Interpublic and Pitney Bowes partner on Orion Printing
By David Ward, San Diego Thursday, 19 July 2012
Interpublic Group (IPG) subsidiary Orion Holdings has partnered with Pitney Bowes to create Orion Printing, a managed print services provider for IPG agencies and their clients worldwide.
It’s an ambitious effort for a company as large as IPG that provides clients not only with direct mail but also point-of-sale and a host of other print in various formats.
Based in New York, IPG companies include leading global ad/communications agencies such as McCann Erickson, Draftfcb, Golin/Harris and Lowe and Partners. Last year it generated $7bn (£4.5bn) in revenues.
Orion Printing will be headed by Robert Hoad, who will report directly to Orion Holdings Worldwide President and CEO Brian McMahon. In an interview with PrintWeek, Hoad said that while some individual companies within IPG may have had some outsourced print arrangements, this was the first global company-wide effort to centralise its print spend.
"It's about trying to give our agencies more options, different options and help solve any problems they may have, depending on the client or the country or the job," he continued, adding that while Orion Printing will be based in the UK it will be tailoring solutions specific to each market. "The requirements for North America are very different from the UK, are very different from Africa and this is about trying to understand the specific needs of each."
Patrick Fogarty, VP and commercial sector leader at Pitney Bowes Management Services, added: "What we plan to do is build these small customised solutions based upon the needs of the agency. We’re going to be going to each and every one of the IPG agencies with a list of best practices, but we want to build a solution based on what they and their customers are trying to achieve, while at the same time driving some consistency across the platform."
Fogarty stressed Pitney Bowes was not looking to be a printer in this scenario. "We’re going to be providing print management and print outsourcing," he explained. "So we’re going to be making sure the vendors are what they say they are and have the capabilities they say they have to drive the risk out of the model. We’re providing a service to set up in-country vendor panels and manage the print to the right printer."
Fogarty added Orion Printing is already up and running in two countries and is already working some print projects in several other markets. "We have a technology platform that is in place and we’re going to build as we grow," he said. "So this is very much investment ahead of the curve and investment along the way as the IPG agencies move up with their volumes."
The move mirrors a trend that has seen large corporates decoupling their ad creative and production spend. This has led many ad networks to add print management to their existing television and online production capabilities.
Similar deals include Omnicom group subsidiary Gutenberg Networks partnering with London-based print manager Paperhat and WPP forming a joint venture with Hogarth Worldwide.
In a related move Williams Lea, the world's largest print manager, acquired Tag Worldwide to boost its transcreation capabilities and its links to the advertising and creative industries.
Hoad said that from a commercial point of view, it’s important that the agencies and companies within IPG have a better feel for the total cost of each print job
"One of the reasons that we chose Pitney Bowes is their total understanding of the supply chain and their expertise in understanding print and buying print well," he added. "It’s about supporting that marketing piece and doing it better or more efficiently or driving the value up to help achieve a better ROI."Tweet
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