At Imprimus, we’ve been successfully handling outsourced print and mail since 1988. If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that good preparation makes all the difference when it comes to handover.

Unfortunately, the companies who need the most support – first-time outsourcers – are also the most likely to overlook four key steps that help to make the whole experience smoother for everyone.

If you’re thinking about outsourcing your print or mail for the first time, be sure to include these stages in your planning. You can thank us later..  

 

 

 

Step One: Prioritise quick wins for immediate returns

There’s no law that says you only need one go-live date. If you plan for a phased handover, you can unlock quick wins, while the more complicated work is still ongoing. And there are plenty of reasons why that might be good idea.

For example, you might want to earn some internal support by showing stakeholders the decision is paying off as quick as possible. And if you’re passing on a complex set of duties, it’s easier to see those immediate returns if you prioritise things like printing and fulfilment first.

 

Doing so allows you to benefit from:

 

  •     Immediate savings and improvements

By handing over print, fulfilment and postage first, you immediately save on costs associated with those in-house processes. You also free up the bulk of your print floor as the hardware is no longer needed. And the sooner you save, the more you save.

 

  •      More time to get the tricky part right

The handover of document composition management isn’t something to rush. And because it has virtually no impact on print savings, you can spend all the time you need to ensure this part of the handover is completely seamless, while the cost benefits are already rolling in.

 

 

Step Two: Offer potential partners a ‘discovery’ phase

It’s all well and good to cover your requirements in the tender, but the best way for a partner like us to spot opportunities for improvement and understand your preferred way of working is to spend time with your stakeholders.

A discovery visit may involve shadowing your operational staff, allowing us to identify their key challenges and get a clear idea of how they work day-to-day. We may also run workshops to get a better view of your aspirations and concerns. Lastly, it’s not uncommon for us to suggest alternative approaches that might give you a better outcome.

Not only does this help the outsource project go smoothly, but we get a complete picture of your existing processes and efficiency. And you get to see which potential partner takes the keenest interest, and has the best cultural fit.

It’s a win-win; you just don’t want to spend all your time showing hopefuls around, so consider building the opportunity in right at the end of your selection process.

 

 

 

Step Three: Identify and appoint a project manager

Outsourcing your print room is a significant change, but that doesn’t mean it has to be painful. If only for or your own peace of mind, it helps if you have a designated project manager to oversee not just the outsource process, but stakeholder engagement too.

At Imprimus, we often provide a project-manager to our outsourcers, but it’s ultimately up to you who takes the reins – whether you’d prefer to ask your partner to nominate someone, or appoint someone in-house.

Either way, you’ll benefit from a defined handover schedule, timeline and plan – guiding the project with authority and clarity – and a single point of responsibility. 

 

 

 

Step Four: Plan for future improvements

Once handover has happened, it’s tempting to relax. After all, you’ve successfully secured a new partner, and a new chapter in your business is about to begin. But it’s also important to reflect on the project, and look at how you can improve processes even more in the future.

What do you want to get out of your partnership that you haven’t already covered? Have you always wanted to personalise your customers’ content? Is it time you cross-promoted your transactional mail? Could blending your online and offline channels finally be a reality?

The best outsource partners will always be on the lookout to help you keep on improving your results – so never fear sharing your own thoughts on future improvements... or asking for theirs.

 

 

Want more?

If you’re considering outsourcing, or simply curious about the process, you might enjoy our free, 12-step eBook guide ‘The right way to outsource your print room’. 

 

 

 

Author: John Chapple 

Contact: info@imprimus.co.uk

eBook Download: HERE

Date: 16th June 2017 

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