When is print outsourcing a risk
The provision of print, reprographics, print management and the management of internal print rooms can work very well on an outsourced basis especially when the outsourcing is with a specialist provider.
In the light of recent outsourcing failures across both Central Government and Wider Public Sector involving certain national outsourcing giants, local authorities certainly need not avoid outsourcing per se.
Consideration needs to be given to the choice of outsourcer and the extent of the services that the authority wants to outsource. The problems seem to occur when the requirement spans numerous individual and quite separate services.
Clearly, on the face of it, contracting with a single organisation will seem attractive and easy to manage. But what does the provision of print and print management solutions have to do with grounds maintenance, general cleaning and the supply of school dinners?
In reality, will the outsourced supplier themselves have all the necessary focus, understanding, expertise and internal control to meet all the service requirements, Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and Key Performance Indicator (KPIs).
And will they really be able and want to demonstrate value for money, cost and operational efficiencies? Perhaps not.
Time to reconsider
Surely, now is the time to reconsider the approach to outsourcing. A more specialist focussed approach could be more beneficial and need not be a burden to manage. By contracting with specialist suppliers, it makes sense that the services provided will be tailored to your precise requirements and are more likely to meet your operational, commercial and strategic objectives.
Furthermore, with the availability of defined public sector print and associated framework call-off arrangements, what has previously been a significant, onerous and costly exercise via OJEU, can be a streamlined, efficient and straightforward process.
A mini-tender offering a bespoke solution designed to meet and exceed your requirements and expectations is competed with a limited number of qualified, approved, tried and tested suppliers.
The result, a much better solution provided by an experienced forward-looking organisation and their professional teams who understand the market and can provide expert help and advice throughout the term of the arrangement.
An organisation that understands technological improvement and innovation across the industry and can use this knowledge to mutual benefit by providing efficiencies both operationally and financially.