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Greg Cholmondeley

Zaikio Helps Reduce Pricing and Availability Headaches

The company adapts its platform to promote supplies availability and pricing

May 19, 2022 12:22:28 PM


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The Challenge

Over the past few years, the business world has dramatically changed—especially regarding inventories and pricing. Supplies prices used to increase annually, and printers rarely worried about supply availability. Now, prices and availability seem to fluctuate frequently and unpredictably. This supply chain volatility affects profitability in price changes and staff time chasing down accurate and up-to-date figures.


Historically, print service providers (PSPs) have learned about paper, ink, toner, and other supplies pricing through emails or phone calls. They then notified their sales teams and estimators or manually entered this information into their print management information system (MIS). These methods were inefficient and risked outdated pricing, but those were minor issues when performed annually. In today’s marketplace, this can translate into significant risk and labor costs when checking pricing and availability is required for every job. There is hope, though…


The Approach

Zaikio has recently leveraged its print management platform to build the Procurement App. It streamlines the process of price and availability research as well as ordering for paper and other consumables. So, while Zaikio isn’t claiming to fix the global supply chain crisis with its Zaikio Procurement App, it provides PSPs with the tools to remain profitable in this chaotic environment. Here’s how it works:

  • Define a common language. Zaikio created a consistent way for suppliers and vendors to request and share information about pricing and availability, as well as place orders via software communications.
  • Build a software platform. Defining a language is a decisive step—providing a cloud-based solution that speaks to it is transformative. Suppliers only need to integrate into this platform once to communicate with every buyer on the platform. Likewise, buyers only need to integrate once to communicate with any or all suppliers.
  • Make it easy and affordable. While suppliers have a nominal, one-time integration cost, the solution is accessible to all and free for PSPs. Zaikio funds this service through a tiny commission from suppliers for each order, which is far less than the cost of manual order-taking.
  • Make it extensible. The platform will soon extend to other capabilities and will connect with software and presses. Stay tuned!


The Impact

Think about what this means to a PSP. Quotes use up-to-the-second information about supplies prices and availability with no human intervention. Account-based pricing figures are at an estimator’s fingertips through the Zaikio interface or automatically imported into a print MIS system. PSPs can now use accurate, live data at quotation time and signing time to ensure that there are no painful surprises. And this is seamlessly done with no labor costs involved.


Suppliers also benefit from this app. Customer service representatives no longer have to spend hours on telephones handling mundane pricing and availability questions from PSPs. Their systems can now seamlessly receive and process orders without human intervention. And customer satisfaction is bound to increase as communication improves and unpleasant surprises go away.


Keypoint Intelligence Opinion

This solution’s value is a no-brainer. It is brilliant to create a language for procurement and provide the cloud-based infrastructure to deliver it to the marketplace. Providing a platform so that any print MIS, web-to-print software, or inventory management solution can communicate with any supplier with a single integration makes adoption and integration painless. In addition, charging as it is used instead of via a massive up-front fee is the appropriate business model. The more PSPs use Zaikio, the more money they will save and the more funding Zaikio will receive to build new and helpful apps. It’s a win/win/win scenario.


I wonder why the industry hasn’t implemented a solution like this before and when US suppliers will embrace the model. Listen to the following podcasts to hear my conversations about Zaikio’s platform and direction:


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