Finding a Perfect Print Partner
10 Tips to help in finding a Perfect Print Partner
Finding a Perfect Print Partner is not easy.
Every printing business seems to promise the earth.
All seem to be committed to quality, customer service, fast delivery and competitive costs.
However, there are a number of ways to differentiate.
If you follow these 10 tips you should end up with the perfect print partner for your business.
1. Offer the Best Prices – for all print products!
Unless your printer only offers unique products you will find that most customers select their print provider by the lowest cost.
Many print products are a commodity.
Leaflets, flyers, business cards, letterheads can be acquired relatively easily – and cost comparisons are straightforward.
The major factor in calculating cost is quantity and speed of delivery.
Unit costs usually decrease with larger quantities and longer deadlines.
Other print products can be more complicated and cost comparisons more difficult.
The prefect print partner will be offer competitive prices and offer a Price Match on any comparable quotation.
The price should be competitive for every print product.
Many printing businesses make up low margins on some products with high margins on others.
Getting the best prices is based on an understanding of the market – and this can take many years of experience.
So a perfect print partner should be able to offer you a comprehensive Price Match Guarantee at all times.
2. Offer a Quality Printing Guarantee
There are many factors that contribute towards print quality.
Using modern, well-maintained equipment is a pre-requisite.
However most production printing machines all now produce great results.
Quality issues are normally more likely to be influenced by human error.
The biggest quality issues arise due to inexperience.
So a perfect print partner should be able to offer you a track record of many years relevant experience in the printing industry.
3. Offer a Wide Product Range
No print supplier has the capability to produce all printing on their own equipment.
Some have no production capability whereas others are obsessed with having the latest features on their equipment.
Avoid all printing companies that have a Plant List on their website or in their brochures!
Print management became popular because the specialists concentrated on the key areas of procurement and administrative savings.
The benefits of having a single-source supplier are considerable.
These can now also be applied to most small businesses even with a fairly low annual print spend.
So a perfect print partner should be able to offer you a print management service – whatever the size of your business.
4. Offer a Personal Service
Finding a local print supplier is one way of getting personal.
As a customer you can visit and inspect their premises or you can request a visit.
However, in these days of digital communications time is a limited resource.
But you still need a personal service – whether that is establishing a relationship with key members of staff.
So a perfect print partner should be able to offer you a direct line to the boss – so you get fast decisions and immediate attention!
5. Offer a Very Fast Service
Speed of service is one of the main differentiators in printing.
If you use one of the many online print providers you will often find the production is undertaken in Western Europe or even beyond.
Most printing is now needed in days rather than weeks.
With our own online document printing service we can guarantee a delivery within most of the UK within 6 working hours.
If you collect from our digital design and print bureau in the West Midlands jobs can be completed within the hour!
So a perfect print partner should be able to offer you a really fast service as a basic requirement.
6. Offer Instant Quoting
No customers like having to wait for a quotation.
If the printing company is unable to offer an online price calculator for a wide range of standard products move on to the next one.
There are plenty more who offer instant online quoting.
So the perfect print partner should be able to offer you a really fast online print quotation service.
7. Offer Online Print Ordering
There is no excuse for not having even the most basic web2print online print ordering system.
This saves time for ordering all but the most complicated of print products.
Direct2Print have four main online print ordering services:-
- For digital printing we have 24 of the most popular products that can be ordered and delivered free to most locations in the UK within 24 hours.
- For document printing or really fast digital printing you can get delivery to most locations in the UK within 6 working hours.
- For larger quantities of printing or European orders you can get delivery to most locations in the UK within 3 working days – with lower prices for longer deadlines.
- For printed promotional products you can order small quantities within a few working days.
So a perfect print partner should be able to offer you a really fast online print ordering service.
8. Offer a Graphic Design Service
Having a Graphic Design service is an essential service for any quick or instant print supplier.
Although more and more jobs are being sent directly from the clients – a graphic designer can provide free checks and highlight any issues that may arise.
In addition – a perfect print partner will be able to help and guide customers in the preparation of print-ready artwork.
9. Offer Simple Administration
Customers want easy and simple ordering.
They also want simple and easy administration.
This can be any or all forms of contact with the print provider.
It could be the order process, selecting the most suitable methods of payment, having an efficient system of feedback or job tracking.
So a perfect print partner should be able to make life easy for you – or you should be able to get them to adapt to your own requirements.
10. Provide Effective Problem Solving
Last but not least problem solving provides real competitive advantage.
How are problems resolved and issues sorted?
This is often the best way of finding a prefect print partner.
My next Blog will look at some of the Case Studies where customer loyalty has been won by helping to solve problems.