04-04-2018 08:34 AM CET - IT, New Media & Software
Print

Growing Your Printing Business: Tips for Outsourcing Work

Press release from: Ordant
Growing print industry
Growing print industry
If you are serious about growing your printing business, you may need to outsource some work as your marketing efforts start attracting more clients. This is particularly true if clients submit print jobs that involve multiple types, sizes, and run lengths of printed products.

Even though digital printing equipment can be incredibly versatile, some clients may ask you to take on projects that your shop isn’t yet ready to handle. Instead of turning away these jobs, you can accept the job and outsource parts of it to an outsourcing partner.

The key to keeping your clients happy is knowing how, when, and where to outsource different types of printing, finishing, or installation work. Some good reasons to outsource include:

You can’t handle the job within the given timeframe
You aren’t equipped to convert a printed piece into the desired specialty product
The job involves print volumes that you can’t handle at a competitive price
It would be less expensive and more efficient to print and ship elements of the job from a location closer to where the graphics will be used
The client wants graphics that are larger than your in-house equipment can handle

Finding an Outsourcing Partner

One risk of outsourcing is that you lose full control over the quality and color consistency of all elements of the job and the timing of the delivery. But if you accept more work than your shop can handle, you could also lose control over the quality of the work and on-time delivery.

The key to successful outsourcing is to find partners you you can trust to deliver high-quality, color accurate work on time. Look for well-run, highly automated businesses that have invested in excess production capacity so they can handle, big, fast-turnaround projects.

If you worry that a partner might steal your firm’s account, choose printing organizations that sell specialty printing and finishing services exclusively to privately owned print shops and sign shops.

The best outsourcing partners might be able to return the favor, and send some specialty work your way. For example, if your sign shop excels in laser engraving, vehicle wraps, or soft signage, promote these skills to your outsourcing partner. Chances are, their customers also ask for print or sign projects that is beyond the scope of their capabilities.

Before hiring an outsourcing partner, get references. Read online reviews and look for red flags such as legal actions or has complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau. Some print-service providers you meet at trade shows and association networking events may be willing to candidly discuss the strengths and limitations of companies that offer printing services to the trade.

Don’t wait until you are overwhelmed with work to test the capability of an outsourcing partner. Try a few small sample projects. Was the work up to your quality standards? Was it delivered on time? Could you reach a customer service representative if a problem arose?

Your outsourcing partner should be able to ship deliveries directly from their plants with your own branded boxes or shipping labels. Your clients don’t ever need to know that elements of the job weren’t actually produced within your facilities.

Whenever you outsource work, make sure that the terms and conditions for approving work and resolving problems are clarified in writing.

Automation Makes It Easier

A good print-shop management program can set the foundation for growing your business through outsourcing. When you don’t have to waste a lot of time on repetitive administrative details, you and your sales team can focus on building relationships with new customers and outsourcing partners. Even in the age of automation, most people prefer dealing with proven problem-solvers and innovators they can rely on when the going gets tough.

A good print-shop management program can help you identify when you have more work in progress than you can handle by the promised delivery dates. In some cases, you can revise your schedules to ensure that your best customers get priority service.

Your print shop management program can also expedite the process or working with your pre-selected outsourcing partners. For example, work will flow more smoothly if you use your system to keep up-to-date records of prices, key contact people, job submission requirements, and terms and conditions of your outsourcing partners. If you accept jobs from other print service providers, you can print shipping labels with your customer’s brand.

Over time, your print-shop management program will help you track the type and value of the work you outsource each year. When the volume of a certain type of work reaches a certain level, it may make sense to acquire additional printing and finishing equipment so you don’t have to outsources those types of jobs.

If you want a cloud-based print-shop management program that is supremely easy to set up, customize, and use, check out Ordant software.

Ordant is a cloud based Print MIS software designed for Print Companies and Sign Shops. Ordant is an advanced print estimating tool and order management solution, with an integrated Web-to-Print storefront. This online tool is designed to save you time by reducing the need for re-entry from one software to another, and as a result it will maximize the efficiency and profitability of your company.

1142 N Knollwood Dr, Palatine, IL 60067

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