Printing is not a commodity. The same specs, same stock, and same design can yield vastly different results. Add in the fact that online bidding can mean a wide range in pricing, and you have yourself a conundrum. If you’re looking for more than a one-time business card or invitation order, you have a lot to consider. Here are three things that we feel are most valuable in a print partner:
1. They Commit to Quality — In a recent study published in Printing Impressions, print quality was listed as the top reason print buyers select — and stay loyal to — a supplier. But, with the advances in direct-to-press technologies and closed-loop color controls, as well the continued migration to digital, many common quality issues have vanished.
Still, there are a few essentials for gauging quality work. Examine proofs, dyluxes, and mockups for errors or omissions. Check for color consistency and matching from your first piece to your last. Review bindery samples at numerous quantity thresholds. Depending on your vendor’s in-house abilities, such work can be done outside, making it prone to problems. The approach of outside suppliers can tell you a lot about the quality expectations of your supplier. Finally, compare performance on a small job versus a large one. A team that cares about every project is a sign of a quality supplier.
2. They Make Your Life Easier — Just as important as delivering a quality product is a partner’s treatment of you. How do they show that they value your business? Is it through a thank-you note or gift at year’s end, or do they do things throughout the year that truly make your life easier? In printing, this can include building templates or dielines for you, handling the imposition of business cards and other small-format jobs, or calling you if they notice a typo before they start the process — giving you time to resubmit your files and avoid alterations.
Another way a print partner can make your life easier is by having experience in and knowledge of your industry. If you’re in a heavily regulated industry such as financial services, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, or insurance, the specialization of savvy vendors can mean cash in your pocket. Their acumen can not only give you a backup review, but can ensure you stay in compliance with marketing requirements.
3. They Have High Integrity — Multiple steps are involved in any given project, which means there are multiple ways things can go wrong. No matter how large, renowned, reputable, or (insert other compelling adjective here) your vendor is, how they respond in such circumstances is key.
While we’re proud of our accomplishments, we’re also humble. We know that things don’t always go as planned. Sometimes it’s the supplied stock or specs, and other times, it’s just some odd spec and circumstance. Anytime we experience a glitch, we evaluate the issue, identify possible fixes, and then discuss the issues with our clients. We strive to stay as transparent as possible and never “sweep things under the rug.” Rather, we propose what we see as optimal solutions, retooling them using client feedback. In the end, we have very few “misses,” but instead have the "hits" that gain longtime trust.
Your priorities for choosing a print provider may include additional elements, but the essentials above remain the same. Creel and Digital Lizard have strong track records in these three very important reasons. Indeed, the Creel companies have been keeping clients happy for 65+ years.
Give us a call at 866.494.6155 today or email email@example.com, for a quote, samples, or customer references. We’re confident that we can make your every print project a success.