A few short years ago, there was talk of a wholesale shift to digital communications. However, far from going away, print continues to be a critical part of companies’ marketing mix.
Consumers want choice—and their choice dictates a need for multi-channel communications. This creates a new role for print management, one that drives more effective communications in both print and digital format. It also makes print outsourcing a more important consideration for business efficiency and savings.
When organizations outsource, they gain the opportunity to focus efforts on their core businesses. They benefit from getting these non-core activities offsite to pre-vetted printer networks with excess capacity and from not having to carry the equipment and staff on their books. They also can pay for just what they use, rather than having to staff for peak capacity. And they gain the leverage that comes from the massive combined volumes that are managed by outsource suppliers.
More specifically, outsourcing print can provide access to more printers in more places. This creates the ability to near-source more print jobs, increasing both speed-to-market and cost savings. Access to a wider selection of printers also helps in allocating each job to the best available print source. Striking an effective balance of speed, capabilities, and cost ensures rush jobs can be cost-efficiently expedited, specialized jobs receive the specialist attention they require, and routine jobs are completed as economically as possible.
Further, centralized control, onsite or offsite, through a print outsourcing resource can significantly reduce the often rampant redundancies that occur when print is sourced internally across different sites and silos throughout organizations.
Taking a more holistic approach to the document lifecycle can uncover savings before and after documents are produced.
Looking upstream: Improvements in data quality can reduce print costs by eliminating duplication and bad records, reducing the size of print runs, and improving ROI. Data quality is also essential to document personalization—the better the data, the more accurate and effective the personalization can be.
Looking downstream: In addition to near-sourcing print jobs to minimize time and expense of delivery, organizations can gain significant savings through presort during or after the print production process. Stricter postal automation and presort requirements make it increasingly difficult for individual organizations and smaller presort suppliers to capture these savings. There is increased benefit to working with outsourcing providers that coordinate both print and mail.
Overall, organizations are finding that a wider, business process focus enables improvements in everything from document creation through delivery and creates benefits that extend well beyond print savings.