- direct mail - CD ROMs
- marketing materials - posters
- point of sale (POS) - billboards
- publications - advertising
- brochures - premiums
- forms - signage-
- labels - bus and truck wraps
- decals - financial documents
- maps - training manuals
- time tables - human resources materials
- safety materials - custom packaging
and all things where information is placed on paper, plastic, metal, magnetic media or any other substrate.
Another challenge is to centralize, yet to permit decentralized units within an organization to seamlessly continue buying print. The communications and workflow system used with AVS Technology makes it possible for authorized print buying units to access the buying organization’s pool of prequalified printer suppliers – all carefully vetted in advance by the buyer. The best pools consist of at least two dozen suppliers with a broad range of capabilities to cover the print buyer’s on-going needs. The same, secure web-based system allows the buyer to manage project workflow in detail, provide full transparency to all authorized buyer and supplier participants and document each task and every communiqué for future reference. All of this ensures quality and on-time delivery.
As for cost reduction, this begins at the beginning when the automated vendor selection procedure instructs the computer to match supplier attributes with project specifications and identify only the best suppliers capable of getting the job done. Invitations to bid are then sent. Each supplier that chooses to participate checks its production schedule for times when there is little or no work. It is during these downtimes that AVS work can be scheduled and prices discounted 25 percent to 50 percent to fill otherwise open capacity. Printers like this process because it allows them to bid low but not be held to that pricing when they are busy. Also, all suppliers stay in the pool with opportunities to bid on future work.
This approach to print procurement should be in every CFO’s box of money saving tools. The CFO is in the ideal position to champion the use of new procurement technology. With support from the CEO and others on the executive team, the CFO can achieve a breakthrough in cost reduction just by changing how print is procured.
Michael Granger is founder and chairman of Capital Access Forum (CAF Investments, LLC) and co-founder and general partner of Ark Capital Management Fund, LP, a Chicago-based private equity firm with a national investment scope, focusing on middle market companies and emphasizing investments in minority and women owned businesses. He also serves on the e-LYNXX Corporation Board of Directors.