The financial services industry was the first to take print management outsourcing seriously over 20 years ago, and has arguably been the greatest beneficiary since. These providers have done a tremendous job by addressing most of the classic procurement levers so we question the value of following procurement protocol to manage print spend any longer.
There is an opportunity to negotiate for those still in a first generation outsource, or those that find themselves paying too much through legacy agreements.
A classic full-blown procurement process in print will generally cost tens of thousands of pounds – in time, data gathering, effort and stakeholder engagement. If this leads to appointing another supplier, the cost of short-term change usually becomes unviable.
Four steps to simplifying your category strategy
We have prepared a short checklist for procurement professionals tackling their print category.
- Benchmark and audit your prices. If prices are within 10% of the market price, the next step is an audit to check that you are paying the contract prices. Once you understand your commercial position, you can build a strategy around it.
- Check that your variables are simplified. Reduce the number of envelope variations, get to a white paper solution, and make sure you are maximising your postage discounts.
- Own your destiny in document and customer communications management. This is the only way you will be able to sustainably switch to digital. While it means that procurement, IT, marketing and operations must engage and align, there are plenty of software providers that can help you plan this journey.
- Focus on risk reduction. A few days invested in security audits, BCP testing and workflow appraisals will minimise the chance of regulatory breaches.
Once you have sorted the above, engage with your provider to help you plan the way forward. There are few examples of FS organisations successfully lifting and shifting their transactional mail at an enterprise level – so the value must lie in working with the incumbent.
Harler is the consulting authority in the print and packaging industry. Our extensive network enables you to control your requirements through access to operational, commercial, procurement and transformational skills. Our thorough knowledge of operating models, ways of working, productivity, industry specifications, technology and process are deployed to help you optimise service, quality, cost and social responsibility.
You get our comprehensive expertise across print, packaging, creative services, digital, document management, office print, postage and promotional products.
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