Cost savings through category management

When it comes to Print Procurement, Odesma have a plethora of experience in the matter…...

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When it comes to Print Procurement, Odesma have a plethora of experience in the matter having worked with many companies to achieve excellent savings and procure the best print services possible. This category analysis gives an overview of the Print category and an outline for how Odesma tackle the management of this

If you’re a print category manager, then this category analysis is a must read! And if you employ any of the tactics below, do get in touch and let us know.

When we think of the term ‘printing’, those who are unaware of its complexities may simply overlook it as designing something, sending it to print and receiving a physical hardcopy. However those within the industry know that there are individuals, and even entire teams of people dedicated solely to the procurement of print.

Within the procurement industry, ‘procuring of print’ is something that many grimace at when mentioned. Done correctly, the process can be incredibly rewarding- taking a design from concept to obtaining the physical hardcopy and seeing all the encompassed elements pulled together to create something beautiful. However the process itself has many trials and tribulations and many factors to consider. And as technology continues to develop exponentially, the print landscape does also. This guide will give some deep insights into the cateogry and aim to show how Odesma approach the management of the print category.
History of Print

The concept of printing began as early as 1430 when Johann Gutenberg, a German silversmith, formed the first printing technology- a wooden press with moveable type. The capacity however was low, and printing was limited to 6 pages per day!

The wooden press soon became metal and The Netherlands became the centre of book printing for most of Europe around 1576. It continued to progress steadily until further development of Lithography and Chromolithography in Victorian times.

With the continued improvements to technology and digital print on the rise, the old school way may seem superfluous but it will forever hold a place on the roadmap of printing as we know it today.

How to tackle Print

When it comes to procuring print, Commercial Print companies offer services relating to pre-press (typesetting, platemaking), different printing processes (e.g. digital, offset) and post-press (finishing e.g. book-binding). Different print companies may offer a variety of these and so all must be assessed when making decisions on your supplier.

Along with the above, print needs to take other categories into consideration and should not be looked at in isolation, but a holistic view is required, working closely with the following functions:

  • Design
  • Warehousing
  • Fulfilment and Distribution
  • Point of Sales / Packaging

Insights – the changing landscape

As mentioned earlier, the print landscape is ever-evolving as new technologies come into play. In what other ways is the landscape changing? The first stage that Odesma undertake is a market analysis of the current landscape. What’s ‘hot press’ in the sector? Are there any economic impacts in play that they need to be aware of?

The below image provides you with invaluable information on the current impacts on Print.

Capacity utilisation

  • Vendors are focused on equipment utilization, minimizing production gaps, stabilizing revenue and creating a consistent manufacturing portfolio.
  • Print Management companies capitalize on the need for individual (smaller) printers to fill their capacity.

Customers expect Personalisation

  • Increased expectation from customers for personalised communication makes print move away from large, mass scale printing
  • Impact on print technology as lithographic printing is geared towards large print runs to be economically viable

Investment in Technology

  • Digital Asset Management as an added value to the Clients but also to ensure version control
    Communication Portals for omni-channel material customer communication
  • Web-to-Print solutions for efficient asset use and CI/CD compliant materials
    Online catalogues for process efficiencies

Changing Approach to Print

  • Print Management companies are the preferred choice for a lot of large corporations who have outsourced their Print Procurement.
  • The dependency on market, technology and category knowledge of the Print Management company increases, which makes a partnership approach necessary.

Service Diversification

  • Tight margins in the print industry and decreasing demand in print has led for print companies to diversify – particularly Print Managers
  • Higher margin creative services, data management and communication consulting are main areas to increase breadth of services.

End to end approaches

  • Companies offer full breadth of services including creation, warehousing, fulfilment, assembly and logistics to ensure efficiencies along the whole supply chain
  • Consultative approach to omni-channel communication (e.g. choice of physical print or download via portal)

The Strategic Journey

How can we make the most out of the category and ensure that we are maximising our suppliers and getting the best service possible? At what points should we look to implement different KPIs to achieve our objectives? When working with clients, we look at a 3 step approach investigating the short term, mid term and long term strategy over an 18 month period. Stage one involves an analysis and identification phase, with a mid-term objective to manage suppliers amongst other activities and a long-term goal including new technology deployment and process establishment.

Value levers and savings potential

After looking at the current impacts of Print category changes and defining a strategy, its time to investigate some of the tactics that can be employed to extract value and savings from the category. Different techniques all parties can use to do based on ease of implementation include renegotiating agreements/volumes, potential product substitutions, and supply chain optimisation.

Odesma have put together this category guide to provide information to help those managing this category best generate success.

If you think your Print function could do with a revamp, do drop us a line to find out how we can help, Alternatively, if you’d like to ask us any more about the work we have done and how you can generate excellent savings and efficiently manage your category, get in touch.

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