Print Production, Kitting and Distribution

A Centralized Services Approach for In-Store Marketing Materials



In 2015, retailers will double down on strategies for in-store marketing solutions, integrating everything from digital experiences to social media to unique and memorable customer experiences. Printing solutions should work to maximize all these efforts. This report outlines how centralized print manufacturing can move marketing execution to the next level, ensuring the longevity and success of marketing programs.



Marketers on the whole, retailers included, are charged with optimizing spend and time on branding and controlling the various paths to purchase channels. Simplification is key. Centralized print is a way to cut costs, reduce redundancy and deliver speed-to-market efficiencies.

10% The amount controllable print manufacturing costs are lowered for organizations using centralized services when compared to those using decentralized services.1 - “Benchmarks,” APQC, formerly the American Productivity & Quality Council, an AME Alliance Partner.


Imagine! Print Solutions took a close look at how centralized and decentralized print manufacturing can affect print marketing campaigns.

Companies who participate in a “distributed” or decentralized print manufacturing model, along with those who have evaluated leveraging centralized and decentralized print models were extensively interviewed. Using additional industry research, Imagine! was able to assess current trends, benefits and opportunities in these areas.


A review of the data results indicates there is a place for both models in the manufacturing and distribution of printed marketing materials when it comes to centralized and decentralized services. However, in the specific case of in-store marketing materials, a centralized model for print production, kitting and distribution is recommended as it provides numerous benefits that far outweigh decentralized manufacturing.



The complexity of in-store marketing elements and number of versions may seem endless. Add in any technology requirements needed to manage large-scale, signage execution, and retailers could easily have up to ten vendors and distributors in the mix. Centralizing the manufacturing of in-store marketing materials provides a way to control quality, manage costs and alleviates the risk associated with a distributed print model. The following are five reasons to consider centralized print manufacturing, providing a competitive advantage for in-store marketing execution.

1. Brand Control

When companies centralize print production, it’s easier to control quality, color management and brand standards because one company is responsible for the production and can easily compare printed materials together to ensure standards are met. No matter the substrate being printed on, in a centralized model, color management and quality can be controlled seamlessly. This translates into a better in-store brand experience.

2. Cost Savings

Using a single-source supplier allows companies to better control costs, leverage economies of scale and realize savings. Cost savings include the reduction of in-bound and out-bound freight, less instore labor when materials are consolidated and shipped by one vendor for execution, and the ability to leverage economies of scale for purchasing materials and print.


The amount of savings 7-Eleven experienced annually by streamlining marketing production initiatives. Additionally, the company significantly compressed its production schedule by 30% and backorders were reduced from 50% to near zero through a centralized inventory management and fulfillment solution. - Imagine! Print Solutions client case study.

3. Execution, Communication and Management

Single-source execution provides clear channels of communication with fewer hand offs, mitigating the risk of mistakes and alleviating multiple touches during the production process. Vendors can quickly anticipate future marketing needs, assessing campaigns holistically and providing valuable process improvements to clients when they manage the entire campaign.

4. Cycle Time, Time to Market

The flexibility to accommodate last-minute changes or provide input for future campaigns is readily available with a centralized model. If marketing staff has to focus on tracking down or resending lost or damaged materials, replacing outdated versions, or following up on backorders, the end result is time take away from activities that contribute to the bottom line. Centralizing print production enables vendors to react quickly to last-minute changes prior to a company’s campaign launch with the ability to produce materials faster as there is less vendor management time within the process.

5. Efficient Project Management

By centralizing print programs, risk associated with campaign control, turn-around times and speedto-market is minimized in the event that something goes wrong. No need to contact multiple vendors to see where a breakdown may have occurred. In a fast-paced environment, centralized print marketing provides one source for communication with the ability to deliver at a fast pace.


Total printing costs companies can save through centralized print efforts. - “Reduce Costs Through Printer Consolidation,” InfoTech Research Group



Whether in terms of operational improvement or the customer experience, centralized print manufacturing is key to marketers’ success. It is a strategy that can grow with the ever-changing needs of retail marketing professionals, providing concrete cost-savings and shorter cycles in order to respond to market dynamics.



Imagine! Print Solutions has been one of the fastest growing printing companies in the United States, providing centralized print solutions to its clients. With a vision of mastering insurmountable tasks we offer personalized, superior customer service, seeing beyond requirements in order to anticipate future needs. We are here to answer questions, provide ideas and to take in-store print marketing solutions to the next level.