What Is Print Supply Chain Management?

by Tim English - VP Superior Business Solutions on July 27, 2017

What Is Print Supply Chain Management?

Print Supply Chain Management: An Opportunity for Profit

I’ve given this post a pretty basic headline. And I’ll answer the question it asks in a moment. But first, let’s look at why people are losing money in business by failing to understand what print supply chain management really means.

Most people quickly grasp the basic concept of  “supply chain management.” They think of raw materials streaming into a factory like clockwork. They picture machines turning them into products which are then distributed with the same rhythmic efficiency. People “get” that having those resources show up reliably without gaps or errors is a great thing. But if you add a word, and make it “print supply chain management” people get a quizzical expression. That confusion can be costly. So a little explanation may be helpful.

Print Supply Chain Management Minimizes Problems

Many businesses fail to realize that a supply chain dedicated to addressing their printing needs is equally important. Most companies depend heavily on printed sales forms to support and track transactions. They send printed statements and invoices to help maintain accounts efficiently and generate cash flow. And a diverse group of employees use these forms, often  by the thousands. And typically, across many offices and locations within the enterprise.

Most businesses also create (and rely upon) marketing and collateral materials, such as flyers, catalogs, direct mail pieces, sales brochures, labels and many more. Without print supply chain management, both everyday forms, documents and “one-off” printed pieces can be far more costly in terms of time and resources than they need to be.

  • Errors can crop up when different people in different places attempt to order what should be the same form or label. Accuracy can suffer when people of varying backgrounds and experience in print are tasked with ordering, proofing, and distributing the materials.
  • Inventory outages, outdated materials and delays in fulfillment can impact sales.
  • Redundant efforts waste significant time, as many different people spend time researching, ordering and following through on the same or similar print jobs that could be better handled with a centralized system Those people could otherwise use that time productively on their main responsibilities.
  • This (lack of a) system also wastes money, as well; with no system-wide controls in place, “rogue” ordering can send costs soaring.

Print Supply Chain Management Maximizes Efficiency

Print supply chain management makes things different—and better. Printed pieces are delivered when they are needed, and are produced in the most efficient ways possible. Employees reorder frequently-needed forms through an online portal. With Superior’s Corporate Kiosk™, for example, you can lock in the correct version of each form, and permit people of your choice, whether few or many, to access it for ordering. And customize appropriately, if desired.

That protects accuracy, controls costs and streamlines the process. It curtails the waste of time and money, and ensures the quality and timely delivery of each form and order.

Print supply chain management also improves more specialized printing projects, like promotional and marketing materials involving litho, digital or specialty printing.  At Superior, experts who handle printing projects every day will use their skills to make your piece the best it can be.  Your people can return to their important regular duties, instead of being diverted into less familiar tasks. Through Superior’s E(c3) procurement technology, our experienced professionals have access to nearly 2,000 pre-qualified print and promotional product vendors. They can select the most appropriate from among them  for your project, based on quality, availability and cost.

We take over the responsibility for searching, sourcing, management and delivery. And our people, quite simply, know what they are doing.  Your printed and promotional materials will shine. And they will bolster your company’s image and reputation, helping increase appointments and sales.

What Will Print Supply Chain Management Do for You?

Let’s talk; a simple discussion will help us answer that question. But if you want assurance that a conversation is worth your time, consider our 2017 Best of Print and Digital Award. We earned that recognition from our customers, based on their feelings about our service.

So contact me, or contact one of our highly regarded print sales reps. I’m confident that before long, you will be very comfortable defining print supply chain management. And telling others the difference it made in your business.

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