What is Print Management?
Also known as Communications Management, it is the total management of a company’s complete Print and related products requirements – covering all forms of communication (electronic and hard copy), Printed Stationery, Marketing and Direct Mail, Secure Printing and also branded items such as Uniforms, Signage and Building and Vehicle wraps.
The Print Management industry today is multi-faceted. Many are manufacturers looking for additional avenues of revenue to fill their equipment. Some, like EPI, are independent where there are no limitations in availability of latest technology. Furthermore, professional Print Managers provide many other related services such as storage, stock control, distribution, usage history reporting to name a few.
The best independent print managers provide superior levels of service by investing in highly skilled and trained staff with expertise across the vast array of services available in such a diverse industry. Training being vitally important and often overlooked area especially by manufacturers expanding into non-core areas of specialised products and services.
Of vital importance in order to provide a full solution is the latest integrated procurement systems, warehousing, distribution and creative services. Dedicated internal support teams, in addition to the Account Directors and Managers are crucial. The best PM companies also place great importance on supplier relations, and partner with trade only suppliers, while remaining an independently owned print management company.
Clients using Print Management companies have tended to have had difficulty in some or all of the following:
- Brand control – having paid a fortune for branding, only to find it being mutilated both in internal and external use.
- Finding artwork – who ordered the last lot, did we get print ready art or just LowRes proofs (whatever that was all about!), where did we store it (usually in somebody’s inbox using up critical storage space), who did we order from (no purchase order issued).
- Specifications – what are our colours, what stock is it printed on, who else uses this product (usually ending up with multiple orders being placed for the same product).
- Stock control – running out and paying premium prices for rush jobs.
- Ordering large volumes but with nowhere to store it resulting in wasting expensive office space.
- Inability to marry up invoices with quotes.
- Additional costs with reprinting due to lack of print knowledge.
- Intellectual Property being held by multiple printers increasing the risk associated with changing suppliers.
- Bracket creep associated with using regular supplier in an uncompetitive manner.
Spending significant time internally on non-core activities:
- Sourcing prices
- Placing and authorising of multiple orders
- Proofing and sign off of artwork
- Placing and following up on orders
- Creating specifications for requirements
- Dealing with delivery issues
- Managing quality and branding problems
- Locating stock
- Managing urgent orders
- Management of multiple vendors
- Sorting out invoices and possible overcharging.
How Print Management works:
The primary role of a Print Manager is to take responsibility for the complete sourcing, management and delivery of services in relation to communications, marketing and business related print and related material.
In most Enterprise client environments, Print spend tends to be a decentralised expense with more than one person responsible and with many office locations managing the process resulting in most companies not having a true understanding of the overall spend.
This practice leads to inefficiencies with many businesses not recognising the real inefficiencies and lost benefits of scale of procurement of a category that many acknowledge is in the top 3 non-core business expenses.
A no obligation free Print Audit by Enterprise Print Innovations will outline the complete cost savings that can be delivered to your business.
Benefits in Using EPI as your Print Supplier
Administration hidden cost savings:
- On-line ordering – speeds up requesting process
- Templated Art
- Digital Asset Management
- Consolidated single source supply billing – reducing the number of invoices to process
- Invoice query handling improvements
- Stock management, reducing redundant stocks and reducing obsolescence
- Stock management, reducing the number of purchase orders processed
- No sourcing of print or multiple supplier management required.
- Colour control
- Paper quality control
- Corporate identity control (Brand Management).
- Print consultancy service providing expert advice
- Proactive account management
- On-line ordering and stock management
- Management reports on demand
- Free storage service – all items will be stored awaiting ordering
- Disaster recovery
- Improved production lead times – leading to an improved speed to market
- Emergency response facility for delivery request from stock.
Furthermore, we will provide a single source of contact for all procurement in print and related services with competitive quotes, reduced costs, an online cloud based ordering portal and automated reporting and single monthly itemised billing.
By maintaining independence of manufacturing we are able to offer clear and objective print sourcing service for our clients, focussing on the clients requirements rather than what we could produce on our printing presses. Our carefully selected supplier base includes all manner of printing and finishing methods available in the marketplace today. We are also working with suppliers to implement market innovations and new printing methods as the technology advances.
Warehousing, Kitting, Pick, Pack and Fulfilment
A critical component in delivering cost benefits to clients is providing professional warehousing services that must include stock receipting, quality checking, storage, fulfilment, pick, pack and distribution.
Vital business critical print is warehoused with adherence to min/max levels ensuring no stock outages which can have a detrimental effect on the smooth running of a client’s business. Imagine a client’s manufacturing plant running out of say wrappers for their product. A small cost saving to procure the wrappers suddenly become a very expensive ‘saving’.
Products with repetitive usage can be ordered in bulk, warehoused and ordered as needed, benefiting the client with cost savings and reduced ordering cycles.
Frequent call offs by various client locations reduces the necessity to store larger amounts of products in each location freeing up much needed and very expensive office space.
Usage reporting allows simplified on charging to individual cost centres evoking a ‘user pays’ methodology.
Monthly consolidating billing and usage reports allow clients to view in a simple snapshot where expenditure is being incurred. Also reducing the volume of invoices being processes by accounts payable. A single report which can be uploaded into most accounting and procurement packages eliminates error prone rekeying with accurate on charging to individual cost centres.