Regardless of who is conducting your print assessment, taking inventory is a critical task that can be time consuming and costly. To save time and money, there are many suppliers and some clients with sniffer or monitoring software that will automatically collect asset counts. The software approach always sounds great …and the PowerPoint slides that promote it always look fantastic. The concern with this approach is that the software will not count what it cannot see via the network. At POG we have taken inventory over 160 times for some pretty large organizations over the past 17 years. Sniffer software can be wrong … by a lot. POG’s validation efforts have identified 30%+ variance from actual. Being that wrong is not good. Executive decisions are made based on inaccurate data which is not good.
But I already stated a full inventory, especially in very large accounts will be cost and time prohibitive … so what do you do? At POG, we started taking sample inventories a few years ago and developed unique and sophisticated extrapolation algorithms to expand those representative sample set counts to represent the entire organization. Variance increases from the 2% or 3% that a full manual inventory would deliver to 10%, but this is still accurate enough to generate a print strategy, financial business case and create a go-to-market plan. This approach can save a lot of time and money on your assessment … anywhere from 20% to 30%!
…and besides … inventory stats get dated very quickly. The delay between assessment and deployment can negatively impact the value of the inventory. Taking it twice would really hurt! It is best to do a sample-set inventory at assessment time and a full inventory as part of deployment. We call it a pre-deployment task or “just-in-time” inventory capture. This way you know it is right … and at a time when it is critical to be right.