3 reasons your display program is going over budget


Running a display program is both challenging and rewarding, however financial challenges can happen at any point of the project. Starting with defining the goals, reviewing concepts and managing the logistics we delve into what can lead into unexpected expenses and knowing your options when you have.



Understanding the volume needed is critical to maximizing your ROI.


Let’s put that into perspective. For example, manufacturing 500 units versus 100, opens up a variety of cost saving opportunities beyond economies of scale, from material options to manufacturing techniques. All that can save that critical green! From expanding beyond stock options to exploring injection molding for mass production. 

Being conservative with your quantity not only can narrow the creative potential of the display but also increase the cost per unit.


Another pitfall of under ordering is the effect it has on cost and timeline. For example, the initial order is for 500 units but a new order comes in for an additional 100. Depending on when the second was processed, the production order is smaller, leading to a higher cost per unit and production will take another 4 – 8 weeks. Wouldn’t it have been easier to order 600 or 700 units, bringing the overall cost of the program down without any production delays?


 But there’s a need for balance, make sure you’re accounting for all potential needs, and work with your display partner to ensure that storage needs are talked about. The last thing you want to be hit with is a large storage fee that wasn’t budgeted for (see hidden fees section). 


Here are a few tips to think about regarding forecasting your needs:


TIP: While developing the parameters for the project, think about the potential life cycle of the display. How long will it be in the field? 6 months, 1 year, 3 years? Can the display with updated or refreshed easily for different promotions? Will you be adding additional retailers and how soon



Finding the right balance between a structurally sound design and an over engineered monstrosity.


Engineering and design work hand in hand. If one is lacking in execution, the whole project could fall apart. Especially when we’re talking about potentially dangerous displays out in the field. It’s a lawsuit in the making, not to mention scary when it’s life threatening.

But there’s a fine balance between engineering for stability and safety versus excessive engineering because it can. Does it need that extra bracket? Can it be supported with 4 legs instead of 5? Should you use wood, metal or plastic? And what kind of fasteners hold the entire display together. 

While you’re taking stock of the parts and pieces that make up your display, keep a close eye on those 1-offs. For example, does that 1 part only work in a specific scenario? How often does that scenario come up? Can another part be reengineered to also work, replacing the need for a 1-off? Remember a custom display is built from scratch. To maximize the flexibility of your program, provide the design/engineering team with as many scenarios for the life of the display program up front. This will reduce the need for reengineering and reduce your development costs as well.

Work with you display partner to make sure every support feature is accounted for and has a purpose. If not, you may be paying for unnecessary material, assembly, storage, etc… 




Preparing for the unexpected expense before it wrecks your numbers.


Here’s the part everyone fears… the dreaded hidden fees. Not the microscopic 2 point font type at the bottom of a contract, but the expenses that weren’t accounted for at the start of the project. 

Beyond the actual display itself, there’s more costs associated with getting the display into the stores. So not accounting for them in the beginning is doing a serious disservice to the project and of course, budget.

Here’s a few items to tack onto the budget:

  • Packaging: Some display agencies add this to the cost of the display program but packaging is typically 10% of the overall display costs. But shipping methods and KD vs fully assembled will also factor into the proper packaging. The last thing you want is to skimp on packaging and have your entire investment break during shipment. 
  • Shipping Method: Is it UPS-able or does it need to ship via truck (ltl or a full load). Talk to your display and retail partners to understand how the units need to arrive. And review shipping rate with your preferred shipping agency. For the first shipment, get a quote from your preferred freight company vs your display partner’s so determine who gets the best rates. 
  • Storage: From our experience, display programs rarely ship their entire program all at once. 


We hope our insights help you stay in budget.


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