If you are responsible for sourcing print solutions for your business, you may be familiar with the arduous task of calling around, requesting quotes, identifying the best provider and, haggling back and forth on costs. Then you have to negotiate delivery deadlines and agree on supply formats – all while working with your team to create the content in the first place. No matter how much time you spend trying to get the best deal, there is no guarantee that you will get satisfactory results.
A print management solution can help you streamline the entire process so you no longer have to do the legwork. Instead, you will have a team of well-connected professionals to do the work for you, making sure you get the ultimate bang for your buck. If you’ve never hired a print management company before, here are some questions you should ask during the recruitment process.
How Broad Is Their Reach?
Connections, connections, connections. It’s all about who you know when it comes to successful enterprise print management. If your print team doesn’t have a sufficient network of suppliers and contacts, they will never be able to deliver the level of efficiency and value you need for your business. Ask every potential print solution company about their buyer network, what their processes are, and most importantly, how they foresee their services contributing to your business objectives.
How Experienced Are They?
You may find the most connected print management company in the business, nothing comes close to experience. Be sure the team you hire is able to handle a crisis at the eleventh hour; that they will have a Plan B, C and D should anything go wrong; and that they know what they’re looking for when they conduct quality control audits on your work. Being in the business for some time will also mean that they have an established working relationship with their recommended suppliers, making them less likely to be duped by a supplier who can’t deliver what they promise.
Are They Local or National or International?
Based on the size, scale, and global reach of your business, you need to find a supplier that can handle the volume of work you send their way. If you’re based on the East Coast but frequently ship promotional collateral around the United States, it makes sense to use a company with a national reach that can save on shipping costs. Even if you’re local, a local company may not be able to handle the volume of work you put out, so you may need to think nationally to ensure your needs are met.
Can They Show You Samples?
A print management company may tick all the boxes in terms of capacity, locality and experience – but can they show you their end products? Can they provide tangible evidence that they can do what you need them to? Can you examine the paper quality for yourself? A print solution company that cannot send you samples should raise alarm bells. After all, you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars, only to find that the finished product is sub-par.
What Are Their Service Offerings?
Many print management companies have subdivisions that complement their main offerings. For example, they may have started out working solely with paper materials, but have now branched into merchandise, including retail stands and clothing. And some offer print plus delivery rather than outsourcing delivery to another supplier. It is worth discovering what other services they offer, to streamline the entire process.
A print management company can become a valuable team member you never knew you needed. Their skills, connections and resources free you up to do your job better. If you’re still sorting out your own printing needs, look into how an enterprise printing solution can make your life easier.