Business agility is a key objective for most organizations. Whether you own a local restaurant, run marketing at a tech start-up, or administer corporate training for a multinational conglomerate, your stakeholders want to see an agile business.
In this blog post, we’ll dive into why agility is so important for any type of organization and how to find a print partner who helps you with agile printing, even when managing complex logistical projects.
Why Businesses Love Agility
First of all, let’s talk about the basics: what is an agile business process, and why is it so important?
Agility in business is all about organizing your processes to respond quickly to changing circumstances. One obvious example everyone experienced recently: your business needs to be agile in order to change work environments and safety policies according to pandemic health guidelines.
Other times, business agility is important to be able to respond to market demands, new product releases, changes to your customer demographics, or other factors that require you to do business in new ways.
Whether you lead the entire business, a department, or even your own personal contributions, optimizing your strategy and processes to be agile is incredibly important to success. To learn more about the business agility model, check out this helpful guide from McKinsey & Company.
How Print Fits Into Your Business Agility Plan
Print documents remain an important part of many business processes, including live events, employee or customer training, and proposals or bids. However, print gets a bad reputation as a long, multi week process that impedes agility.
The truth is that on demand print technology speeds up document creation. When paired with lean manufacturing principles, print is actually an agile solution to delivering documents to your key audiences.
So let’s talk about how to make sure your print partner is going to help you stay agile.
3 Tips for Selecting an Agile Printer
Find an online printer
The first consideration for print vendors is how they will fit into your day-to-day operations. Some printers require you to call them for a quote, email them files, or upload files to an FTP site. Then you have to provide written instructions for how you want the documents printed and wait for a physical proof. Finally, you may even need to go into the store to pick up the final order.
None of that is very agile. That’s why you need to begin by finding an online document printing service that focuses on business agility itself. Online printing services allow you to upload files for real-time proofs. That eliminates calls and long email chains. In addition, your online printer should provide real-time quotes so that you don’t have to spend hours waiting for printing prices. As for the last piece of the project, online print services print and deliver documents (since they don’t typically keep storefronts) so you don’t have to stand in line to pick up your print project.
By finding a printer whose order, proofing, and delivery process fits into your workday (and not the other way around), you will find a partner that allows you to stay agile.
Find a printer that does more than standard documents
Next in your vendor selection process, find out what kind of documents your printer specializes in. Many online printers are focused on basic consumer products such as flyers or bookmarks. While this can be great on a limited project basis, you will be better served in the long-term by finding a printer who specializes in business documents like printed catalogs or bound workbooks.
For example, while you may start out looking to print business cards, your print needs will likely get more complex such as requiring 3-ring binders for business proposals, spiral-bound documents for training manuals, and folded brochures or saddle-stitch booklets for marketing. If you have to keep finding a new printer each time a new project comes up, you are not set up to stay agile.
Find a printer who can work with your deadline
With traditional print methods, printers need several hours to set up any particular job, which meant they often could not accommodate last-minute changes. Most often, they require several days or weeks of lead time to produce your documents.
On demand print technology has changed that game. Because of that, you should make sure whatever printer you choose works with your deadline, not the other way around.
For example, by combining our on demand digital printers with lean manufacturing, Mimeo makes it easy to plan your print order as early as two weeks out or as late as 10 pm ET the night before. Overnight printing is a great solution for projects where you need more time to finish the content – such as RFP responses or event collateral – while the two-week window allows you to optimize your budget. Since we offer online document printing with real-time pricing, all of these factors are transparent and in your hands, as Emily articulates in this TrustPilot review.
The right printer can plug into your agile team to enable everything from custom marketing campaigns to updated training content to customer communication about changing business conditions. Schedule a call to set up your free Mimeo account and see how print can be a part of your business agility!
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