What is print management NOW

The inspiration for this post came largely from a prospective  When?customer who wanted to understand how Digital Print Management deliver the services they offer and what is print management all about.

Ha, that’s a blog post just waiting to be written I thought.

Print management has evolved over the years from print farmers, print brokers to print consultants and latterly multi-channel service providers of which Digital Print Management is one.

Although the final output is paper – printed payslip, invoice, cheque, remittance, statement.

Mobile devicesThere is also the requirement for the multi-channel distribution of documents this includes a print version and an electronic version of the same document.

Whilst the print management umbrella incorporates a little of what we do it doesn’t tell the whole story.

Print is part of the whole, but, the key element is how your documents are then distributed.

A traditional print management company provides total management of a company’s print inventory – from business print, marketing print, direct mail, financial print, to promotional gifts and clothing.

If it needs printing, more often than not it needs to be managed properly.

Stacked MailHistorically this is where print management companies come into their own by being able to provide expert advice and consultancy on a whole genre of print projects.

Good print management companies will provide clients with the expertise to take a print project from an idea and make it reality.

With access to an array of suppliers, customers can be sure they are getting the best products at the best price.

But we manage this in house – I hear you say

All companies at sometime or other will spend money on ‘print’. I use the term loosely to cover all aspects of ‘print’.

Maybe this is consigned to one person but with increasingly limited resources and budget cuts print buying is commonly split between a number of departments, with more than one person or department buying their print.

Print management companies have skilled and highly trained people who were born into the world of print.

They’ve learn’t their craft through being able to sell a variety of different products and services either as a manufacturer or as a print broker.

Print management companies aren’t tied to one specific supplier or manufacture which is great news for the customer, because you are partnering with a print company that is impartial and unbiased.

Print management companies deliver as part of their service offering print consultancy – understanding how, what and why you print in-house, production and project management so your project is delivered on time.

iStock_000018976177XSmallThe overriding factor for partnering with a print management company is their access to a supplier network that they’ve developed and nurtured determined by:-

  • what the customer wants
  • what market forces are driving in the way of new products and services. This then determines the suppliers print management companies elect to work with and effectively up sell their unique products/services.

Great importance is placed on nurturing and developing long term supplier relationships, the print management company ultimately providing the sales element of the partnership acting as the reseller, and the supplier delivering/manufacturing the product/service.

Their sole aim is to ensure customer satisfaction which in turn means a returning customer.

The most experienced print management companies come from print backgrounds either having worked for a manufacturer or gained experience as a print broker.

Empty asphalt road towards cloud and signs symbolizing success aMarket forces coupled with knowledgable and innovative suppliers, have enabled print management companies to diversify and specialise in specific areas of business print and fulfilment like payroll and multi-channel services.

Being able to carve out a niche often sets them above the parapet.

Not every organisation has the desire to source a company to print/distribute their annual P60s or weekly/monthly payslips.

And that is where we come in.

Print management companies care about print and work closely with their suppliers to achieve a common goal – customer satisfaction and the assurances that the organisation is being looked after by the print management company.

As well as identifying savings in print and distribution costs, the end user is gaining expert advice and knowledge from a trusted print management company.

And that is where print management really is NOW.

In my next blog: Multi-channel services. What is it and how can it add value to my business?

 

 

 

 

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