Looking for Ways to Improve the Bottom Line? Think Print!

If this sounds ridiculous to you then chances are you really should read this article.

Fact is that print is one of the biggest areas of unregulated expense within an organization. In fact, most companies ignore expenses associated with printing. This typically results in un-metered costs, escalating waste and increased obsolescence from this business necessity. Just like any resource area, an audit will help you identify areas that can be optimized and improved.

How Can You Start?

Companies can begin to streamline their printing expenses by enlisting the help of an organization skilled in corporate printing audits. Printing audits involve examining historical consumption patterns, direct and indirect costs associated with storage and distribution, obsolescence due to changing business environments, attrition, and advances in technology.

Why Should You Schedule An Enterprise Print Audit?

Such activities are useful to determine what can be brought in-house, what can be templated for print-on-demand activities, what should be warehoused, and what can be eliminated. Establishing a corporate print business plan empowers the enterprise by:

1. Reducing up-front expenses by redirecting inventories to a service provider willing to facilitate pay-as-you-go print services

2. Delivering real-time reporting on seasonal and departmental consumption patterns

3. Anticipating shortages in printed forms and marketing literature

4. Improving operational efficiencies by enabling existing personnel to focus on more important tasks.

What Does A Print Audit Cost?

It depends on who you ask. Large consulting organizations may charge thousands of dollars to conduct an assessment. But many consulting organizations also lack the industry specific skills to make recommendations or substitutions. They also may charge to build systems that are not currently in place to help monitor and control future consumption, warehousing and distribution.

Print service providers, on the other hand, will often conduct an audit with no upfront cost in order to gain the subsequent opportunity inherent to the organization. This makes sense: it’s a win-win solution for both the printer and the company. During the audit process, the printer will prepare a cost-estimate to produce existing inventories. This cost-estimate will give the company a cost benchmark, and both organizations can agree on what a reasonable improvement might be within a given period of time.

What Does A Winning Solution Look Like?

Once implemented, an enterprise print solution might encompass any or all of the following optimization strategies:

o Local and regional warehousing of print items close to specific markets. This reduces shipping costs and compresses turnaround times to get business- and mission-critical documents to those who need it.

o Online inventory tracking systems to report on consumption by various department or regions. These systems also help control stocks. For example, if one branch is low on sales brochures, and another is overburdened with supply, the two locations can re-allocate their materials accordingly instead of unnecessarily ordering more. This also results in less waste because of spoilage because of mishandling or neglectful storage.

o Print-On-Demand can be used to help fulfill urgent needs caused by expansion, training requirements and seasonality. Things like business cards, stationery, and courseware can be customized very quickly once a corporate style-guide detailing fonts, logos and colors are supplied to the printing company. This results in less waste because you only produce what is necessary at the time.

o Document grouping can help leverage savings derived from volume print jobs. Instead of printing a large quantity of one item, you can print smaller amounts of everything at the same time and still get a similar savings  Printing solutions benefit. This also results in less waste because of spoilage because of stale-dating.

o All regions can benefit from a consistent look-and-feel to all marketing and sales material, delivering a unified image no matter where you operate.

o Cash-flows are improved because items in inventory with the printer are only paid for as they are consumed.

Where Can I Go To Get A Free Print Audit For My Organization?

The Data Group of Companies specializes in preparing winning solutions for many of North America’s best-known companies. With over 9700 customers including The Bank Of Montreal, ADP, Petro-Canada, Shell, Overwaitea Food Group, Save-On Foods, Translink, BC Lottery Corporation, and many others, we are well equipped to handle your printing and communication requirements. The Data Group of Companies has over 20 manufacturing and warehousing facilities across the country designed to produce high-quality solutions.


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