- Outsourcing and how to combat it
- Reducing costs and increasing efficiencies
- Growing the in-plant
- Adding services
The No. 1 In-Plant Issue? Addressing Outsourcing
Outsourcing an in-plant to a managed service or FM provider is arguably the No. 1 concern for in-plant leaders in our list of the top five issues facing in-plants today. Recently, as part of an in-plant panel presentation, some key in-plant managers were asked how they address this concern.
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A common thread in the responses of in-plant leaders is upward and outward communication to management and their organization, continually ensuring that product offerings meet customer needs, being at the forefront of trends, maintaining efficiency, communicating value, and measurement and analysis of operational data. Top in-plants understand how critical collecting, managing to and conveying the numbers and the analysis of those numbers is to their business.
Communicating, Reporting on Value and Continuous Improvement Help Mitigate the Threat.
At the University of Oklahoma (OU), the largest higher education in-plant, they keep the administration apprised of in-plant's activities and their impact on the University community. State of Colorado, the 4th largest Government in-plant, continuously focuses on the value of the services they provide while looking for any value-add that is complementary to their core competencies. Leader Mike Lincoln states, "By staying ahead of the curves, and making sure your customers are singing your praises publicly, the likelihood of the conversation lessens and FM groups are less likely to target your operation as an opportunity. It is important to maintain efficiency and optimization in the forefront of your activities; this will speak volumes to your customer base and the parent organization as to how you are focused on 'lean and mean' operations." Dynamic Funds', Andrew Yee recognizes the continual risk of outsourcing. As C-level executives seek cost reductions, the in-plant is questioned about why it's the only one of the top five banks in Canada that has not outsourced its print center. Yee, Director, Statement & Document Production, feels that its customer relationships, analytics and job post-mortems all mitigate the threat. They also are constantly looking for:
- Ways to improve and do different and unique things
- How they can support customers by helping them in a pinch and making them "look good"
- Work that can be insourced by adding equipment, such as bindery equipment
- Work that makes sense for the organization to produce rather than sending it outside.
Yee's operation also relies on their Web to print software for reporting and analysis. "WebCRD brought in so much analytics that it proved to people. Because it all comes back to numbers, you know; unfortunately these days in a large organization like ours, it's in the numbers. You know it's the numbers, the numbers, and you have to really prove your relevancy through how much throughput you bring through. And through the back end, the information that we get from our software helps us with the monthly quarterly and the annual numbers."
Providing relevancy and a necessary service for the organization are two of the three keys for Michigan Farm Bureau, a 200,000 member non-profit and insurer in Michigan. The third key is justification through measurement and reporting. Karen Meyers, Business Manager, Centralized Print and Mail Services, notes, "We can run a cost analysis on outsourcing but you can't put a price on service and the ability to meet the needs of our clients better than anyone else can because we know their business so well."
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Watch RSA's In-plant Insights blog for the next article in the series about how these in-plant leaders are meeting today's challenges. You'll gain valuable information from in-plant and corporate print center leaders in Banking, Government, Higher Education, and Non-profit as they share their stories and discuss high impact topics.