The Client: Wipfli LLP
More than 60,000 clients across a wide range of industries trust Wipfli with accounting services and business advising. Wipfli’s nonprofit practice provides critical regulation information to nonprofit organizations around the country through in-depth, multi-day training sessions.
The Challenge: How can you efficiently store, assemble, and distribute training material for dozens of training events throughout the year and across the country?
When clients rely on you for training that’s vital to their success, the training itself has to be as close to perfect as possible. For the nonprofit group at Wipfli, having exceptional trainers deliver information accurately and effectively is crucial for a successful training event.
But it takes a lot more than that.
Amy Almond, a manager in Wipfli’s nonprofit practice, leads a team of half a dozen staff who help Wipfli trainers plan and execute events.
“A big part of what we do is help make sure our training attendees have everything they need when it comes to printed material and other items,” she says.
Here’s a sampling of what she’s talking about:
- Registration packets unique to each attendee that include a nametag, name tent, training information, and marketing materials
- Wipfli-branded giveaways
- Reference books used for specific training sessions
So how does a company handle the printing, assembling, and distribution for all of these materials?
Wipfli discovered that taking on their fulfillment needs in-house took people away from higher-value activities.
The challenges that came with in-house fulfillment
“We had a staffing challenge.”
Wipfli’s fulfillment needs weren’t consistent from one week to the next. Amy says it was difficult to know the best approach for handling the workload spikes a week or two before a training event.
It wasn’t practical to hire more employees for the intermittent demands of event packing. Yet hiring temps each time was expensive—and so was pulling staff from other projects to help assemble packets.
And it wasn’t ideal for trainers to get called in to help. “We wanted our trainers out training, not stuffing binders.” Enabling Wipfli team members to focus on high-value, core priorities was critical.
“We had a space challenge.”
Wipfli stored all their event material on site and also used their office space to assemble training packets. But Amy says that even for smaller training events, keeping all the items organized became “tedious.”
And for the larger events? It was a major undertaking. Amy explains they would set up numerous tables in an assembly-line fashion to put training kits together, a process that could take up to a week.
And then there were the projectors and sound systems. “Renting equipment like that for every event is just not cost-effective,” says Amy.
But purchasing it wasn’t a simple solution either. “Where were we going to store all of the equipment going out two or three times a month to different places?”
“We were shipping office essentials to events.”
Wipfli also had to complete certain printing tasks at the event site.
That meant sending admin staff to events for support and shipping label makers, portable printers, and computers.
“We’d then unpack it all and do the same coming back.” But even with a hardworking team of detail-oriented staff, Amy says, it was still a cumbersome process and was taking team members away from valuable activities like serving clients.
Changing Wipfli’s overall process would allow them to expand their training capacity.
The Solution: Using Thysse for comprehensive fulfillment services
Wipfli does a phenomenal job of developing training materials that are informative, professional-looking, and valuable for attendees to get the most out of a training event—even long after it’s over.
Yet when it came to getting those materials to every event, Thysse saw an opportunity for Wipfli to:
- Streamline their process for better efficiency
- Save on labor costs
- Keep their team focused on developing and delivering the best training events possible
Thysse had already been supporting the nonprofit practice at Wipfli by printing event signage and marketing materials.
As we began to understand the magnitude—and the challenges—of the nonprofit practice’s efforts, we explained we could take on more and more of the printing, storage, and fulfillment they were doing in-house.
Solving the staffing challenge
We developed a system where Wipfli fills out a user-friendly fulfillment form to indicate exactly what they need for every training event.
Now, rather than an in-house, all-hands-on-deck effort, Thysse’s own dedicated team of fulfillment specialists assemble everything and ship it out for just-in-time arrival.
Solving the space challenge
Thysse provides customized storage and fulfillment services with our 8,000-square-foot fulfillment center and 750-square-foot pick-and-pack assembly area.
For Wipfli’s nonprofit practice, we now print, store, assemble, and ship nearly every single event item they need.
We also keep track of Wipfli’s inventory so they always have what they need on hand.
Solving event site issues and bringing new solutions to the table
How can Wipfli make sure we handle important event details like getting each nametag exactly right for every attendee’s packet?
Wipfli exports their attendee list from their registration system and sends it directly to us. In fact, it’s a process that even allows us to do last-batch printing and shipping for late registrations. No portable printers or admin staff necessary!
Trainers and event attendees need more than printed material for a successful training event. Projectors and sound systems are essential. Rather than have Wipfli handle the storage and shipping for all that equipment, Thysse now does those tasks for them.
Yet that still doesn’t cover everything.
To meet the needs—and wants—of training attendees, Wipfli leaves no stone unturned. So to help beat the mid-afternoon malaise at training events, Wipfli provides candy and snacks, and even stress-relieving squishies as giveaways.
With all the critical training details Wipfli focuses on, do they really need to worry about remembering the candy?
No. Thysse stores and ships it all for them, including branded squishies and candy dishes.
The Results: Expanding training capacity by 3X
Today, the Wipfli nonprofit practice holds more than 50 training events and booths a year, including the Wipfli National Training Conference in Las Vegas, which attracts more than 1,000 attendees each year.
Because so many of the tasks formerly handled in-house are now taken on by Thysse, Amy says it’s allowed her group to focus more on actual training.
In fact, she estimates that Thysse’s fulfillment support has allowed the Wipfli nonprofit practice to triple its training capacity.
The success the nonprofit practice enjoys by using Thysse’s fulfillment services is getting company-wide attention. “Other divisions at Wipfli are starting to take notice. They want to know how they can achieve the kind of success we’re having,” says Amy.
Proud to play a part in Wipfli’s mission: Helping nonprofits succeed
Amy says their nonprofit clients do vital work. “They save lives. They feed and educate children. They make communities stronger.”
When Wipfli trains nonprofits on critical regulation information, they do more than help these organizations save time and money. They help them use their scarce resources wisely to carry out their missions more effectively.
Without Thysse’s fulfillment support, Amy says, “Wipfli simply could not provide the dozens of high-quality trainings we deliver to people around the country.”