What is print management?
Author: Jacqui Vear
9th March 2021
Print management is a way to transform your productivity and save money on the widest variety of printed items that help you win business and do business.
The outcomes are compelling, but what is print management? Systematic has got 45 years of print management experience to its name, so let us explain.
Print management is essentially a process through which you purchase print. It is normally led by a specialist team of project managers, external to your business, who work on a B2B, ‘business to business’ basis.
The key parts of this process are as follows;
Print managers are unlikely to own printing presses!
We know, a printer without a press, that can be a shock revelation! There is extremely high-tech printing and finishing machinery on the market, it is almost impossible to have the latest and most efficient kit for every kind of project.
‘Print’ is an umbrella term for the widest range of items, varying in size, material and application, from tiny self-adhesive labels to creative pieces of marketing print, to large point of sale boards! Then you might be printing 10 or 10,000 items! That is why print managers carefully develop relationships with leading print production teams, most of whom like to receive only ‘trade’ orders through businesses like ours, (so they can focus on production and save on the overheads associated with sales activity).
A key benefit for you is that when we develop a quote, we might get proposals from several production teams and we will share only the most advantageous approach with you, based on the team’s technical ability, quality standards and lead times, as well as the commercials. We often negotiate on your behalf, so you end up with the best quality option, at a competitive rate!
Print management comes with project management
If you are looking to maximise your return on investment from print projects, there is a lot to do. Even if you can navigate your way around an array of print jargon, your print specification needs to be fit for purpose, as does your artwork and copy. You may want to have the peace of mind of seeing similar samples, having someone proof read your content and relying on an experienced team of graphic designers to translate your outcome into something that’s on brand, visually engaging and basically does the job.
Then there is managing lead times, deadlines and delivery arrangements. Print management joins up all these jobs, you’ll feel like you have a specialist on your team and you can delegate away with confidence. Even better, there is no direct charge for this valuable support at Systematic, its implicit within the quotes that we share.
Smart print management includes holding stock
We all know about economies of scale, the more you buy of something, the lower the unit cost. In print, you quickly gain production efficiencies, so if you order the printed items that you need on an ongoing basis in bulk, you can save even more time and money. You’ll also have the assurance that you’re far less likely to run out of the key printed items that you rely on. This might be stationery, brochures, folders, or even printed / branded corporate gifts that support your marketing activities. This element of print management works well for all your operational print, and equally well for all the marketing collateral that you may hold for campaigns and shows.
Your order quantities don’t need to be dictated by the size of your stationery cupboard, your print management partner will carefully store your printed items in secure warehouses. You request items, calling-off your stock, as and when you need it. This is particularly effective if you have multiple sites or branches, and costs can even be charged to different cost centres.
At Systematic you can call or email us when you need stock, or you can do so at the click of a button on a print stock management portal that we’ll create for your brand, at no cost! It comes complete with secure log on details, permission control, product images and reporting capabilities.
So, there it is, print management in all its glory!
Our team know print inside-out, as well as many of the services that link to it, creative graphic design, mailing fulfilment and marketing campaigns. We do all the above, arguably more, for example, we like to help you improve the sustainability of your purchasing by taking every opportunity to minimise the environmental impact of your print projects.
Our approach works, we’ve been named ‘Print Management Company of the Year’ and highly commended in two subsequent years, by peers in our trade association, the IPIA. We’ve also been proud to hold a Royal Warrant for print services to Her Majesty the Queen.
Let us know when you are free for a chat, it would be great to hear about your business goals!
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