As you begin planning for growth in 2019, you may want to review the many options for outsourcing certain types of print jobs to companies that sell only to other print-service providers. Here are some potential benefits.
You can provide better service to your customers. To become a print-services provider in the fullest sense of the term, you should be able to help save customers the time and frustration of dealing with multiple vendors for various types of printed products.
Creative professionals involved with integrated, multimedia marketing campaigns might prefer not to hire three different vendors for basic marketing collateral, event signage, and big visual communications. They welcome help from print-service providers that can help them coordinate different types of printed materials for visual merchandising, direct mail, event activations, and out-of-home advertising with multiple channels of online, social, and email marketing and print advertising.
The more help you can provide by delivering different types of print, the more likely you are to gain a reputation as a trusted “solutions provider.”
It’s easier to access state-of-the-art and specialized technology. Keeping up with all of the latest advances in digital printing technology can be an expensive, time-consuming proposition. Each time you buy new equipment, you must also consider whether your shop will need additional finishing equipment, floor space, electrical power, equipment operators, software, and service agreements.
With a good outsourcing partner, there are no upfront costs when you want to offer printing services that require specialized printers or expensive finishing systems. When you outsource, you can accept multi-part projects that include elements such as grand-format signage, promotional T-shirts, 3D models, thermoformed signs, dye-sublimated fabrics, or printed packaging.
You can promote a wider range of services on your website. Many buyers start their search for a print-service provider online. A buyer may be more likely to reach out to your company for a quote if your website reflects your ability to help them with a wide range of graphics production requirements and marketing support.
You don’t have to turn customers away when your shop is too busy. Acquiring new customers is expensive, so retaining them is important. You don’t want to risk turning away customers because you are “too busy.” Instead, trust your outsourcing partners to help with seasonal peaks in demand. If you don’t have to buy additional equipment to handle seasonal peaks in demand, you also won’t be stuck with excess capacity during seasonal lulls.
Your staff can focus on your core competencies. If your staff excels in sales, relationship building, graphic design, marketing, or innovative product design, outsourcing some of your print production enables them to focus on building lasting relationships with clients who value their expertise and creativity. Serving a steady group of growth-oriented customers who value capabilities that go beyond printing can save your shop from the constant battle to become the lowest-cost provider of printed products.
Making It Work
Outsourcing doesn’t work if your customers expect every element of the print job to be delivered in hours instead of days. It also doesn’t work if your shop isn’t prepared to track all of the details on a job in which some elements will be printed on-site and some will be printed elsewhere.
You also need time to find and evaluate outsourcing partners who can provide reliable, quality service at competitive, predictable prices. When you find a potential partner, send them a few test projects before making any longer-term commitments.
Once you have found a partner you can trust, you will need systems in place for updating prices and managing orders and deliveries. These systems will be easier to set up if you already have implemented a good print-shop management system within your own company.
With Ordant’s easy to use order management system, you can keep track of the details and status of multi-part jobs, including elements that require custom estimates. With our integrated purchase order systems and web-to-print module, you can set up systems for sending orders to your outsourcing partners.
Plus, you can process orders from print shops that want to hire you to produce some specialized print jobs. With Ordant’s versatile estimating system, you can offer discounted rates to print shops who outsource portions of their jobs to you. For a demonstration of how easy Ordant software is to start, customize, and scale up, visit Ordant.com.