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In-Plant Printers: 11 Tips for Building an ROI and Selling Your Vision to Management

Data In-Plants Need to Gather, Track & Use to Effectively Communicate Value

  • Mike Gatti
  • |
  • March 22, 2015

Guest Blogger: Michal Gatti, Manager, Fairfax County Government Print Services 

A few months ago, I delivered a presentation at a conference called "Building an ROI and Selling Your Vision to Upper Management." In the session, I offered detailed tips about what data in-plants need to gather, track and use to effectively communicate value, vision and needs, and to develop a business case and ROI that resonates with upper management. Reaction was so positive, that I was asked to sum up the presentation into some key insights. Here they are:

  • Why build an ROI? An organization has many competing priorities. Be creative in how you present your need for equipment or software. It’s not always about dollars.
  • Build one, three and five-year plans - Data collection is key. Look when leases refresh, timelines on equipment expiration, and staffing. Align with salary structure, rates, hours each person works, etc. Chart it all out. More information increases your credibility.

Is your in-plant considering whether or not to try Web to Print software? Download and try this ROI calculator, to see if it can help your in-plant grow volume without increasing costs or staff.

  • Create mission, value, and future statements, as well as a print center overview (core purpose) so that you have them ready if objections arise. Re-examine and keep re-positioning as time passes; make sure the vision and mission hold true with new technology and your evolving customer base. Being ready and current communicates to budget decision makers that you are adept in your role.
  • Have example documents/items to visually show the type of jobs the equipment produces and the staffing to produce them efficiently. Know customer demand.
  • Future plans - Create "future state workflows" with costs, options, goals and benefits, timeline and rationale. Track and analyze. Sell the picture. When replacing staff seek people that have multiple skills and that support this future vision.
  • Track outsourcing. Track the types of jobs, how often, how many, and the cost. Use data to support purchase of equipment or capabilities. Our Web to Print software (WebCRD) can track jobs sent out. Want ideas about what to track that is outsourced? Try by dollar cap, type of finishing, book page count and turnaround time. Input outsourced categories into a spreadsheet. Make your tracking relevant to why you need specific equipment (or software).
  • ROI for web to print - Web to Print is for customers, not just the print staff. If you want web to print, don’t sell it for the print shop. Ask for it because it’s for everybody. It’s a global piece that everybody in your organization will have on their computer to send a job to the print shop. Use a production dashboard to manage production and the workflow and provide customers status emails and updates. You will need fewer CSRs to manage workflow- consider a dual position with one hire since so much time is freed up through automation. Look at the number of touches and how many you can remove with Web to Print. Look at the physical steps that can be removed to show how much time can be saved in the print shop- those saved steps are dollars you can save and to be more efficient for your customers. Make it easy for your customers to get work in the door to you. I used RSA's ROI calculator to calculate our ROI.
  • Track usage, hours and staffing for equipment and job types. This helps determine equipment and staffing needs and supports the business case when there is a need for hiring or equipment purchase. New equipment can satisfy and retain staff - it’s an employee satisfier.
  • Understand Buy vs. Lease costs. Do your homework.
  • Work with trends and your organizations key initiatives. "Going Green," reducing noise, lowering power consumption, cooler operations, less waste, better safety features for employees, etc., are all examples of current trends. By understanding what is important you can address those areas are part of your ROI.
  • Know your audience. What is their hot button? Cost? Efficiency? Know your clients’ needs (use survey results). Use visuals like infographics. Talk value over price. Know to whom you are presenting your case. Tell the story with pictures. Addressing your audience with a good presentation, well thought out facts, and compelling visuals strengthens your business case and demonstrates that you have conducted your research.

See the Full Video Presentation and Download the Infographic

Not sure whether or not to try Web to Print software? Download and try this ROI calculator to see if it can help your in-plant grow volume without increasing costs or staff.


About the Author

Mike Gatti

Mike Gatti has been Manager of Fairfax County Government Print Services, where he has responsibility over offset sheet fed and digital production equipment, for the past 17 years. Prior to that position, Mike spent 23 years in the private sector, working in large offset plants in Philadelphia and the Washington, D.C. area – from pressman to production manager, estimator, and job planner in offset sheet fed and heat set web environments. Mike also worked in the paper business selling rolls and cut sheets.

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