Are you in need of better quality printing than what you’re able to do on your own? If you are creating marketing materials, banners, etc., you need to be sure you have a commercial print company that can meet your requirements when it comes to quality and quantity.
Today, countless commercial print companies are vying for your attention and business. With all of those choices, you need to be careful, so you can avoid all of the duds that are a waste of your time and money. Below are some of the things that you will want to know about the company you are considering.
What Kind of Expertise Do They Have?
One of the first things that you will want to know is what sort of expertise the company can offer. The length of time they have been in business is less important than how good they are at the job. After all, a lot of smaller printing companies have been in business for years, but they aren’t always up to date on the latest techniques and technology.
You need a company that offers true expertise in the field and that can provide you with high-quality printed materials for marketing and more.
What Services Are Offered?
The next thing you need to do is to learn more about the types of printing services that are offered. Does the company provide digital printing? This is a good option for short runs of material, as well as for one-off jobs. What about offset printing? This is a good choice for either small or large runs of material. This type of printing can also do a fantastic job at color matching, so you can be sure your logo and colors match your website.
Does the company also provide direct mail services? Using direct mail campaigns is still important for the success of your business, so working with a commercial print company that can also handle your direct mail is a major benefit. If they do have this service, can they create personalized direct mailers and mass-produced marketing materials? You want to work with a company that can do it all.
Do they have wide-format printing, which could be used for things like signs and banners? If you feel that you might need large-scale printing options now or in the future, make sure it’s something the company can provide.
What finishing services do they offer? The right little touches can help to make your company stand out from the competition. You will want a company that can offer binding, lamination, die-cutting, and more with print jobs.
What Type of Technology and Equipment Does the Company Use?
Although you might not know the vernacular when it comes to all of the different printing machines, you want to be sure that the company you are choosing uses the latest technology. For example, for offset printing, you will want to work with a company that can provide fully-compliant G7-certified offset printing solutions. Get a better sense of the types of technology being used.
How Is the Quality of the Work?
Regardless of the type of printed items you are getting, quality is of the utmost importance. Consider marketing material, for example. If the company is using low-quality paper or printing techniques, it is going to show. Do you really want to send shoddy materials out to your customers? Everything that you show the customer reflects on your company, even if you weren’t the one who printed it.
If the text is blurry, the colors run, or if there are other issues, what will the customer think? There’s a good chance that they won’t want to do business with you because they equate that low quality with the services and products you are offering.
How do you know whether they have a high enough quality or not? It’s easy. Check their site to see what they are offering and consider getting a small quantity of material printed and shipped to you so you can check out the quality. You can see firsthand whether it is worth working with the company or not.
Can the Company Meet Your Deadlines?
Here is a big factor in making your decision. Just because a company might have quality printing and they use the latest technology won’t matter if they can’t get you the materials you need on time. You want to be sure you are working with a company that can meet your deadlines. Of course, you need to be reasonable when it comes to when the material needs to be ready. You don’t want to send in a print job and request that they have it done by the end of the day or the next day.
Talk with representatives of the company to get an idea of how speedy they are with their services and how long orders will typically take. Get your print jobs to them on time, and there shouldn’t be any problem. If you find that the company doesn’t meet your deadlines even when they have plenty of time, it’s better to find another commercial print company. Otherwise, they could end up costing you too much if your marketing materials and other items aren’t being finished on time.
What Is the Pricing Like?
Something that should be kept in mind when choosing a commercial print company is that price is not everything. The most expensive printer might not produce the best work. The cheapest printer isn’t necessarily the best idea either, as the results will often be too poor. The most important thing when choosing a company will be the quality of the work they provide.
Still, you want to find ways that you can save some money on your printing needs. Take the time to learn more about the pricing structure for the materials they can print. Often, you will get discounts when you order a higher quantity. Remember to order some samples, so you can see what type of quality they can provide.
Do They Have Security and Privacy for Your Content?
