Effectively Sourcing Commercial Print

With the right spend management strategy and solutions, companies can control costs and maintain quality


Suppliers may respond through rapid re-quoting or trying to apply a standard "rate card" approach. But does the rate card address all of these variables and their impact on each other? Often they will not account for lower or higher quantity orders, use of print-on demand, compressed time, shipping issues, new folds, samples, multiple proofs, product ink-matches, digital asset substitutions, variable print feature add-ons, additional ink or coatings, or even an overall size change.

By applying a spend management program specifically designed for print spend, companies can head off these issues and facilitate responses that drive fast savings and measurable ROI without negatively impacting either quality or supplier relationships. Such a program takes into account all prior, current and future requirements, as well as the following highly-integrated and inter-dependent components:

  • Pre-press requirements
  • Production re-quirements
  • Post-press re-quirements
  • Distribution
  • Estimating and ordering
  • Campaign management
  • Tracking and planning
  • Collaboration
  • Creative
  • Purchase/change order and invoicing

Leveraging spend management solutions that combine technology, commodity expertise and services, companies can effectively outline these requirements, compare suppliers based on unique characteristics and make optimal sourcing decisions more quickly and efficiently than ever before.

Conclusion

With the right spend management strategy and solutions in place, companies can gain clear visibility into their marketing spend to determine areas in which they could be saving. They can identify qualified global suppliers who can meet and deliver on their unique requirements from both a quality and cost standpoint. They can access commodity expertise and market knowledge to determine the most optimal time and structure for negotiations. And they can quickly and efficiently collect bids in a matter of hours through online markets and optimize these bids to arrive at the lowest total cost. Once contracts have been negotiated, they can manage them to ensure compliance and streamline the invoice and payment.

Marketing may still ask, "why should we leverage spend management?" But the real question is, "why not?"

About the Author: Steve Sussman is a director with Ariba, Inc., a global provider of spend management solutions. www.ariba.com

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