Major brands set the scene for in-house print solutions

The media has been full of stories about brands making their move to bring their advertising services in-house with high profile companies such as RBS, Arla, P&G, Fender, and M&S already making the shift.  These changes rightly get lots of publicity where the debate continues around transparency and value for money from the big agency groups.

Fewer organisations have so far in-housed their print sourcing and print buying but we believe they should be bolder and seriously consider this option for the same reasons – it can provide greater control and transparency if set up correctly and can deliver the same (if not more) value than a traditional print management outsource deals.

Whilst in-house print buying teams aren’t right for everyone, many brands in the UK market have a great opportunity by adopting this solution. This is especially true for the brands that are considering in-housing their advertising and studio services, where new print buying processes should be implemented simultaneously. Technology can be deployed to guide the buyer, trafficker, marketer or designer through a dynamic environment, enabling them to self-serve via direct relationships with best-in-class suppliers.

A number of brands including Sky, Travis Perkins, N Power and N Brown Group have successfully run in-house buying operations for a while now but with the advent of industry-changing self-service buying technology, there’s a new generation of solutions up for grabs.

In our article Inhouse vs outsource we looked at the pros and cons of different operating models for print and we would love to see more brands exploring the in-house option.

As independent consultants in the print and packaging sector, we have helped many brands make the change and in-house their print buying functions and we would love to do more. We can support in every stage of this journey from strategy though to deployment of technology and activation of a best-in-class supply chain with supporting supplier management processes.

Case study: Moving to an in-house solution

Our customer is one of the leading integrated financial services providers worldwide. Challenge: This client engaged the Harler team to review their incumbent print management relationship to identify alternative operating models for the future.  The supplier's service delivery had not progressed in recent years and improved innovation or improvement was not forthcoming. Solution: Over a [...]