Published On April 27, 2016One of the key variables affecting a company’s overall profitability is its cost of print and fulfillment.
One of the key variables affecting a company’s overall profitability is its cost of print and fulfillment. And nowhere is that more true than among highly regulated businesses in the financial, insurance, and pharmaceutical industries.
Among those who participated in an Iron Mountain/InfoTrends survey last year, the average annual spend on print was $4 million. Why so high?
To some degree, it’s simply because these businesses are so highly regulated. Every time there’s a new piece of legislation, a new regulatory requirement or even a new interpretation of existing laws and regulations, it has the potential to affect every document those companies produce. The expense of changing and reprinting dozens, hundreds or even thousands of documents can add up quickly.
Then there’s the money lost on pieces that must be destroyed because they’ve been made obsolete due to noncompliance. In our study, obsolescence accounted for an average of 17 percent of their print budgets – a pretty hefty chunk.
Finally, a significant portion of the high cost of print among these companies comes from their underlying production processes. Without a thorough analysis of when and where it makes sense to use offset printing, versus digital printing or even electronic delivery, it’s hard to bring overall expenditures down.
No wonder 70 percent of the companies we surveyed said they outsource print and fulfillment to partners who can help them reduce the costs of both production and waste.
At the same time, highly regulated businesses need a partner that can help them maintain compliance in today’s increasingly complex regulatory environment. As this infographic shows, 38 percent of our study participants listed “ability to meet regulatory requirements” as their top criterion for a fulfillment partner.
But There’s More…
As important as these needs are in the eyes of our study participants, they still wanted more from a potential fulfillment partner. Among other criteria they cited as were:
- Online ordering capabilities. An online fulfillment management system can help companies control and manage inventory (both of which reduce costs and waste); track usage and costs (allowing them to be charged back), and capture and report key data (which helps with forecasting future needs). Better systems also include tools to help automate compliance and provide an audit trail.
- Customization capabilities. Personalization is a strategy most companies recognize as important to increasing response rates and revenues. While cost may initially be perceived as a barrier to implementing such strategies, many of our survey respondents found their returns on investment far outweighed expenditures.
- Service levels and access to knowledgeable staff. Financial, insurance, and pharma companies are not only highly regulated; they’re also people-focused businesses. They want to know that the companies they choose to handle their sensitive data and their critical communications are up to the task and available when they need them.
In sum, highly regulated companies face a host of challenges, but fulfillment shouldn’t be one of them. If your current fulfillment provider doesn’t offer solutions that translate into competitive advantages, talk to Iron Mountain.
Looking for more insights on print and fulfillment trends for highly regulated companies? Download our free ebook, The Future of Fulfillment for Regulated Industries.