The Running Commentary

Taking the hassle out of printing

bulbBuilding on my post around what represents effective procurement and my view that it not only revolved around purchasing only, below is an article which talks to the concept with a focus on printing.  

The outsourcing concept first took off in the 90s, becoming quite the business buzzword. Some fifteen years later, Ince has refined the concept from buzzword to specialisation, offering corporates an outsourced print management service second to none.

A provider of corporate communications solutions, Ince offers a variety of outsourced solutions which deliver cost savings, increased quality and productivity, and less hassle for the customer. This is certainly true of its full-service print management offering, which is the culmination of a process of evolution of a company with its roots in printing.
Companies such as Ernst & Young, a client of Ince’s Outsourced Communications division, are reaping the benefits of an international trend, where companies no longer manage the non-core function of printing. And unlike the print outsourcing of a few years ago, where large corporates handed over their in-house press facilities to printers but continued to manage the process in a client/supplier relationship, many corporates have now entrusted the entire process, from initial communications design through to final fulfillment, to print managers such as Ince.

“A growing number of corporates are realising that they are not properly positioned to manage print and communications suppliers, and that they are wasting resources trying to do so,” says Alban Atkinson, MD of Ince. “The next step for them is print management.”

Atkinson explains that Ince approaches print management as a partnership. “We don’t just deliver the required printed material, but actually manage the client’s print budget and come up with specific solutions which will best meet their business objectives,” he says.

Ince draws up project plans for each job, and then procures and manages the best suppliers to deliver the final product. “Based on our expertise within the print procurement business, we’re able to source the best printer for the job, meeting the cost, turnaround and quality requirements of that specific project,” says Mike Taberner, National Chairman of Outsourced Communications, the Ince division responsible for its print management service.

“A transparent quoting mechanism allows multiple suppliers to participate in tenders, although only those most suited to the work are asked to quote,” says Taberner. “Quotes are adjudicated on principles specific to each job, such as best price, specialised expertise, or guaranteed turnaround.” While one of the preferred suppliers, Ince’s own facilities nonetheless compete transparently with all other suppliers, to ensure that ultimately the right printer for the job is selected.

Ince’s print management system is totally transparent, and clients are kept in the loop about who has been asked to quote, who has been appointed, and why. “The key for me is that this is a resource of the client’s,” says Atkinson. “The client must have complete control”, which is why Ince gives them whatever they need to stay on the pulse, down to management reports detailing the mark-ups which have been taken.

Ince Outsourced Communications also remains in control, going beyond mere procurement by overseeing the project with the help of detailed project plans, to ensure a flawless result. “We’re not in the game of explaining afterwards why something didn’t happen,” says Atkinson. “We manage the process so that the client’s requirements are met under all circumstances.”

“Ultimately, print management is about effective project control thereby reducing costs and getting a more effective service,” says Taberner. And that’s exactly what Ince Outsourced Communications provides.

Print ManagmentProcurement

Mike • May 20, 2008

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