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Breastfeeding Aid Sales Program

by Brenda Glover
Administrator, Breastfeeding Aid Sales Program
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 38 No. 6, December 2002 - January 2003, p. 134.

Editor's note: The Breastfeeding Aid Sales Program has been discontinued. We are maintaining this article for historical reference.

Historically, the Breastfeeding Aid Sales Program (BASP) has been a part of La Leche League since 1987. The goals of this program are to provide breastfeeding products to mothers in need while raising funds for LLL. There have been 2,318 Leaders who have participated over the years and there are 284 Leaders presently in the program. Throughout its time, many modifications—some not so obvious—have taken place within the BASP. Recent changes have the potential to affect many areas of La Leche League.

Room for Improvement

Traditionally, the program was based on products being sent out on consignment at no cost of shipping to the Leader. This consignment period was open-ended and had no closing date. In some cases, the consignment existed for 15 years. The consignment process created a huge inventory that was virtually impossible to measure or count. Efforts were made to get a more accurate count on inventory in the field, but only moderately successful results were yielded.

Many Leaders are—and still can be—very successful with the BASP. This is especially true for those with access to the breastfeeding community in some form other than through La Leche League meetings. Sometimes this success is achieved by being vigilant with marketing of the LLL Group, following up on every phone call, and including the fact that Medela products are sold as a fundraiser for the Group.

Leaders Take Charge

With the modified BASP, there is no more consignment. In order to simplify the program, all products will now be purchased. In addition, shipping charges are to be paid by the Leader.
Leaders can obtain the products in a couple of different ways. The preferred method is through LLLI’s Order Department at a 70/30 distribution. This maximizes LLL’s fundraising from the BASP. For example, a Leader calls LLLI’s Order Department, states that she is a BASP Leader, and places an order for individual Medela products. Customer Service processes the order with a 30 percent discount. When the Leader receives the product in about five business days, she charges the client full retail price plus shipping and handling. The Group then realizes 30 percent income from the sale. If the Leader charges more than the suggested retail price for the product, the profit will increase.

Another way Leaders can purchase products is by becoming a Medela Rental Station (many Leaders already are) or a Medela Retail Outlet. The Rental Station requires Leaders to purchase or rent pumps. The Retail Outlet requires a Leader who is new to the BASP to purchase a "starting" inventory. This requirement is waived for Leaders already in the program as they already have the beginning of an inventory. Becoming a Retail Outlet allows a Leader to purchase a quantity of Medela products directly from Medela at 50 percent discount. If a Leader/Group can prepay orders from Medela, there are no shipping costs.

For Leaders presently in the program who are trying to determine what to do with the inventory in their possession, there are three options available: sell the products; transfer the products (e.g., to a depot); or return the products to LLLI. If one of these actions has not already been taken, please do so immediately.
Some Leaders who were successful at marketing and selling Medela products under the previous guidelines of the program will now operate as depots. These depots will help facilitate the reduction of inventory quickly. Leaders can work with depots or depots can find Leaders to work with them.

Although there are some changes in Breastfeeding Aid Sales Program, the original purpose of the program remains the same: to continue making Medela products available to mothers who may need them and continue to raise funds for LLL. Under this revised plan, everyone is accountable for her own portion of the project, and everyone shares in the success and achievement as the BASP moves forward.

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