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JLH makes move into fulfillment operations

John Seelmeyer

JLH Inc.

made its name in the direct-mail business, but the company these days thinks equally great opportunity lies in the fulfillment industry.

But not just any part of the fulfillment business.

Sparks-based JLH has invested heavily over recent months to carve a niche for itself in handling orders for companies that ship out advertising specialities and printed materials such as sales brochures.

Most of its competitors in the fulfillment business handle merchandise cash transactions that become complicated.

That would appear to be a simple outgrowth from the mailroom JLH operates, but General Manager Chris Fleiner said last week it’s trickier than it looks.

The big issue, Fleiner said, is management of inventory.

Printed material is notoriously difficult to track in a warehouse what’s a piece here or there? and the problem is compounded with manual tracking systems.

So as it makes its bid to enlarge its fulfillment business, JLH took two steps.

First, it launched last week a new Web-based fulfillment software brand named JLHLogistix.

The system creates storefronts for clients, allowing their customers to place orders that will be filled from the JLH warehouse.

The client can check inventory and tracking information in real time.

Second, to reduce clients’ inventory exposure, JLH fired up a new Hewlett- Packard Indigo printer, a high-speed digital printer that uses ink rather than toner to create offset-quality work.

With the new printer, JLH can receive a fulfillment order for printed materials, then print the number needed each day.

That’s faster than waiting for materials to be delivered from a printer, and it provides better cost control, Fleiner said.

JLH projects that the addition of JLH Logistix will allow the company to grow its billings by 25 percent annually.