Why Buy a Press Without a Full Transformation Solution

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Andy and Julie Plata
An American Printer Announcement
By Andy & Julie Plata 
American Printer and the OutputLinks Communications Group 

Is a new press the solution? Or does it take more than new hardware to transform the business and accelerate profits?

Over the past years, we have been privileged to discuss new press purchases with dozens of owners and senior executives. The primary reason for their investment, which can often be well more than $1 million, is to help accelerate profits in the coming years. However, after reflecting on those discussions, we wondered how many failed to maximize their technology investment fully?

This discussion regards maximizing ROI in the new press RFQ process.

The ROI Question?

QuestionCould a more significant ROI have been gained by asking for more than just a new press?

How much could ROI increase if an RFP included a business transformation component? An example might be automating the workflow process, from job submission to job completion. The next question is determining transformations the company needs, beyond a new press, to maximize profit acceleration and ROI.


An excellent article on ProductPlan's website states, "Any established organization interested in maximizing performance, increasing efficiency, and being around in five or ten years should explore business transformation opportunities. There will always be places, processes, and structures that could benefit from an overhaul, and bypassing these changes in favor of the status quo often proves short-sighted and detrimental."


 Technology Investments Without Full Diagnosis = ROI Malpractice

Before creating an RFQ, an audit should be conducted, by senior-level employees or outside consultants, to identify processes that might hamper the fullest possible ROI. Identified areas might include sales and management practices, order entry, accounting, workflow, automation, pre-and post-processing, warehousing, and delivery. The diagnosis should even include the company's short and long-term objectives.


Is your company transitioning from manufacturing to a service-based business?
Are more jobs of shorter run lengths stressing your accounting and invoicing resources?
Are customer requirements for specialized post-processing hampering job completion times?


After completing the diagnosis, the next dilemma is, "How do we acquire the transformational solution from one of the world's best talents and technology organizations?

May we suggest a possible solution?

 Expanding the RFQ for the Solution

butterflyIn the next large press RFP, include the complete transformation solution you want suppliers to include in their bid.

The companies you will include in your next press RFP include some of the world's largest enterprises. Therefore, one would assume that they have access to people, expertise, and resources related to print and business optimization. Therefore, they should be well-positioned to provide you with the transformational solution needed to maximize ROI on your new press investment.

What Happens If?

Consider this expanded RFQ exercise to be a process. By this, we mean the response you receive may be too expensive. In that case, you may want to discuss the proposal with the supplier to identify ways to reduce their estimate or identify other avenues for a cost-effective solution.

If your preferred supplier does not respond to the entire proposal, that may indicate a box sale versus a business partner relationship. This process can identify suppliers committed to providing more than hardware to maximize profits by helping transform your business processes.

And remember, you can always fall back on your past RFP method if this full-solution process does not meet your expectations. But, regardless of how you decide to proceed, we feel confident that you will have gained new insights into your company's ROI processes and your press suppliers' capacity to serve as true business partners.

In closing

The article's suggestions are based on our decades of operating enterprises ranging from print to publishing, software, and consulting services, along with the dozens of business discussions with print service providers worldwide.

We hope that our print-centric business information focus provides information to help you build a bigger and better business in 2022.

Let us know if you agree or disagree with our suggested RFQ process.

Focusing on the business side of print,
Andy & Julie Plata








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