Managing the Migration
Print Management has changed from a project-by-project business to an Enterprise Solution. As such a successful Print Manager must be prepared to staff locations in key areas around the world in order to support a base of global clientele. This requires investment, commitment and experience. You need a Group who can place people in proximate locations so that your production will be monitored, build systems to handle an ever increasing number of small and complex orders, register the business in countries of critical importance (so that taxes are paid and staff housed appropriately while minimizing our client’s taxable liability) and finally to have the experience to know which suppliers to trust and depend on.
Breaking the Mold
The “old” version of a print manager was in reality a broker who got prices, marked them up and lived in the margin. No end-to-end support was expected and none forthcoming. Often shipping was the responsibility of the client. Customs clearance was the same. It was, in short, a buyer beware world and those of us honestly attempting to manage production were tarred with their brush. Buyers, without a network of suppliers and a roster of contacts, operated in the dark. Many anxiously awaiting delivery thousands of miles away hoping the product matched that of samples they were shown or had actually approved on site. Basically, unacceptable risks offset by the promise of low pricing.
A New Direction
GSSI stepped in with a different philosophy from the start. Local control with “ICMs”, long time relationships with people of influence and suppliers of reputation. We not only managed shipping, we changed the notion that it was a fixed cost without options or a better mousetrap. Building value in every deal and managing print programs not just one-off productions.
The philosophy has been proven right as the Print World changed with technology. The Internet eventually shook a previously rock solid industry to the core. Immune markets became vulnerable. Encyclopedias, dictionaries, industrial directories and other mass produced items became extinct while many others are on life support. But Companies still need timely collateral materials, calling cards, support and directional items, catalogs and brochures. Global organizations also require the benefit of on-demand service and consistent quality delivered to locations throughout the world.