Even in today’s electronic age, print is still a critical requirement for most businesses – or as some might say, a necessary evil and costly overhead. That may well be the case if you are a large organisation with extensive print requirements across multiple departments, cost centres and sites. That’s because most organisations are over ordering, overprinting, overstocking, and just generally overspending. That’s why we want to talk to you, yes you…about print management.
Print is such a diverse product (think business cards, banners, brochures, leaflets, flyers, forms etc.) and most businesses have regular and ongoing print requirements. The mind boggles with a myriad of options relating to print processes, quantities and costs for even the most simple print job, so it’s not surprising that a lot of large and complex organisations don’t have the resource, expertise or quite frankly, the energy required to properly manage multiple stock requirements. As a result they’re spending too much on print.
Where’s the optimum price point?
As with most things in life, when it comes to selecting printing processes and quantities, the decision usually boils down to cost. Understandably organisations want to get the most bang for their buck and are easily persuaded to print maximum quantities in order to bring the cost per item down. If your print supplier is able to store and distribute stock whenever it is ‘called off’ (a little printing term for when you ask us to send you some of the print we’re holding in stock for you), then surely ramping up the quantities in order to drive the cost down makes sense?
There are a whole host, or reams (as we like to say) of factors that need to be taken into consideration when it comes to ordering and managing print stock. And just so we’re clear, we’re not talking a single print run of business cards. We’re talking about leaflets and forms that might be ‘called off’ at any time and in any quantity, by multiple departments and people across an organisation.
Take for example a patient form for an NHS Trust. Here at Prism we’re lucky enough to partner with a number of different NHS Trusts and we successfully manage their print stock for them. As you might expect, a Trust has numerous forms and leaflets (we’re talking around the 400 mark) that need printing and can be ‘called off’ by a whole host of different people and departments that never speak to each other.
You get the picture? We’re talking printing requirements that are grande. If their printing requirements were a cup of coffee they would be a venti mocha frappuccino, with a triple decaf shot of espresso, protein & fibre powder, a banana, vanilla bean powder, light ice, with soy, double blended, no whipped cream and a dome lid.
But what if?
With printing requirements that complex it’s understandable why the default option is to go large and print maximum quantities. But what happens if the leaflet or form needs to be tweaked or changed just slightly? A digit difference in a date or contact number can send the entire stock straight to recycling. What happens if your branding or your logo is changed? It’s not just the stock that’s obsolete and going in the shredder, it’s your budget.
There’s nothing we hate more than obsolete stock. It’s a waste of your money and budget; it’s a waste of space and it’s a waste of ink and paper, not to mention the environmental impact of the printing processes – from the compounds found in ink to the energy used in the printing processes.
That’s why we want to make sure you only print what you actually need. How do we achieve that? Well, partly through years of experience and partly because there’s nothing we don’t know about printing processes, stock and distribution. What you need, and what we want for you, is a balance between what we print and stock and what you order, so there’s no obsolescence; so you don’t shred money unnecessarily, and you benefit from the optimum cost point.
What’s the bigger picture?
It’s all about looking at the bigger picture. It’s a fact finding mission to explore what you want to print and exactly what the requirement is for; who might use it; when might they need it and in what quantities; what changes and amendments might need to be made and its potential shelf life.
Only when we have gathered all the information we need, will we advise on your options for print runs. That will influence whether we print and hold stock to call off for you, and if so, how many we print initially or whether we hold the artwork and run off small print runs on demand.
Our job is to relieve you of having to make complicated decisions, to ensure you get the best price and that you never run out of essential printed items. And that last bit is all about the systems we have in place to proactively monitor your stock usage so that we are in a position to guide and advise you on stock levels and orders. All that leaves you to do is pour yourself a cup of coffee as you call off your stock from our easy to use online system.
We’d love the opportunity to talk to you about your print requirements and our print management services. Perhaps we can meet for a cuppa? For the record, ours is a flat white. We’re simple souls.