Print procurement specialist Haybrooke has launched a new trade-only outsourcing service that connects print buyers with printers.
Launched in January, ‘printing as a service’, or PaaS offers buyers an ‘out of the box’ supply chain and a centralised approach to buying print and dealing with suppliers.
John Roche, chief executive of Leicester-based Haybrooke, told Printweek: “For all of our history we’ve been involved in providing solutions to print managers, print buyers and printers so that we can deliver instant live pricing to buyers of print.
“But this year we wanted to become a bit more adventurous in the way that we were working in the industry. One of the ways in which we realised there was a potential niche for our product and the way that we could operate was to provide something that we have coined as ‘printing as a service’.
“With this we provide a buyer of print with an ‘out of the box’ roster of print suppliers and analyse the buyer’s requirements in terms of the types of products that they typically buy and the types of suppliers that are fit for their purposes.
“We match those two requirements together, assemble the supply chain for them and then give them access to live pricing from those suppliers and allow them to procure from those suppliers.”
He added: “Crucially, Haybrooke provide that service as the principal for the transaction. The end customer, that we call in our model the PDQ customer [Haybrooke’s system is called PDQ], technically make a purchase from Haybrooke and we technically make a purchase from the printer of their choice, but for all practical purposes it’s a fully transparent relationship.
“The PDQ customer has full sight of the roster of print suppliers, they can engage with them, and the system has all of the tools within it to place orders with them, track progress and track deliveries, right through to the final proof of delivery.
“Then the printer will upload an invoice into our system, we effectively consolidate all of the jobs that have been done in a given month into a single bill, present that single bill to the customer who pays us, and we in turn pay the printer by return.”
Roche said another benefit of the system was that payments were effectively collected from the customers 30 days end of month using direct debit.
“This is pretty unusual in the industry – at least at this scale – to be able to collect payments for print by direct debit. Because we deal with large consumers of print – organisations that may be spending up to £100,000 a month on print – they naturally want some credit terms in place.
“A lot of those type of entities can often take 60 or 90 days to pay printers, so part of the attraction of beginning this model and trying to position ourselves in the middle of the commercial process was to try and make that more efficient.”
He said eight customers are already buying print using this model, and all have agreed to pay on the 30 days end of month terms.
“When we collect by direct debit upon those terms, we immediately then pay the printers, so they are getting paid 30 days end of month as well, which is really fast in our industry.”
He added: “The reaction so far from the customers that are using this system has been tremendous because if you’re a fairly large organisation buying print, quite often you’ll have a roster of maybe more than a dozen print suppliers and you’ll be placing orders with each of those at various times throughout the month.
“You’ll have various different terms with each of those suppliers, you’ll have to manage invoices coming in from all those suppliers at various times throughout the month and you’ll be administering collections from all of those printers trying to get the money from you. We replace all of that with a single consolidated invoice at the end of every month.”
‘Printing as a service’ is free for both buyers and printers to use. A module within Haybrooke’s PDQ system intelligently marginalises suppliers’ prices on the fly, providing a revenue stream for Haybrooke but keeping prices competitive for the customer.
“For common jobs we might apply no margin at all, but for other types of work, where our module has judged by looking at various KPIs that we have built in that there is an opportunity for us to share in the savings gain, then we will – although that percentage is very slim,” said Roche.
“Therefore, we need customers to put a lot of work through the system for us to make a commercial benefit.”
He added: “The system fundamentally guarantees that the customer will buy the cheapest price in the marketplace. Every customer that’s joined so far to use the system and has tested it upfront has been able to achieve savings.”
Nine staff work at Haybrooke, which was established in 2006.