Print is a cost that crosses a myriad of disciplines in any organisation. From the business cards and brochures that your sales force uses when calling on customers, and the induction booklets provided to new employees, to the invoices produced monthly during billing and the numerous reports prepared for meetings, printing costs are often not represented by a single line in the business, making if difficult – if not impossible – for companies to track or quantify their expenditure, Trevor Bennett, a Divisional MD of Ince, an integrated communications organisation, tells SmartProcurement.
“Even the smallest companies are recognising the potential savings in this area, making a single managed print service (SMS) a key focus in their drive for economies and efficiencies,” says Bennett.
Aside from offering guaranteed and significant savings on annual print spend, an SMS partner should be reputable and reliable. Companies often spend a lot of time assessing the system that Print Management companies use rather than assessing their relevant experience and depth in providing business solution, he says.
Bennett advises that four important criteria be considered when selecting a print partner:
Management information generated by the print company
Your SMS partner must commit to a robust measurement and reporting process to ensure that you have full visibility and transparency into your print spend. Ideally, information should be tracked and shared monthly, with your partner facilitating the development of historical information that can be useful for future monitoring and control.
Experience in print
A partner experienced in the field of print can influence the market and should be able to exploit economies of scale and negotiate discounts through leverage. As a result of its intimate knowledge of the industry, it should also recommend innovative print solutions aimed at generating efficiencies in process and significant cost savings.
People/team allocated to you as the client
A reputable and reliable SMS provides personal and exacting attention to detail, coupled with excellent levels of customer service. Relationships are integral to the process because your provider works alongside you to find solutions to your print challenges, moving from a supplier to a true partnership in creating value for your business.
A quality SMS provider will provide a solution to streamline the administrative processes through which your print spend can be managed. An efficient online procurement system combines user and approver information with related permission and authorisation levels. Not only does an effective system of this nature offer the necessary controls, but it can also assist in ensuring control of your brand integrity across all your printed communications.
“Make sure that your investment in managed print services is a worthy one by selecting the right partner,” concludes Bennett