Printing - How Do I Buy It?
Why should I care where I get my printed material from, I'll just go for tenders and go with the low bidder. If you do this probably you won't be in business for long or you'll never really run a successful business. My company, Solutions Ink started from the premise that I don't just sell printed products but rather I help businesses grow and prosper. Being in the business for over 20 years I've seen how the industry and the market have changed. Gone are the days you could charge what you want and deliver any quality good's. With global competition so great, the product must be perfect and your price must be competitive just for you to survive. That being said what should I look for in a printing company. First you should explain what you do and how you do it, to your printer. It is his job with his expertise to decide what product he should offer you. Today there are offset presses, digital presses, web presses and each one is appropriate for a different type of job.
Digital presses today have greatly improved their quality and are great for short runs (under 1000 quantity), variable data (inserting names into each letter), large format small quantity jobs (point of purchases, banners, posters, small direct mail jobs). Turnaround is key and digital jobs usually can be done in days if not hours.
Offset presses are good for jobs of greater than 1000 t'ill about 100,000 or if the absolute quality is essential for the job (brochures, fashion catalogues, price lists, letterheads, business cards, envelopes). These type of jobs usually takes days or a week or two, depending on the complexity of the job.
Web presses are great for large runs of magazines, newspaper flyers or large run business forms.
Suggestions by your printer should help your business grow. He should help in deciding paper stocks, colors, finishings and offer you different price options. New technology can save company's great amounts of time by offering e-commerce ordering and proofing systems. New technology allows form/card combinations, form/label combinations and form/magnet combinations. These reduce the need to print 2 pieces. This can also cut your mailing costs. The idea is for your printer to help you market your business so that you can become more successful. Penny pinching on costs can be short sighted. For true long term growth you have to work in partnership with your printer so that both of you benefit. If you have only one winner, chances are you'll be searching out a new partner pretty soon.
Steven Schneidman has an M. B. A., worked for a large bank, was a Finance Professor at University and has owned 2 Printing and Promotional Product companies.