PromoStandards: Here’s Why the Hell You Should Care


For years now, the industry has heard the term “PromoStandards” and responses range from: oh-my-god-this-is-amazing …. to …. huh-so-what?

For the oh-my-god-this-is-amazing group, consider this:

66% of all purchase orders today are submitted by distributors to suppliers with either missing information or incorrect information. Let’s put this in perspective: 

Distributor: Of the 10 orders you’ll turn in to a supplier today -all of which have critical in-hand dates- 6 of them will be wrong and it’s largely your fault. 

The cruel irony that the root cause of your f’d up orders are largely due to missing or incorrect information from you is a bitter pill to swallow. 

Mis-information means orders are either immediately on-hold, sitting in a pile, awaiting your response (while the clock ticks and deadlines loom), or, orders are produced with errors from your instructions.

Which, of course, leads to pissed off customers. Which costs both suppliers and distributors real money and ultimately, clients. 

You already know this. 

But if you’re still in the huh-so-what? category:

I’m going to try and explain Promostandards with the simplest example because I’m not a tech guy; I’m a promo guy, who now works for a badass tech company, but my craft is in words and ideas so, for all my fellow promo nerds, here’s an analogy: 

There are an estimated 6,500 languages spoken in the world today. Imagine for a moment a meeting where a representative from all 6,500 languages are around one table trying to solve a major world crisis and you are one of those representatives. What’s more, the solution is right there, in front of you, within grasp. You see it, know it, but you can’t share it because you can’t understand the person next to you, nor the other 6,499 people around the table. Suddenly, someone invents a device that automatically translates everyone’s different language into one simple language. They set the device in the middle of the table and you begin to understand one another immediately. Instead of spending all your time clarifying or fixing misunderstandings due to the language problem, you can now get on to the task of solving world problems. 

Crazy example? Consider this:

Though we don’t have 6,500 different languages in our industry, we do have over 3,000 suppliers, each with their own specs (run charges, fees, product options, etc) and over 30,000 distributors all trying to decipher this info and then process orders through hundreds of thousands of transactions, daily. 

We have the equivalent of a worldwide language problem and PromoStandards is that device in the middle of the table.

You can see how quickly a device like this does eliminate 66% of the industry’s problems due to misinformation. 


I don’t have to explain to you how suppliers spend an ungodly amount of time solving order problems that are unnecessary, nor (for suppliers and distributors) how gaining this time back will reduce your operating overhead, allow you to sell more, and potentially double the size of your business and our whole damn industry.

We are on the cusp of a tectonic shift in our industry’s productivity where we will all soon spend more time selling solutions rather than babysitting orders.

$24 billion in industry sales? Pfffft. Let’s not settle, shall we?

$50 billion. 

Now is the time.  

In this series on Promostandards, were not going to talk about what could be, we’re going to share what you need to do to start doing now to turn tomorrow’s dream into today’s reality. 

In our next post, we’ll discuss what suppliers can do to start making a connected workflow and receive perfect orders, and in a subsequent post, what distributors can do to help. 

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