Outsourcing Print — Smooth Sailing or Stormy Seas?
By Gina Ferrara
Determining whether to shut down your internal print and mail operation and outsource to a print service provider, as opposed to keeping it in-house and potentially making a capital investment in new technology, can be a tough conversation. Those in favor of the latter option will cite concerns over sending customer data outside the organization and advocate that investing in new technology will improve operational workflows, enhance the customer experience, and increase brand recognition by adding color to documents, as well as potentially generate a better ROI for the organization. Proponents of outsourcing believe that print is not a core competency and argue that outsourcing to a service provider would be the less expensive alternative. While there may be a variety of reasons that cause an organization to consider closing up shop, there are a few factors that, when considered together, can create the perfect storm.
- Decline in transactional print volumes
Electronic delivery of customer communications was a high priority for many organizations as a cost reduction strategy. While adoption rates may have varied, electronic delivery nonetheless caused transactional print volume to decline, even causing some enterprises to consolidate production into one site. Print volumes decline, unit costs go up, and outsourcing becomes more financially attractive.
- Equipment has reached end of life or end of lease
Enterprises in need of a technology refresh may not be willing to make the investment or be able to justify the expense. New technology can speed production, streamline operations, enhance documents with color capability, and reduce risk; however, if priorities have changed and the CCM strategy has shifted toward enhancing the digital experience, convincing management to invest in print technology may be a tough hurdle to overcome.