Supply Chain Solutions Help Complex, Dynamic Learning Kits Hit Their Target | Education
Educational publishing company fulfills kit distribution and grows market share via RRD economies of scale
A leading provider of early learning solutions sought to launch a dynamic educational kit for Pre-K and Kindergarten educators. The kit provided a comprehensive set of print materials and manipulatives (items to develop fine motor skills, such as puzzles, tape measures, flashlights, etc.), but needed a global partner to develop an end-to-end solution including all packaging, materials, and kitting and assembly. The company also sought ways to optimize the kit into a more intuitive, user-friendly design.
Additionally, the client was looking for ways to expand its market share — including manufacturing children’s book library sets — and needed a partner with the capabilities and scale to support these growth initiatives.
Finally, in order to reduce their dependence on existing supplier relationships, the brand wanted to expand their manufacturing footprint beyond China. They also hoped to create some competitive tension and redundancy in their supply chain.
A previously established relationship led the client to trust RRD’s ability to optimize this project and facilitate economies of scale. Tapping into RRD’s global network and supply chain efficiencies, the client worked alongside RRD to first re-design the educational kits into a sophisticated slant box construction, allowing for a more streamlined curriculum organization and educator ease-of-use.
Establishing new opportunities to add supplemental elements to the education kits, RRD researched different manipulatives for various skills, identified manufacturers, coordinated all appropriate safety testing, and provided samples to be tested and approved. RRD additionally facilitated on-demand print needs, and managed the production of two dozen manipulatives and print items manufactured in separate locations, all while aligning with the client’s target budget.
When the brand’s existing kitting facility reached capacity, RRD was established as an ad hoc kitting partner, assisting with the fulfillment of an additional 100,000 units. Tapping into a vast global network of production facilities, RRD helped the brand navigate supply chain issues faced in China by delegating production to multiple auxiliary sites.
The client has been very happy with the solution developed with RRD and the kits are proving to be a success with their clients. Client leadership has already authorized a second order of the kits, and a third order may be necessary due to demand.
In their continued partnership, RRD now manages all of the brand’s packaging and kitting for non-core curriculum kits. RRD also facilitates their smaller, ad hoc commercial printing efforts with an ability to produce smaller runs, which existing suppliers in China weren’t able to do.
RRD is establishing a contract with the client, including human resources to best manage the partnership. The brand has since developed additional sub kits, international kits, and new curriculums, expanding their market share as intended. As the company continues to experience growth via acquisition, RRD’s opportunities to support this growth increase.