With today's high cost of doing business, the on-going, but still substantial cost of printing is often overlooked. It's easy to de-prioritize this cost component for another day. And let's face it, telling your VP of Procurement you're looking at upgrading to the latest, great CRM tool, or other high tech solution to help your business is a lot sexier.
But the truth is, this mindset is costing you more than you think. Because there are so many elements that comprise a company's overall print spend, the true cost is usually not known, either in the procurement or marketing departments. In fact, it is often the case that the print spend is distributed among several departments, none being aware of what the other is doing, with no method of managing the aggregate spend.
Because of this fragmented buying environment, it is rare that the overall hard dollar figure is known to a company. Subsequently, this significant on-going cost is never flagged to be addressed. Printing costs actually account for anywhere between 1 – 3% of a company's total revenue, a much larger spend than most business owners and CEO's would like to think (Copy and Print Management – Consolidation Strategies to Achieve Best Practice, IDC View (IDC # AP22313M )).
But there are even more costs associated with a company's overall print spend that go unaccounted for. Non-print costs are typically higher than print costs, as much as six times higher (Infotrends CAP Ventures). These costs include all the elements that surround a typical one-off or even recurring print job. From authorizing the purchase order, to emailing proofs to all associated parties, to billing, a single print job, especially a low quantity one, can take on a life of its own and incur significantly more soft than hard dollar costs.
So How do you reduce these costs, let alone increase productivity? The simple answer is to find an effective print management company to provide three things:
1. A strategic network of printers to accommodate all your print needs.
2. A print production procurement system that gives your various departments one method to initiate a job and track proofing, on one online portal.
3. An online ordering method for warehoused collateral, print on demand, and electronic marketing media, allowing all your users easy access to marketing materials and operational documents.
This print outsource model can work well for small companies, as well as the Fortune 100, with the technology provided to manage your printing tailored to the needs of your company. Smaller companies with less activity will not need the AZ procurement through billing web enabled solutions that a large company does, but can benefit greatly from a simple procurement and online ordering system.
Another benefit of utilizing a print management company is to insure consistency of your brand through all your print communications. Think of the marketing time and dollars that go towards promoting and maintaining your brand. Choosing an effective print management partner will reduce costs, streamline procedures, and insure that you do not jeopardize your most valuable asset, your brand.