ChristianBell.jpgThe true value of print expenditure is becoming increasingly evident with the evolution of more sophisticated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) accounting systems, which is increasing the focus on the print commodity and highlighting the need for companies to gain greater insight into and control of this product, Christian Bell, Head of Sales and Marketing at print management consultancy Point says in this month’s SmartProcurement.

With 3-5% of companies’ total spend used on printed materials, well managed print procurement means better utilisation of spend, greater efficiency and satisfied clients who see the benefit of continued investment into print.

“By utilising print managers, companies and printers can reap the benefits of a succinct and efficient print procurement process. Point has seen great successes when it comes to printers and print managers working together to deliver a beneficial service to clients,” says Bell.

Print management is steadily being adopted by the South African business community as companies recognise the benefits of the service and realise the difference between print management services and simple brokering.

Print management is a supplier-centric model offering a holistic print solution that outsources the entire printing process. It involves implementing systems throughout the client’s business, in fact through the entire print supply chain. This ultimately ensures procurement of print from the most appropriate supplier at competitive rates, quality control, storage of printed documents and materials, efficient timing, better application of materials, reduced waste, better planning and staff utilisation.

The benefits of a correctly implemented print management programme are not necessarily restricted to the corporate that is utilising the service; instead, with a properly implemented programme, a corporate gains true visibility into the performance of print suppliers. The relationship shifts to a business-to-business relationship, which can have significant benefits for the print owner and the supplier – who gains a much clearer understanding of what the client requires and is, therefore, better positioned to match the client’s needs.

A good print management programme will also be able to feed information back to the print supplier to take corrective action on trends that may be highlighted by the process. An example of this is if a quality or dispatch issue is identified the print owner can be notified and take the necessary action.

Lastly, it should be noted that print is a complex commodity with many last-minute changes taking place in any particular job. This typically complicates the invoicing process. An integrated print management system ensures timeous payment of all invoices: the systems are designed with print in mind, so there should be no overdue invoices, which creates substantial benefit for all parties focused on managing their cash flow effectively.

For more information on print managed services contact christian@printoutsource.com