Thursday, March 14, 2013

Is Your Company a Good Fit for Print Management?

Contributor: Craig Condry, Vice President, Strategic Engagement, Consolidated Graphics

Consolidated Graphics has an important message for any organization that prints literature or other materials (and who doesn't, really?). By streamlining internal processes and taking a holistic approach to print buying, significant efficiencies in print procurement can be achieved. The approach is called "print management," and it's changing the way companies purchase print and related technologies, resulting in savings up to 20 percent in some cases.

But how do companies know if they are good candidates for print management? Nearly any company, regardless of size or market segment, can streamline and gain savings to some degree. However, successful candidates tend to share certain characteristics and needs. A starting point for any interested company may begin by taking the following yes/no quiz:
  1. Do you have a desire to centralize of strengthen the procurement function?
  2. Are there multiple buying locations, departments or divisions?
  3. Are you open to a strategic relationship versus transactional bidding?
  4. Is there a need for national (or global) service?
  5. Do you have senior executive sponsorship?
  6. Is there a willingness to provide benchmark data?
  7. Are you open to process and procedural changes?
  8. Are you being charged to identify double-digit cost reductions across multiple commodities?
  9. Do you want to get away from dozens or even hundreds of niche print providers in favor of a more strategic, single source relationship?
Companies that answer yes to two or more of these questions may be good candidates for print management. The only way to know for sure, is to proceed with a print assessment audit utilizing Six Sigma processes, which in short order will determine the current overall cost of ownership for print within the organization, including hidden costs that weigh down margin. In addition to printed products, it's important to focus on process during the assessment, including administration, obsolescence, packaging, freight, fulfillment, distribution and storage, to name a few. From that point, evaluation will continue with solutions ultimately proposed to streamline and create process and product improvements that deliver savings, from product design through supply chain, production and fulfillment.

The results of a strategic print management partnership can come in various forms, including reductions and stabilizations of pricing based on historical data and purchase patterns, or earned rebates. Now, more than ever, is the time for companies to take a holistic approach to print procurement, and take a look at all areas within the print supply chain to save money and increase competitiveness.

Craig Condry, Consolidated Graphics
Craig Condry
Vice President,
Strategic Engagement,
Consolidated Graphics
For more information about Print Management, contact Craig Condry at


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