Choosing the Right Print Partner - 10 questions to ask
10 QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN COMPARING PRINT SUPPLIERS
Choosing the right print partner can help you reduce costs.
However, lower cost isn’t the only important factor. Those of the highest priority for you are dependent on you and your business.
With more than 120 years in the printing business, we know how to help you get the best performance from your print partner.
Use these 10 essential questions to compare print suppliers, and make informed decisions to suit your business.
PRICE: "Do you offer consistent, National Pricing?"
You should also look for:
- national pricing, consistent across all locations,
- volume discounts,
- price variations based on and speed of service,
- and capability pricing across services such as pre-print, inventory, and pick and pack
An effective price comparison looks at much more than just a single dollar figure. Get an accurate understanding of all potential price points, and make an informed comparison
QUALITY: 'What accountability do you take for the quality of our prints?"
Quality considerations fall under two categories:
1. Finished print product quality - Can the supplier provide prints that meet your quality standards?
Confirm the printer can print to your specifications, including colour management, paper quality and print methods. And bear in mind, quality and price generally go hand in hand.
2. Quality control - Does the supplier care about your prints, and are they consistent in their delivery?
Accountability plays a big role in the print process, ensuring every piece of print collateral is delivered to the agreed standard.
SPEED: "Can you print to tight deadlines?"
Even if speed isn’t an issue for every print project, it is an issue at some time or another for every business.
To meet a tight project turnaround, you need a printer who has the required systems in place and the capability to deliver.
If short time-frames are the standard for your business, you need a print supplier who is fast and agile, and can consistently respond to even the tightest of deadlines.
NATIONAL FOOTPRINT: "Do you have the footprint to cover our national requirements"
Working with multiple print suppliers in order to cover your local and national needs can put your brand consistency at risk.
Partnering with a single print supplier who offers national solutions, local connections and centralised brand control removes this risk.
It also allows you to streamline printing requests and secure enhanced cost efficiencies.
KNOWLEDGE: "How much print experience do you have?"
Print is a specialised trade. It requires specialised knowledge.
A good printer will have the infrastructure and support in place to deliver to your requirements.
A great printer will have the benefit of historic knowledge, combined with an understanding of emerging print trends, to not only deliver your requirements but also help guide and shape them.
Importantly, they’ll also have a large, established network, able to offer consistent cost-effective printing no matter the size of project.
APPROACH: "Do you take a partnership approach"
Your print collateral is a physical representation of your brand. It’s important you get it right.
To help you do this, you need a print supplier who is just as excited about your print assets as you are.
When your print supplier takes a partnership approach, they identify your needs and seek the best option for you. They’ll provide education, share expert insights, and help you innovate to get the best results.
A full service print supplier, able to see the whole picture, can tailor their offering and become a one-stop shop for your total print needs.
CAPABILITY: "What is your total print capability?"
If your print requirements are diverse or to scale, you’ll need a print supplier who can meet them. You’ll need to consider:
1. Product range
a) Do they have a broad product selection?
b) Can they guarantee that each product will be produced correctly, and to your exact specification?
a) What is their print capacity?
b) Can they meet not only your small ad hoc print project requirements, but also large, national roll-outs?
ORDERING PROCESS: "Is your ordering process streamlined and easy to follow?
A complex ordering process doesn’t help anyone. You need a supplier that can offer a streamlined ordering process, that’s easy to manage at both a national and a local level. Find out:
- what technology the print supplier uses to manage and process orders,
- if they have a central location in which they can house your brand colours, fonts, relevant specifications and artwork,
- and what governance and control checks they have in place to ensure brand consistency.
A fast and efficient ordering process, with effective in-house quality controls, will save your business significant time, money and resources.
DESIGN OFFERING: "Can you handle my design work?"
Design is a critical part of the print process. If you don’t have design capability in-house, or you want the flexibility to outsource as required, it makes sense to combine your design and print needs under a single supplier.
By partnering with a print supplier who can handle the complete print and design process, you ensure your brand assets and entire portfolio of products are delivered consistently and accurately.
It’s important to be aware that design is a value-add, and not all print suppliers will be able to provide it. Those that can demonstrate their total capability as a print supplier, and can also offer streamline cost efficiencies for your business.
STOCK CONTROL: "Do you provide analytics to help with inventory stock control?"
If you are only looking for print-on-demand capability, stock control is low priority.
However, if you will hold stock of print assets for fast distribution, re-printing collateral you already have can lead to a significant amount of wastage. To avoid this, look for a print supplier who offers easy access to inventory stock control reporting and analytics.
The easier access you have to your inventory information, the greater your ability to plan and manage business print costs.
SNAP CORPORATE SOLUTIONS IS YOUR PARTNER IN PRINT
With our 120 year history, national footprint and partnership approach, we can offer cost efficiencies, consistent quality control and tailored printing solutions to match your unique business needs.
We’ll work with you to understand your strategic objectives and develop a supply model to match. We’ll also investigate every available opportunity to further standardise and streamline your print process, while still offering the flexibility to innovate and produce truly creative print solutions.
Your dedicated account manager will even oversee your ongoing account performance and ensure all activity is tracked and aggregated for accurate reporting and review, granting you an unparalleled level of strategic control.
Get in touch to discuss how our quick and agile business solutions can support your local and national print requirements.
For more information or to make an enquiry visit Snap Corporate Solutions