Print Procurement Best Practices: Using a Single Source Provider
Print marketing continues to be an extremely effective way to market a business. Brands can choose from a wide array of printed communication products, from brochures and mailers to signs to product packaging. Printed products are designed to inform and attract new customers and retain existing ones, but completing important print projects can be difficult when providers encounter supply chain disruptions, transit delays, supplier labor shortages, and other complications. With a capable single-source print procurement provider, you’ll have better luck obtaining high-quality projects delivered on time and on budget.
Review the basics of print sourcing and procurement, the impact of supply chain issues, and the advantages of having a versatile single-source provider.
What Is Print Sourcing and Procurement?
Print sourcing and procurement is the process of selecting qualified suppliers and managing printing projects, campaigns, and print-related costs. Many companies prioritize print sourcing and procurement because it enables them to find their own print providers, assess which providers are the best match for their needs, negotiate pricing based on projected volumes, and hone in on the specific type of printing projects they’re looking to produce.
A single-source provider is one that can manage all the components, processes, and factors that contribute to the success of projects. That means in addition to the physical printing, this provider may also handle perfect binding, die-cutting, packaging, in store displays and signage, kitting and assembly, mailing, and many other value-added services.
Working with a single-source provider can save time and avoid project management stress. Instead of tracking down your own suppliers, materials, and equipment, you can hand off all of organization and production activities to one dedicated print provider.
The Phoenix Group is one such provider. We concentrate on helping our clients achieve their print marketing goals, so they can focus on what’s most important: their business.
How Supply Chain Issues Affect Print Projects
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant supply chain issues and disrupted virtually every industry, and commercial and direct mail printing is no different. The paper prices have skyrocketed, and demand has outweighed supply. Several paper mills have closed completely or begun the switch to packaging material production. Shipping delays on paper produced in Europe and Asia are also difficult to navigate, especially for companies not used to managing their own sourcing and procurement.
If your company’s print sourcing and procurement team hasn’t selected the right print provider, it can be challenging to achieve your marketing goals and keep sales and marketing schedules on track. That’s why it’s an industry best practice to work with a single-source print provider that can do it all. A US-based partner using domestically produced products can help mitigate delays and ensure brands are able to meet campaign timelines.
If you’re worried about how paper shortages and supply chain issues will impact your next print project, know that the best way to approach these challenges is to plan ahead. Place orders at least four to six weeks in advance, as lead times can be several months.
Why a Single-Source Provider is Best Practice
When it’s time to kick off critical sales and marketing projects, the advantages of having a single-source print provider are endless. But there are several core reasons why businesses decide to work with such providers.
- Greater scheduling management
- Increased quality control
- Reliable transportation
- Enhanced project visibility
- Smooth project collaboration
- Improved communication
- Consistent expectations
- Better transportation timelines
One of the biggest benefits of a single-source provider is gaining more control over all aspects of a print job. This type of provider has streamlined processes and excellent coordination between departments, offering clients greater control over timelines, transportation, communication, and quality. Because all aspects of a job handled in house, there is no need to coordinate components from supplier to supplier—cutting out a common source of project delays that other print partners must contend with.
Single-source providers are able to achieve greater speed to market, allowing clients to meet rush deadlines and ambitious marketing objectives when needed. In times of stock shortages, having more visibility into the available stock and paperboard supply for print communications is also valuable. A dedicated provider knows what’s on hand and what’s on the way and leads with a transparent approach to service fulfillment. If a specific item isn’t available in the timeframe requested, partners like the Phoenix Group are always happy to recommend alternatives.
To stay ahead of these supply chain issues, the Phoenix Group has made strategic bulk purchases of popular and hard-to-find items and continues to expand our inventory when possible. We also work closely with our new and existing suppliers throughout the country and around the globe to ensure the best possible selection of paper.
Partner with the Phoenix Group to Meet Your Printing Needs
As a trusted single-source provider to businesses in highly regulated industries, the Phoenix Group is committed to delivering excellence in print and helping companies rise above the competition. We’re proud to be a printer that can do it all—and do it above and beyond our clients’ expectations. Get in touch with the Phoenix Group to learn more about our capabilities and how we can serve as the ultimate printing partner for your team.
Interested in working with the Phoenix Group on your next print project? Contact us today.