Choosing the right printing company may sound simple, but you will be surprised how easy it is to make a mistake.
Chamber member LT Print Group have put together this handy list of tips to help you get the best print service available.
There are many options available from locally based printers to online printers from halfway around the world. Because it is tricky many people simply buy from who they have always bought from or go for the cheapest quote they get and hope for the best.
Going for the cheapest price is easy but can be a big mistake – quality, service, green credentials and reliability are much more important.
Here’s how to make sure you get it right next time:
1. Check the quality of work. The appearance and professionalism of your printed documents has an impact on customers and represents your company. Ask to see samples of work the printer has done before. Is it of the right standard and quality that you want for your own products? It may seem better in the short term to go for the cheapest option, but this can prove a false economy if the products printed are not up to standard and may reflect badly on your business.
2. Check the ‘green credentials’. More than half the trees chopped down in the world are used for paper. Before choosing a printer make sure you know what their carbon footprint is and that they have FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forests) certification. Unfortunately some printers promote their products as “FSC approved” without a valid ‘Chain of Custody’. If you want to be sure ask to see their Chain of Custody Certificate. For more information visit www.fsc.org and www.pefc.co.uk
3. Check their green printing policy. Your customers care about the environment and they need to know that you care as well. The International standard ISO 14001 is only awarded to those companies who reach specified requirements for an effective environmental management system. Make sure you chose a printer who is certified and doing its very best for the environment and not just paying lip service or talking about it. Remember that your business will also boost its green credentials if you are using a proven eco friendly printer.
4. Check out their premises. Your print job is important, so it’s worth visiting the printer yourself to check out how they perform. Ask to be shown around the factory; don’t be afraid to ask questions; talk to the staff; see samples of the work they are doing and generally get a feel for how they operate.
5. Check the level of service you will get. The best printers can look after all your needs under one roof. It is far more cost effective and efficient to have all your design, print, personalisation, mailing, finishing and distribution done under one roof if you can. Finding out how your account will be managed is very important – you need to be able to trust your printer and your account handler, and know that you are in safe hands.
6. Check for a good reputation. Ask for testimonials, recommendations and examples of other work. Look at their client list and ask how long they have been working for their top 10 clients. Generally, do as much research as you can – it may seem time costly but it will be worthwhile in the long term.