For Commercial Printing, the Right Choice Makes Sense – and Money
In Tuesday’s post, I talked about the importance of commercial printing to businesses today, working hand in hand with digital platforms to meet consumers wherever they access information. Today, I’d like to provide a few key things to look for when it’s time to choose a commercial printer.
All commercial printers are certainly not created equal. And by making the right choice in your commercial printer, you can save yourself, and your employees, plenty of time, headaches and money in meeting your printing needs. Here are a few suggestions.
Tip #1: Don’t Choose a Commercial Printer—Choose a Business Partner, Instead
No single commercial printer does everything equally well. And no one commercial printer can accommodate your schedule every time. So instead of looking for a commercial printer, look for a commercial printing resource that has access to a large national stable of thousands of talented printers.
With those connections, your printing partner can choose exactly the right vendor based on your project needs, budget and timing. Pads of invoices? Sure. A million pieces for a national direct mail campaign? Done. Not by one printer, probably. But both through one experienced printing partner.
Tip #2: Talk is Fine, but a Track Record is Better
Everybody makes promises when business arrangements are made. Unfortunately, not everybody keeps them. So listen to claims about technology, service and so on, but then look behind all that to see how a printer has delivered for clients in the past. Performance beats promises every time.
If you are considering a commercial printer, ask to talk to some customers if you can, or read any testimonials. Plus, of course—look at the work carefully—in person, if possible, to get the full effect and quality. Ask how long they’ve been around! If it’s a long time, they’ve probably adjusted well to new technologies and had lots of repeat business—a very good sign.
Tip #3: Look for Capabilities That Make You More Productive
Try to determine if a potential commercial printing resource is up to speed on the latest technologies. But make sure those technologies make your product or customer service better. See if you can take advantage of “print on demand” systems to reduce inventory or customize sales materials. Further, ask about Internet ordering portals that save you money and make you more productive.
Oh, and find out if there is a system by which people across your enterprise – in different facilities, and in different cities, states or even countries – can order materials through a single automated source. That pays dividends in cost control, employee productivity and a consistent, compelling image for your company’s brand.
Tip #4: Choose a Difference Maker, Not an Order Taker
It’s possible that many printers can deliver a project satisfactorily, but a true partner can do far more than help you decide between offset and digital. They can work with you in a consultative relationship that allows for better solutions, period. They can review your commercial printing needs and help you develop a plan or calendar that organizes your efforts into a strong and structured program.
Choose a partner with the experience and expertise to suggest new or different approaches that will accomplish your objectives more effectively. Or perhaps it’s a printed piece you hadn’t considered, or a creative promotional item that provides the extra “buzz” your campaign could use.
Tip #5: Customer Service Is an Attitude, Not a Department
Every printer wants to win business, and will say good things during a sales call. What you really want is someone who becomes a part of your project, with you for the duration. A good commercial printing partner is as interested as you are in the quality completion of a project.
Ask to meet your customer service rep and ask if you can talk to any current customers. Get a feel for their experience, knowledge and style. Are the responsive to questions and requests? Do they treat clients with respect at every stage and collaborate to come up with optimum solutions to problems?
The Needle Tips to Superior
We think all these tips are important. That’s why we try to hard to measure up to them ourselves. Superior Business Solutions is ranked in the top one-half of 1% for customer satisfaction and loyalty, in an industry of more than 22,000 commercial printing competitors. The 2017 Best of Print and Digital Award confirms the quantifiable difference when clients work with ISO Certified Superior.
See how your business benefits in time and cost savings by working with Superior Business Solutions. Contact us today or reach out to one of our award-winning sales reps and ask for a free commercial printing review.