Top 10 Things to Consider When Choosing a Commercial Printing Service
When choosing the right commercial printing service company, there are many factors you need to take into consideration. It’s not always apples to apples, but there are key things that should factor into your decision to ensure you choose the best provider for your needs.
Key Things to Consider
#1. History in the Business
When you start to do your research, find out how long the printer been in the business. Do they have the experience to do the job at hand? However, note that longevity in a business field does not mean they have kept current and progressed with the times and modern technology. Research the owner or parent company and learn about the products in their portfolio. Ask questions about not only their history but where they see the company going and choose a printer with past experience and a track record of growth.
#2 Wide range of services
With the internet and the multitude of company websites, it’s now easier than ever to research the type of products each commercial printing service provides. Do they offer a full suite of services from design to fulfillment? What kind of finishing capabilities do they offer? Can they handle the quantities or turnaround time your project requires? Not every commercial printer has the wide range of services you may need and you don’t want to discover after the PO that you need to find another company to complete your project.
#3 Technology and Equipment
Today’s print and fulfillment technology produce high quality print more efficiently than ever. Printers that invest in new equipment invest in technology that increases productivity and secures your data for personalized print. This can mean lower prices and faster turnaround times for customers. Ask your printer what print technology they are using and what data security processes they have in place to safeguard your data. This is especially important when it comes to printing items like medical explanation of benefits (EOB), medical bills, financial statements, and other HIPAA-compliant or sensitive data. Even more, new technology can also positively impact your printer’s speed, print quality, and pricing, considering newer technology is more efficient, automated, and intuitive than older presses.
#4 Quality of Work
Delivering a quality product is important, and consistent quality is paramount. Many printers have a sample portfolio to showcase their print capabilities. Ask your commercial printer to see product samples or for client referrals or testimonials. It’s important to see what work your print partner has completed for clients in your specific industry or similar. Past customers have the best first-hand experience and their reviews are insightful. A quality printer will happily provide a product portfolio or samples of their best work and many have customers willing to give their honest feedback.
#5 Efficiency and On-Time Deadlines
In the commercial printing service market, the most common question is, “How soon will they be ready?” You will have the same question, but there are other factors to consider. Can they provide your company with a quality product while fulfilling your request on time? Do they have on-demand, emergency service capabilities? Do they have digital printing capabilities? Not all jobs are emergencies, but it’s nice to have a printer that can provide a quick turn-around for those occasional moments.
The cost and type of your company’s printed materials can determine your return-on-investment (ROI). Find out what factors go into the pricing of your job. If you are getting several bids, make sure it’s an apples-to-apples comparison. Look for a company with fair and competitive pricing and postage, but also consider other factors that add to their value (like exceptional technology and service).
#7 Data Security and Privacy
The world of technology and the internet has provided commercial printing with a wide range of new capabilities and services. Innovative printers utilize print technology, like the Xerox Impika® or HP PageWide digital press, with variable data and personalization capabilities to print your products with personal information. These technologies rely on software that interfaces with the machines and it is important that your printer has the best data security standards to protect your sensitive information. With the handling of data, like variable data, the need for regulations, compliance, and data security has become very important. Privacy, data handling policies, firewalls, backup, and disaster recovery plans are critical. It is critical that you verify your commercial printer’s data security practices to ensure your sensitive data is in good hands.
#8 Customer Service
Outstanding customer service is a must when it comes to your company’s commercial printing service. It should be present throughout the entire job, from start to finish, and into future projects. Correcting designs, verifying information, shipping notifications, etc. are all things a diligent print partner does to ensure you receive the product you imagined. A printer can produce great work, but if their customer service is lacking, it could result in delayed deliveries, incorrect prints, over-ordering, and be an overall hassle for customers.
#9 Project Management and Communication
Your commercial printing job is unique with many details that need to be monitored and managed. The printer you choose should be responsive to your needs. Do they return calls and emails? Do they assign you a project manager? Do they offer suggestions and ask questions? This is a printer who will be dedicated to the quality and on-time schedule of your job, partnering with you to achieve your ROI.
Always research a company’s reputation. With the internet, it’s easy to find reviews from customers. Look at reviews and testimonials from both the company’s website and 3rd party websites like Google+. Keep in mind that no company has 100% positive reviews. People who have had problems are more likely to leave a review than those with great experiences. So if you have a great printer, leave them a positive review on their website, social media, yelp and/or Google.
There are many other elements to consider when picking the right commercial printing service. In this blog, we have given you the top 10 that will get you started on the process of choosing one that is right for your company’s unique needs.
Choose the Preferred Commercial Printing Service Provider
Preferred Direct is a nationwide leader in commercial printing services, with both a national and global reach. Whether the job calls for 10,000 pieces or over 1 million pieces, we are equipped to service small one-location companies to large global entities. Our innovative and superior print technology allows us to print and mail high-quality products, faster. Additionally, we are a HIPAA-compliant and HITRUST-certified Printer practicing the highest standards in data security. Preferred Direct is a leader in technology with the first Xerox Impika® in the United States and other high-efficiency, high-quality printing, binding, and fulfillment technology. We work with companies in a variety of industries, providing printing services, direct mail services, fundraising, and non-profit marketing, fulfillment services and direct billing services. We encourage you to consider Preferred Direct as you consider a new commercial print provider – we strive to be your preferred print partner that delivers.
CLICK HERE to learn more about Preferred Direct and our capabilities and browse through our site to find the commercial printing service best suited to meet your goals. Contact our team today to get started!
Give us a call at (757) 461-2730 or Toll Free at 1-844-719-1848
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