Promotional Products Distributors should go with all-in-one suppliers

After 2 years of trying, i/we have been unsuccessful in convincing the behemoths (sanmar and Broder) on our ‘one-invoice’ system. Thus, I would encourage PPDs to go with the all-in-one suppliers like Ash City, Charles River Apparel and Gemline.  I feel sanmar/broder will keep giving it ‘lip service’ to keep you around but in the end, they will not likely provide a simple solution.  Its partly the PPDs fault, you don’t want to change your legacy systems and no one can consume your data in a meaningful way.  And, large PPD consortiums probably can’t change their systems to transmit logo information effectively so the best solution is having someone else be responsible for entering it.  Contract embroiderers (like us) in the end won’t take all the responsibility and you’ll forever be stuck communicating back and forth between a contract embroidery company and the blank apparel distributors.  You can free up your time and the all-in-one supplier will not only re-type your fax type PO but they’ll gladly take responsibility if the order is done incorrectly.  You don’t really have a choice long term.  Right now you’re scrounging around looking for a small decorator to do your work for little compensation and huge risk so you can save a few bucks by ordering a K500, D100 or 5180.  Eventually, you’ll run out of these suppliers as you dump them with the first mistake and convince the next poor chump you’ll give them a lot of business if you do this ‘favor order’ of 6 pieces which bills out at a whopping $20.  Then you’ll get the $20 invoice and wait until they call you 4 times to pay it.  why?  Why are you wasting your time?  call up ash city or better yet, just fax them your archaic PO and they’ll handle it.  Now you’re done to do more selling.

Obviously, my jaded experience showed through above and that’s only because we’ve spent a couple years trying to solve this problem but customers (PPDs) and suppliers (blank apparel distributors) don’t want to change.  There are good reasons for both not wanting to change and I get it.  I’m stubborn and don’t want to admit it but I understand and am giving up the fight for an integrated way to purchase embroidered and screenprinted apparel.  If BDA and Vernon aren’t using Ash City exclusively in the next year or so, they are plain crazy…….OR they should start decorating.  Otherwise the decorators will start distributing;)