Print often represents a significant area of expenditure for many of our clients, and almost without exception, receives close attention before calling on ERA to assist.
The absolute demands for consistency of product and service, coupled with this “close attention” can present difficulties in ensuring that competitive advantage is maintained. It is with this experience and knowledge, however, that ERA provides clients with a fresh approach and different dimensions, in the drive to deliver improvements across all areas.
A little more information
As print buyers will know, print is an unusual example of a “commodity market” in that there are no recognised retail price indices in which to measure price positioning. Considering that these costs are usually a significant proportion of the end sales price to the consumer, it is clear that the need to ensure competitive advantage on print is fundamental and significant focus is a consistent requirement. Most of our clients who engage ERA to review this area are faced with making a decision on which manufacturer/print provider is suited to the produce the end product. With the options of faster running machinery, variable data and digital print technology to maximise market opportunities; it can be challenging, ERA are able to share experience and knowledge to help that process.
The UK market for Print has changed considerably over the past two decades, with improved technology, reductions in the number of manufacturers, as well as the influence of print management organisations. Both the Internet and interactive multimedia are providing ways of employing the printed word that add new possibilities to print’s role in culture. The printed word is now used for real-time social interaction and for individualized navigation through interactive documents. It is difficult to gauge the social and cultural impact of new media without historical distance, but these innovations will most likely prove to signal another major transformation in the use, influence and character of human communication. This in itself presents challenges for clients when trying to benchmark their current position.
COST AREAS INCLUDE:
- Electronic Forms
- Equipment Print
- General Consumables
- Labels – Printing
- Mailing House Fulfilment
- Print & Publishing
- Print Management
Our experience to date has seen ERA improve value for a number of the UK’s largest print consumers, as well as many with rather less expenditure in this area. Often, operational efficiencies are identified, as the comprehensive review programme is designed to forensically establish the true value being enjoyed across all print costs. (Not just the top percentage.)
In respect of environmental credentials; in the UK, there remains great focus on any industry using wood fibre, and paper being a predominantly cellulose based material, has been in the spotlight for many years. We have seen examples where uplifts for environmental credential have not been truly representative, and have helped clients establish clarity from such confusion.
ERA’s programme uses expertise from within the Print Industry, providing an empathetic approach to suppliers, which helps them clearly recognise where their best opportunities exist.
When reviewing print expenditure, we ensure comprehensive due diligence is completed, capturing the experiences of both stakeholders and incumbent suppliers in every detail. This helps both the client and suppliers to understand the current status, and therefore ensures that any subsequent negotiations are completed without fear of compromise on quality of service or material. Other factors, such as stock and cash management, are included in this review, with often surprising benefits presented. It is encouraging to hear clients comment that these opportunities would not have been identified as part of their traditional approach in print negotiations.
The last ten, perhaps fifteen years has been challenging for the print industry, for a variety of reasons – many well documented. This changing dynamic can present opportunities for value improvement, when proactively reviewed. Equally, a lack of appreciation of the wider supply chain can adversely affect these opportunities, with limiting scope for value improvement.
AWARENESS OF THE GLOBAL PRINT MARKET FROM OUR YEARS IN INDUSTRY ALLOWS US TO SEEK OUT THE MOST COMPETITIVE PRICING AND VALUE ADDED SOLUTIONS TO YOUR SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS
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