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APG's Services

Why use APG's services?

Print remains a critical part of the marketing and communications mix. Contrary to popular assumptions, the global printing market is expected to grow from $750 billion in 2021 to $796 billion by 2027. As well as growth in advertising print, where it is being used to create a physical experience in retail, print is still the only medium that can be relied on to reach almost everyone in their homes. It was a printed letter that the Government relied upon in 2020 to tell the nation about the seriousness of Covid 19.

However, print production and the sourcing of print products is a specialist activity. In-house print rooms and disconnected print buying strategies can drain resources, particularly as demand increases. This can negatively impact the cost and quality of print and, therefore, end-user engagement. APG combined in-house production capability with outsourced, professional print management to offer a scalable solution with multiple benefits.

What are the differences between print management, print buying and print production?

Print management definition

Print management creates business value by making organisations more efficient, removing costs, reducing risk to brand and reputation and ensuring regulatory compliance.

Executing a communications strategy to reach the right people in the correct format and the right context becomes easier. Internal resources are freed up to focus on core business by removing the burden of dealing with the process, production, and delivery of printed materials.

Working with a professional print management partner decreases the risk in your business through access to a fully managed and strategically sourced supply chain. This then ensures transparency and confidence around areas such as CO2 impact and compliance with regulations such as those around modern slavery. 

Print production definition

Print production refers to the manufacturing of print and is a critical component. It includes creating printed content, from planning, preparing files, merging multiple data points, monitoring quality and delivering the printed output.

APG has a purpose-built secure unit in Bracknell that provides print production for projects requiring quick turnaround and print-on-demand services. APG also provides warehousing, stock control and fulfilment services with an option to add online ordering of call-off and catalogue items.

Print buying definition

In contrast, print buying is much narrower and more tactical in focus. Print buyers, whether internal or external, are only responsible for scheduling, pricing and selecting printers and managing the production of printed products

What systems do APG offer?

Secure, user-friendly systems are essential for good print management.

At APG, we use several in-house software solutions to offer web-to-print, stock management, digital asset management and online ordering. Unique user IDs/passwords provide defined levels of access. The system manages the end-to-end process for both ad hoc (bespoke) work and stock requirements, including:

  • Registering enquiries

  • Request for quote

  • Registering design jobs

  • Logging hours spent on jobs

  • Market testing

  • Issuing quotations and estimates

  • Receiving and assigning purchase orders

  • Online design

  • Placing an order and attaching artwork

  • Issuing proofs for review and signing off

  • Job management

  • Job tracking through to delivery and distribution

  • Stock management and online ordering of catalogue items

  • Tracking delivery and distribution

  • Invoicing

  • Customer feedback

  • Audit trail and archive of every job

  • Benchmarking

  • Comprehensive management information, including historical data

How is the supply chain managed?

Print managers should proactively manage their supply chain to provide the capacity, quality and expertise required to fulfil and deliver the contract. 

At APG we offer

  • A strategic sourcing team to vet and regularly re-vet suppliers. Print experts in the client services team should monitor supplier performance on a job-by-job basis.

  • A supplier management system to manage financials (credit checks), legal (insurances) and compliance (BSI certifications) relevant to the work undertaken.

  • A supplier code of conduct and back-to-back contracts mirror client contract call-off terms and conditions.

  • The strategic sourcing team will carefully select suppliers, using criteria such as location and ability to compete for projects and ensuring the suppliers' strengths meet the customer's needs and sensitivities.

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