Published On June 01, 2017You have to spend money to make money, as the old adage goes. But, when it comes to print and fulfillment, most companies would prefer to spend less.
You have to spend money to make money, as the old adage goes. But, when it comes to print and fulfillment, most companies would prefer to spend less and make more. And why not? Lower expenses plus higher revenues equal greater profit, right?
In particular, large, nonregulated companies who participated in an Iron Mountain/InfoTrends survey would like to reduce print waste and make greater use of personalization to increase response rates. They cite challenges to both goals; but, for many of those companies, a third-party fulfillment services partner provides the solutions they need.
Reducing Expenses by Cutting Waste
Our survey found that print still dominates communication-related spending, although investments in mobile communications are expected to increase. Yearly costs for print and fulfillment average $5.3 million among the consumer packaged goods, manufacturing and retail companies that participated. Brochures/flyers/sell sheets, direct mail and point-of-purchase displays comprise the print materials they most often produce.
But as much as 15 percent of their print budgets are wasted due to obsolescence, primarily caused by shorter market cycles, these companies said. In many cases, they can’t get control over the situation because their materials are developed and ordered by an agency, and their input is limited to desired cost-per-unit. Lacking a transparent print management program, they’re in the dark as to where and how to make changes.
For a majority (73 percent) of participants, outsourcing print management and fulfillment has given them the information and tools they need to more accurately assess needs and contain costs, including:
- real-time inventory tracking and reporting;
- the ability to control materials and quantities that can be ordered by individual, title, department, job function, region or other variables;
- digital document libraries that enable them to quickly update materials if information changes, and
- digital printing to eliminate rush reprint charges.
Improving Revenue Through Personalization
In addition to reducing print expenses and waste, these companies found that partnering with the right fulfillment company also makes it economically feasible for them to pursue personalization strategies designed to increase revenues.
Studies prove that the more relevant and personal the message, the better the response rate to it. But, while survey participants almost universally recognize the value of employing personalization strategies, some hesitate because they’re unsure about costs and return on investment.
Survey participants that have taken the plunge into personalization – working with fulfillment partners that offer variable data printing and design-on-demand capabilities – reported that revenue increases more than offset their costs.
For more on how the companies we surveyed are dealing with communication challenges in an increasingly digital business environment, download our free ebook, Print and Fulfillment Trends in Less Highly Regulated Companies.
So what print and fulfillment challenges is your company facing? Let us know if you, like the companies we spoke with, have found outsourcing a valuable aid in meeting those challenges. If not, contact Iron Mountain. One of our fulfillment specialists would be happy to talk to you about your needs.