How we coordinated nationwide marketing material distribution

How we coordinated nationwide marketing material distribution

May 2017 - Aug 2017
How we coordinated nationwide marketing material distribution

Project results





Project Objectives

This project involved designing a process for 200 campus chapters to be able to order materials from 15 different suppliers in different quantities and then deliver these orders across the country.

The key objectives included:

  • Design a process to coordinate the production, ordering and distribution of marketing materials
  • Successfully run the process for the first time
  • Update the process and train others to do it in the future

Project Execution

Strategic and Business Management

Campus chapters did not previously have a clear, centralized or coordinated way to obtain the resources and materials they needed to market that year's opportunities.  They had to seek out how to obtain these resources.  Many chapters never received what they needed and may not have even been aware of what was available.

The design and production of marketing materials were segmented and mostly built on a "do what we did last year" methodology.  We wanted to change this to take a holistic marketing approach but needed to get everyone on the same team before teaching them to play as a team.

Technical Project Management

The leaders of the campus chapters and the sponsors for the opportunities were the key stakeholders.  We needed both to be engaged at the right times for the project to be successful.  This meant managing communication along a number of channels.

Baselining scope, schedule and cost went quickly once we were able to identify all the opportunities.  However, once we got into executing the project, there were many change requests in these areas that required significant monitoring and controlling.

Procurement for the production of the materials was also my responsibility.  Due to time and already established agreements, we used multiple vendors the first year.


At the outset of this project, I was a sponsor for one of the opportunities producing marketing materials.  I saw that I had no system to support chapters across the country, and neither did anyone else.  I took on the project not because I was asked by leadership but because there was a problem that needed solving.

This meant I didn't have any power to implement change but only Influence.  I personally called all the other sponsors and took the time to understand their context.  When they knew I understood their goals, resources, process and obstacles, they were willing to trust me in finding a solution.  I welcomed their feedback, knowing that "we" would create a better solution than "I" would.


This project was a good example of overestimating what you can do in one year but underestimating what you can do in three.  I learned to take baby steps in the process, making improvements each year.  I had to force myself to go slow and do what I knew could be metabolized by the organization at that moment.

Project Outcomes

The project was a success and created new processes for the future. I helped lead it the following year to facilitate some key improvements and then trained someone to take it the following year.

After the first year, we were able to source the printing to a single vendor and see major gains in economy of scale. This resulted in significant cost savings as well as simplifying the process. Before the first year, no one had ever looked at the aggregate cost of what we printed across all the opportunities.  Needless to say, it shocked a few leaders.  

As I passed the project on in the third year, we were able to help implement a marketing review process.  This was one of my goals from the beginning, but I knew if the marketing department came in and said, "We need to review your marketing strategy," there would be pushback.  However, when it was contexted in "Let's help you with the materials," then they could make a suggestion like, "Did you know you could do this digitally?" and it would feel like a gift.

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