This is something that a lot of companies neglect to think about when choosing a commercial print company. However, security and privacy are often important when certain types of materials are being printed. You want to choose a company that can provide a fully secure facility that ensures your information is always in good, safe hands.
The company should be clear about the precautions they take to keep information protected from both inside and outside threats. If you work with patients, you will naturally need to be sure that the facility is HIPAA-compliant. Check to see whether they have technology in place to protect Personally Identifiable Information (PII), Protected Health Information (PHI), and Payment Card Industry (PCI). This helps to ensure a higher level of safety for your information, and it should give you more peace of mind.
What Project Management Features Are Available?
Not all commercial print companies will have much in the way of project management features, and that can be a problem. You want to have a project manager interface for the printer that will let you easily organize, manage, and place your orders. The project manager should also provide you with the ability to monitor the printing project from beginning to end. Ideally, it will also let you keep track of inventory, so you always know what you have available.
What Is the Reputation of the Company?
Before you make your choice, you have to learn a bit more about the reputation of the company. Check out their site, look for testimonials, and see what actual customers have to say about them. This will give you a better indication of what it will be like to work with the company.
If you see one or two negative reviews, it doesn’t automatically mean that you should avoid the company. After all, some people give bad reviews for minor issues or problems that they created themselves. Read all of the reviews, good and bad, and you’ll get a stronger sense of whether they are worth your time or not.
How Is the Customer Service?
The way customer service works is very important. You want to work with a company that has an attentive customer service department that will provide answers to your questions and concerns. Make sure the customer provides means of contacting them by phone and online.
If you find that the customer service is unresponsive or rude each time you contact them, it will be a good indication of what it will be like to work with the company going forward. Your business is at stake, so you can’t continue to do business with a company that has a customer service department that never answers or never provides clear responses that satisfy you. If you find a printer that lacks in this area, it’s time to find a new commercial print company.
What Other Features Does the Commercial Print Company Offer?
Some companies will only offer print services. It’s all they do, and that’s fine. However, you might want to spend a little extra time finding a company that can provide other services for you. As mentioned, if you have direct mail you want to send out, you’ll want a company that can take care of this for you. If you have a lot of marketing materials that you don’t want to keep on-site, you may want to see if they have a warehousing and logistics service.
Additionally, you can find companies like FuseBox One that can provide a full marketing management platform that will help you with your digital marketing, as well as your print marketing, and so much more. They also provide apparel and promotional product printing.
Working with a single company, through a single interface, which can offer all of these services will help you to save time and money.
Why Not Print Your Own Materials?
Here’s a question that a lot of companies ask. They may have invested in a decent office printer and may feel that they can simply print up all of their own marketing materials. While it might be tempting to try this, it tends to be a waste of time, ink, and paper. This is because the machines simply aren’t capable of producing the same quality or quantity as a commercial print company can.
You would need to have machines that are dedicated only to printing marketing materials and nothing else. Otherwise, you would run into slowdowns when other materials need to be printed in the office. To buy the right types of machines would be expensive, and you wouldn’t use them enough to warrant the cost of buying and maintaining them.
Even small companies will find that printing their own marketing materials tends to be a bad idea. It’s better to find a good commercial printer and enlist their services. In the end, it will save time, money, and frustration. You can be sure that the printed material is of a professional quality, as well, so your clients and customers don’t get the wrong idea.
Get in Touch With a Quality Commercial Print Company Today
Now that you have a better understanding of what it is you should be looking for in a commercial printer, it’s time to narrow down your choices and make a decision. Keep in mind that you don’t need to buy in bulk on your first purchase. It’s often a good idea to place a smaller order first to see how it all works, how long it takes, and what the quality of the materials is like.
In addition to the print options that the company has, take some time to think about other services that you might need. For example, if you don’t want to store all of the marketing materials on-site, you may want to find a company that also offers a warehousing and logistics service, such as FuseBox One. Find a company that is within your budget and that can provide you with all of the various services you need.
Need Help With Commercial Print?