customers’ capabilities or meet tight deadlines. The top strategic suppliers have dedicated account management teams and have even won awards for their customer support.

Tell your supplier what you’re trying to do, and they’ll figure out how to get it done. They can develop unique, creative solutions to your problems with personalized, detailed attention that makes you feel valued. In short, you can trust a strategic supplier to have your best interest at heart.

Strategic suppliers:

  • Have the experience and wisdom to solve problems quickly
  • Know and understand their customers
  • Provide dedicated customer support

Lots of suppliers will take your business, but few will truly take an interest in your success. If you want a partner who will help you overcome challenges, solve demanding problems, and achieve your long-term business goals, you need a strategic supplier.

This is Part 1 of a 4-part series on the benefits of a strategic supplier. 

Leave a Reply