Leave it to the print management experts
If you’re wider public sector looking for effective and efficient print solutions utilising the best in technology and innovation, it’s time to consider bringing in the experts.
I suggest that the days are numbered for in-house print units serving wider public-sector organisations, particularly those of a smaller scale run by the internal team. In my view, the figures no longer stack up and in many cases, the units cannot anymore be commercially efficient.
One such authority I was involved with twenty years ago, had conventional lithographic presses and analogue reprographics (digital was still in its infancy), they attempted to print everything regardless of appropriateness and what they couldn’t, they outsourced to local print suppliers but this was rare. They had ten staff each with precisely defined roles so much so that if work fell outside their duties, they refused to do it!
I recall a guillotine operator who only cut paper and when there was no paper to cut, stood around doing nothing waiting for the next cut! At least this authority had the foresight to outsource the running of the print unit and print manage everything that could be sourced from an abundance of expert print suppliers across the UK.
The problems I continue to encounter include:
- Outdated equipment and a reluctance or inability (due to budgetary constraints) to invest
- Staff under-utilised and de-motivated
- Covering staff leave both planned and unplanned
- Lack of expertise, knowledge, experience and ability to keep up with improvements in technology and innovation
- A limited external supplier base and suppliers that have been used over many years with little or no competition
- Diminishing print volumes as the digital-first strategy bites
- The print unit occupying premium location within the authority that can be better utilised by staff involved in core business and, staff previously employed in satellite operations that have been closed to save money now needing a place to work
- Providing print is not the core business of the authority.
Surely, the time is ripe to let go of these archaic practices and, with the advent of high speed comms, align with suppliers who can act immediately, process, complete and deliver/distribute within no time at all or, assign the management of the facility to expert businesses that understand the issues and solutions associated with the management of an effective and efficient unit.
If you and your organisation are looking to put a print management solution in place and, you are in Central Government or the Wider Public Sector, the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) Framework, could be a good vehicle for you avoiding the onerous processes linked to the OJEU.
The CCS Framework RM3785 offers all public-sector organisations the flexibility to source a fully-managed, end-to-end print and digital solution that includes associated services, such as design, storage, fulfilment and distribution, postal dispatch, scanning and stock management.
The Framework offers a compliant, straightforward, quick, cost-efficient and direct route to market.
CDS is one of six framework suppliers.