23 8 / 2012
Why Print Management?
At approximately $500 billion in annual worldwide revenues, the printing industry is alive and well, but its supply chain is stuck in the dark ages. Today, most companies fulfill all of their print needs–such as the printing of direct mailers, in-store signage, marketing collateral, packaging and promotional products, among other things–using a small handful of local print providers where decades-old sales relationships often play a powerful role in purchasing decisions.
Despite the unequal balance of global print supply and demand, most companies are paying a premium for their printed materials. There are approximately 30,000 print providers operating in the U.S. alone, most with multiple pieces of expensive, under-utilized, and highly specialized equipment. Procurement departments making decisions on behalf of their companies lack the data and resources to capitalize on the market dynamics. As a result, price discrimination is rampant, capacity isn’t optimized through intelligent load-balancing, more than half of all print jobs are run on something other than the optimal piece of equipment, and costly resources are wasted on structurally biased manufacturer sales reps serving as the middle-man between the procurement departments and their employers’ plants.
As a result, we are now seeing the beginning of a global movement toward a print management solution. Companies are increasingly embracing an outsourced model that allows their employees to focus on their core capabilities while relying on the data, resources and skills of a provider like InnerWorkings to manage this component of their business. Silos are being broken down, organizational structures are being redrawn, and the result is that the quality of the printed materials is better, the cost is lower, and the process is more efficient. Print management brings a new level of transparency and accountability to one of the world’s largest and fragmented manufacturing industries.
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