Advanced Print Buying: a Print Procurement Platform

Advanced Print Buying: a Print Procurement Platform


We’re all looking for ways to make savings these days. Shaving a few pounds off your buy price here and there can be well worth doing. But it can be very hard work and the savings aren’t always as transparent and traceable as you might like. Especially when you’re trying to show those savings to an FD or board of Directors.

One solution for larger businesses who buy a reasonable amount of print might be a print procurement platform. A PPP is not really appropriate for companies who don’t buy much print but can be really useful for companies who buy a large quantity of print or who have the print-buying spread across the company in different departments.

There aren’t many print procurement platforms out there, but for regular print buyers (either professional print buyers or marketing managers), they can represent a simple way to request prices from a wide range of print suppliers, to find savings and to demonstrate those savings to the wider company.

Here’s a quick example of how we’ve found it works and, firstly, the benefits it’s brought.

What Benefits can it bring?
OK, let’s take one specific case of a UK University our team work with. They found average actual savings of 27% over previous buy prices. These savings were simple to achieve and were repeatable. They didn’t include time saved for staff in terms of phone calls made to suppliers in the old process either. Time taken to request a quote from each supplier manually (by the phone or on email) went down from 4 minutes to around 3 seconds!

print pricing variance graph - from Webmart's Printelligence

Just two of the benefits – Pricing Variance with Supplier Rankings

Simplicity & Benchmarking
Importantly, the team using the software found it was easy to use and fitted in easily with their daily work; a consideration whose importance can’t be overstated. They also provided senior management with a means to report the savings throughout the organisation.

For a public organisation, the system also ensured that they were getting a minimum of 3 prices for each project (in reality, they averaged 7 prices for each project) meaning the prices of each project were effectively benchmarked and had a full paper trail demonstrating effective buying to anyone who wanted to scrutinise the print buying performance.

So, how does it work?
The software is typically accessed through the web browser. Details of the customer’s existing suppliers are added to the system (printers, print management companies, printing services providers can all be added and categorised) and further suppliers can be added if required. Once suppliers are ‘onboarded’, there’s a simple form to be filled out which will detail all the specifications of the print project and this specification is sent to all printers you want to get a price from. This can be as few as three or as many as your entire list of suppliers.

Suppliers are given a time to give you their prices through the system, after which you’ll see the entire range of prices for that particular printing job. As long as you’re happy with all the printers and printing services companies you have on your system, you can simply place the job with a click of the button (with all other printers automatically thanked for their price and given general pricing information & analytics back to help them improve their own business performance).

You’ve saved time pricing and placing the work and you have reports to display that you’re buying effectively.

And finally…
Here’s a comment on how it’s shaping up from the main print buyer. If you’re stretched and strained making consistent (and proveable) savings in your print buying, maybe a print purchasing platform is the answer?

“The Webmart sourcing tool makes getting quotes from my suppliers very easy. Not only does it directly save money by helping us purchase print at a lower price, but it also saves me a considerable amount of time. We have found it very effective to use and the support from WSS very good.”

For the full case study, find out some more information here.