Saturday, January 29, 2011

Document Control Managers - reprographers to place them OnSite at Customer offices?

Below, you will find just two paragraphs from an article Jared Willis posted on his blog,, in which Jared puts forth the idea of reprographers placing "document managers" on-site at customer offices. In my opinion, the idea is a good one, one certainly worth considering. Go go his blog site to read the full article.

Information Explosion

Lately, When talking about what I/we do in the reprographics industry, I increasingly refer to us as the Librarians of the Library. Everyone in the industry talks about the death of print, but few look at the explosive growth of information, particularly in construction. While plan printing has reduced drastically, your clients are dealing with volumes and volumes more data than they ever have before. The relative ease of creating information these days (AutoCAD, email, site photos, PDFs) means that authorship has gone way up where everyone on the project creates a meaningful document multiple times a day. That information is all important and it can be incredibly overwhelming if not controlled.

When selling your solution, don't talk about its ability to hold information. Storage space and ability is cheap. Talk about your ability to get the client down to what they want, right away. Talk about your team's ability to be the Librarian in the Library that controls the documentation, organizes it and makes it relevant and easy to use for the team.

FM'd Employees

I believe there's a market for reprographic companies to provide employees on jobsites that will act as the Document Control person. We are already seeing this happen in our market where Contractors are designating a Project Engineer (aka: someone who's never done this before) and creating a Document Control role. If you can place that person on-site, not only do you have the experience with construction documentation organization/fulfillment that they don't but you will be more likely to get them to use your document management solution on the project.

And, if we have to talk about a printing angle, what better way to ensure that you're getting the maximum amount of output than employing the Traffic Cop!

I believe many Reprographic firms are struggling with how to maintain their relevance in their Client's eyes and the shift in thinking to being true information managers will be the wave of the reprographic future.

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