Our Print Management team at Consolidated Graphics, Inc. has been evangelizing businesses coast to coast, about the savings that can be gained through managed print services. We recently caught up with Craig Condry, the Vice President of National Accounts and Implementation at Consolidated Graphics, from his office in Durham, NC, who shared some insights into our Print Management strategy and what companies need to know about it:
Q: Craig, can we start by giving Consolidated Graphics’ definition of “Print Management?” It seems like a fairly broad term.
A: Yes, the term is frequently used broadly by some companies to cover a variety of print services. But for Consolidated Graphics, Print Management is a holistic process that measures, monitors and manages someone’s printing business. To do this correctly, you need to understand the “print supply chain” and “life cycle of print.” These include creation, packaging, freight, logistics, storage and fulfillment. To be effective, Print Management requires an understanding of how printed pieces are used, and even sometimes how they are mailed and returned. It normally includes a bid tool, multi-year contracts, guaranteed cost savings, vendor consolidation, and on-site or off-site support.
Q: We’ve also heard the term “Business Process Outsourcing.” Is this synonymous with Print Management, or…?
A: Business Process Outsourcing is most commonly referred to simply as BPO. BPO is a subset of outsourcing that involves the contracting-out of the operations and responsibilities of specific business functions by a company. In the print world, this function is usually procurement or purchasing. BPO that is contracted outside a company's country is called off-shore outsourcing, and BPO that is contracted to a company's neighboring or nearby country is called near-shore outsourcing. BPO is an element of Print Management, and in simplest terms is a fee based service that removes the burden of managing the print supply chain for a company, allowing it to focus on its core competencies.
Q: Why are companies pursuing Print Management today?
A: With fluctuations in the world economy, companies are looking to increase shareholder value and decrease their expenses at the bottom line. As local and global competition continues to accelerate, business models will be challenged and changed. Print Management is a straightforward and logical step companies can take to reduce cost, increase efficiencies and create value. Companies today are looking to leverage spend, reduce their supplier base and document double digit cost savings. Print Management helps them achieve that.
Q: What kind of company is a good candidate for Print Management? What are the criteria?
A: Print Management clients are diverse, and cross over just about every vertical market. However, we’ve seen that successful candidates share a desire to centralize or strengthen procurement, usually because they have multiples of operational locations, departments, brands or divisions. Given this, they are often looking for national or international solutions – and they want documented cost savings. Another key criteria for client success in Print Management is a willingness to provide benchmark data, which enables us to really identify and quantify savings in dollars.
Q: What are CGX’s capabilities in this area?
A: Consolidated Graphics is unique in the printing world, in that our business model is based on acquiring companies and as a result we have 70 companies operating in 26 states, Toronto, Prague and Gero, Japan. Because of this far-reaching footprint, we’ve long been able to provide single-source solutions for clients, serving them locally and delivering goods and service in their desired market area. We became Print Management experts essentially out of necessity and practice, and we have a proven process using lean Six SIGMA fundamentals to produce guaranteed results based on the specific situations of each client. We are flexible, offering Print Management and BPO services, utilize a state of the art bid tool and – importantly – we are asset light and asset heavy. By this, I mean we can utilize our CGX companies or utilize strategic outsourced suppliers to meet the objectives of the client.
Q: What can a client expect from Print Management, in terms of results?
A: Cost savings, most obviously. The results of a strategic Print Management partnership can vary, including reductions and stabilizations of pricing based on historical data and purchase patterns or earned rebates. Value engineering through redesigns of collateral, shifting from digital to offset (or vice versa), evaluating paper selections and more can reduce spend while having little impact on overall deliverables. Six SIGMA processes can lead to process improvements and structural changes that can positively impact not only print spend, but also lead to better utilization of employees and internal resources.