In the 15th century, Johannes Gutenberg accomplished what was once considered impossible—he mechanized the art of bookmaking. Each book was carefully crafted and then distributed across Europe and each step—sourcing the paper, printing, and distribution—was a monumental task involving complex logistics and considerable costs. Today, global companies are spending $80bn on promotional items, and an estimated 0.8% of their revenue on print. And – much like Gutenberg’s central printing operation, these corporations are still producing marketing collateral, annual reports, and even business cards at a central location before shipping them worldwide. While technology has evolved, the complexity and cost of managing print hasn’t changed much.
The Hidden Costs of Centralized Printing
Centralized production may seem like a cost-effective, quality-controlled way to manage branded materials. However, this approach brings hidden costs that can add up quickly, far outweighing the apparent lower unit price of mass production. Here’s what global marketing managers often overlook:
The Tangible Costs of Managing Print:
– Shipping Costs: A significant expenditure, especially when materials need to be flown across continents. Often the shipping costs are 3-5x higher than the production cost when shipping across the world.
– Customs Fees: Varied and unpredictable, these can be a financial headache.
– Warehousing Costs: Storing mass-produced items isn’t free.
– Fulfillment Costs: Employee time spent organizing global shipping from a central warehouse.
– Administration Costs: The overhead for maintaining stock and coordinating new productions.
– Financial Reallocation: Time spent directing costs to the correct cost centers is time not spent on strategic activities.
The Intangible Cost of Managing Print:
– Outdated Materials: Risk of obsolescence due to changes in branding or company details.
– Environmental Impact: A massive carbon footprint results from shipping products globally.
As an example, a Marketing Manager in India for an undisclosed global manufacturing company shared the inefficiencies in their current process. Orders are placed through an intranet and sent to a customer service team at their European HQ. The recipient would have to go to the warehouse, find the right products and package them before shipping them off to India from Europe. The whole process ended up taking weeks and was very costly.
The solution is more straightforward than one might expect. By implementing a few strategic changes, companies can save substantially:
Deploy a Global Software Platform to Reduce the Cost of Print
Opt for a platform enabling local, on-demand production of promo and print products. Such a platform should:
- Offer local and on-demand production
- Connect to a vetted, global network of suppliers to maintain quality
- Allow centralized file management, so branding remains consistent
- ERP System Integration: Automatically allocates costs to the appropriate departments by integrating with your ERP system
- SSO integration: for seamless access for all users in your organization
What this approach achieves:
- Cost Efficiency: Reduce total printing costs by up to 50%
- Logistical Improvements: Cut down shipping distances by up to 90%
- Production Efficiency: Reduce production volumes by 30-50% by shifting to on-demand production
- Better Brand Control: Update and adapt materials more dynamically
- Environmental Impact: Significant reduction in your carbon footprint
- Reduced Admin Time: Less overhead for procurement and management.
About Ciloo: The Global Platform for Branded Products
Since 2008, Ciloo has been at the forefront of providing unified global platforms for managing promotional products. With a portfolio that includes global giants like Flex Technologies and Jacobs, we offer unparalleled experience and expertise in this niche.
Our platform allows for integrated solutions with core enterprise business systems, ensuring smooth transactions and real-time data analysis. With an already robust network of suppliers across Europe, North America, and Australia, we are actively expanding into Latam, APAC, and Africa.
If your company is grappling with the challenges of managing global print operations, Ciloo offers a turnkey solution designed to reduce costs, enhance efficiency, and elevate your brand’s consistency.
Don’t let Gutenberg’s challenges be your challenges. Step into the future of global printing management with Ciloo. For more information, contact us today