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Print Supply Chain Management Overview

Executive Data Control is 43 years old now and we have undergone many changes over the years. As our customer’s needs have changed so have our products and services. As print becomes more of a commodity, our industry has placed more emphasis on how you manage your print spend. The latest trend is Print Supply Chain Management, and over the next few weeks I am going to explain the concept and how it can work for your company.

We have offered forms management and then print management services for the last 20 years. This new program has similar elements but is more focused on reducing the direct spend; the cost of printing, and improving indirect expenses; work process efficiency and lower procurement costs.

The printing industry is facing severe over capacity with the latest recession, good news for buyers of print. This is happening at a time when companies are forced to do more with fewer employees. There are real savings to be had in this environment.

Digital printing has finally matured to the point that digital print is good enough for most applications, especially business cards and sales sheets. There are some really great print engines in the medium to low cost range that can provide dramatic savings over traditional offset presses and newer high-end digital machines.

The use of the Internet as a communication tool keeps growing. And the introduction of pad computing that uses remote servers, e.g. cloud computing, will further push more documents to the digital realm. Some of these documents will never become hardcopy.

Print Supply Chain Management has become a great way to benefit from these major changes. What is needed is expertise in print management, business process improvement, and internet technology on the server side. This also requires an objectivity that can only come from a company that isn’t motivated solely by selling printing. Finally the program must have concrete goals derived through a quality discovery process that both the vendor and the customer agree are achievable.

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