Document outsourcing is often an overlooked facet to a companies printing policy or management process. It's common for organisations to use a wide variety of outsource providers to handle different aspects of their document requirements, including printing, copying, scanning, large format, mailing or eDisclosure. With such a disorganised and decentralised approach, there is huge opportunity to be found in optimising your document outsourcing capabilities.
Every company undertakes some degree of document outsourcing. In smaller companies, this might include one-off print projects such as company brochures or events collateral. Other organisations often leave document outsourcing requirements to the discretion of departments or office locations, creating a system and culture where a large number of smaller providers are used on the basis of a wide variety of purchasing factors.
Often, the person responsible for procuring document outsourcing services will have a contact they have used previously and based on trust and confidence, continue to maintain the relationship. Other times, a provider is selected based on their close location to the business or because of attractive pricing given last time the company went to market for quotations.
In such scenarios, organisations are missing out on significant opportunities and organisational benefits. Below are 4 of the main reasons why you should seek to optimise document outsourcing capabilities.
1. Cost Effective
Rationalising your list of outsourcing providers and undertaking regular cost appraisals will reduce spend. It is far more cost effective to use a small, well managed list of preferred suppliers, or even one single supplier with the coverage and expertise to handle all your outsourcing requirements.
The increased volume given to a fewer number of providers will also typically result in better buying power and economies of scale, while saving significant amounts of staff time and associated business cost.
2. More Efficient
The procurement and management of the entire document outsourcing process will be more efficient when properly optimised. Staff will be aware of who to contact, the typical project lead times and have a clear pricing structure to help allocate budgets accordingly.
An on-demand outsourcing service will ensure heavy administration is avoided and staff can order what they need, whenever they need it. When the end-to-end process can be handled by a single provider, with logistics, production, finishing, packaging and delivery all handled under one roof and through one point of contact, document outsourcing becomes an extremely efficient task for companies to complete.
It is also important to consider an outsource provider who operates 24/7 to deliver in times when short notice or last minute assignments are needed. The efficiency gains that can be realised from a provider who can pick up, produce and deliver outsource projects during a night shift, for example, can bring significant benefits to your organisation.
3. More Secure
With the GDPR deadline coming into play in May 2018 and heavy penalties being imposed, it is more crucial than ever that all organisations understand how their data is being used and managed by outsource providers.
Reducing the number of document outsourcing suppliers will ensure less governance and compliance around data usage. It will also mean your data is sent to, and stored by, fewer companies, reducing security concerns and breach potential.
Data security is big business and using document outsourcing companies who do not keep security at the forefront of their business operations can be very risky. Look for providers accredited with ISO 27001, which ensures the integrity and security of their information security management systems and processes while demonstrating a robust platform for good information security management.
If the outsource provider employs their own in-house logistics team, then another layer of concern can be alleviated. A full chain of custody, from picking up sensitive digital or hard copy data, right through to final delivery, should be sought to create a full audit trail and maximise security.
4. Reliability and Peace of Mind
Being let down by a document outsourcing provider can cause a huge impact on your companies operations, whether it be producing marketing materials for a big event or scanning large volumes of documents for a legal case.
Outsource companies who operate 24/7 can help ease the stress of meeting tight deadlines. Those that employ their own in-house engineers to maintain their print infrastructure are at a significant advantage as they do not have to rely on manufacturer response times to resolve key technology that fails at crucial points in production.
Capacity could be a vital consideration when looking to optimise document outsourcing capabilities. If you have a large outsourcing project and the volume cannot be produced by your outsourcing provider, most times they will take the job and sub-contract work out to fulfil the order. This, of course, is risky and can be worrying, especially if your outsource provider is not transparent in how they produce all deliverables.
When the worst case scenario becomes a reality and an outsource provider suffers from a force majeure event, then it is encouraging to understand what disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity practices they have in place. An on-site DR facility provides peace of mind that important outsource work can continue as normal, while maintaining security and efficiency levels.
Apogee is Europe’s largest independent provider of print, document and process technology and outsource services. With over 20 UK and European offices, Apogee are ideally placed as a single provider to handle all your document outsourcing requirements and boast:
How does your organisation currently handle their document outsourcing? These 4 benefits to optimising your outsourcing processes are only the tip of the iceberg. If you would like to find out more about how Apogee can help streamline your print processes then call our Outsourcing team on 0800 999 0247 or get in touch today.
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