Managing and Mitigating Risk through Print Tenders
One important objective for your print tender is to assess and mitigate risk across the print supply chain. There has been an enormous amount of restructuring, closure and consolidation across the print industry in the last decade, and with recent market turbulence – across all industrial sectors – it has never been more important to proactively manage risk.
To be clear, we’re talking about closures at suppliers which can lead, in the short term, to project delays, cancellations, lost inventory, missed opportunities and wasted budgets. But arguably more importantly, where trusted partners’ businesses are affected – partners who deliver considerable value into your organisation and who have taken you immense effort, resource and cost to nurture as a business partner – there can be a real impact on future strategic performance too.
Of course, both short and long-term impacts are undesirable. So, it’s vital to carry out appropriate due diligence on potential printer partners to assess risks to their – and your – business continuity.
And while risk assessment is an ongoing programme, a print tender is an important point to assess new suppliers and reassess existing partners for risk.
What to look out for – disaster recovery plans (DRP) and business continuity plans (BCP)
Your print partners should have detailed plans in place that assess the types of risk their businesses might face and how they will mitigate their risks.
The terms disaster recovery plans and business continuity plans are often used interchangeably as, by and large, they’re all about anticipating possible threats to business and defining processes that have been put in place to mitigate their effects.
These processes will aim to minimise the knock-on effects to an organisation’s customers and get the business back to 100% operation as quickly as possible.
The following is an overview of the key elements that should be included within the BCP.
IT and Technology Risk Management
As many businesses depend on the flow of information encoded within digital platforms, IT systems are often at the core of business continuity planning.
Data security, platform access, backup planning and systems training – ideally backed by information security management system training and managed within ISMS best practice.
Business facilities risk management
Along with mandatory health and safety requirements, adequate assessment of fire risk is essential at all facilities. This should include documented proof of regular testing of electrical systems and PAT testing of portable appliances, testing of fire prevention and fire fighting equipment, induction and ongoing staff training, regular fire drills as well as regular inspections and internal audits.
Theft, infrastructure and resources, staffing and other risks
These are the other main areas of risk to business continuity. Theft of equipment or data, damage to offices, equipment or data that jeopardise production; or the loss of key staff who are integral to your business should all be identified with potential business impacts assessed and control methods which would mitigate negative impacts itemised.
Business Impact Assessment (BIA) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO)
A business impact assessment is where the above risks are identified and set out in a simple, clear and easy to access format for use as a working document within a business.
Impacts to business continuity are rated from high to medium to low and staff members are assigned roles to ensure each risk is actively managed and regularly reviewed.
Each risk is also given a recovery time objective which is a target time within which each business process must be restored to avoid unacceptable breaks business continuity.
However comprehensive business continuity plans might be, they assume that the business is financially solvent, which of course might not be the case. As a third party looking to partner with a business, it’s up you to conduct your own due diligence to ensure your printer partners are financially secure.
Financial due diligence should include a credit check and assessment of the last 3 years of accounts. Experience and trade contacts also play an important role in understanding the trading status of printers.
Risks when working through an agency or 3rd party
Of course, you may well want to purchase print through a 3rd party organisation who specialises in print procurement. As an integrated agency specialising in print management, Webmart are in the unique position of being able to effectively mitigate 3rd party service breakdowns on your behalf.
Being supplier agnostic and through knowing the live capacity of our extensive print supplier base, should there be an issue with one of our suppliers not being able to produce and deliver the product to schedule, we’re able to seamlessly switch production to another one of our approved suppliers.
Our supply chain is thoroughly vetted and monitored in line with our ISO9001 standards to ensure continuity of supply, ensure quality production and financial stability.
By using our online print procurement portal, we’re able to ensure brand and product consistency even in the event of service breakdowns. We standardise materials and artwork across the board to ensure that print buyers can only order materials that comply with brand guidelines and have been approved by procurement and marketing. Which means that, even in times of service breakdown and difficulties, quality and SLAs should not be compromised.
In addition to detailed Business Continuity and Business Impact Assessments, we have best practice processes within our project and account management teams.
For example, in the event of planned absence of your account manager, we operate a buddy system whereby ‘buddies’ won’t be on annual leave at the same time, ensuring a continued service. The account manager taking temporary hold of your account will receive a full handover and brief prior to your regular account manager leaving.
Similarly, in the event of unplanned leave, all projects will be logged on our internal systems and the print portal. This ensures that another account manager or project manager can quickly get up to speed with ongoing projects and handle the orders accordingly.
We also have detailed information and security management processes in place – backed by our ISO 27001 information security management systems certification.
Webmart’s experience in managing varied print budgets coupled with our knowledge of print and marketing throughout our organisation and facilitated by market leading procurement technology puts us in a strong position to be able to effectively deliver print whatever the service level requirements.
If you’re running a print tender or looking for ways to mitigate risk in your print supply chain, Webmart is happy to offer advice or to get involved as an offline marketing and print supplier. Please either fill out the form below, email email@example.com or call 01869 321321 and we’ll get started.