Questions to ask when Selecting a Print Management Company

Questions to ask when Selecting a Print Management Company
August 9, 2016 Nick Hames

If you are considering appointing or changing your print management firm you are probably seeking 1. cost savings and 2. an easier life. But when all of the print management firms you talk to are saying the same thing, how do you determine which one might be a good fit for you? To help you choose the right firm for your charity or business we have put together some questions you might want to ask candidate print managers.

 

Who will we actually deal with every day?

The larger the print management firm you deal with the more likely you are being pitched by the sales team. Regardless of how polished the presentation might be, or how genuine the creds might seem, make sure you meet and interview your actual account team. Never take the sales persons word for it.

What services you provide in-House?

Some firms are pure print managers with no central production expertise while others provide services such as artwork management in house. You might be ok with your raw artwork being passed to unnamed printers, but there might be more concerns if your prospect or customer data leaves your control.

How many different printing suppliers do you use?

A simple one, but far too many print management firms can be more accurately described as sales teams for a handful of production printing companies. If you have a range of work from POS to direct mail to long run brochure work then the breadth of suppliers they use is imperative. Why not ask to see a roster of printing firms used in the last 6 months.

Can you demonstrate innovation in print management?

There is a limit to what can be achieved with cost cutting on a basket of print / merchandising items. If you are really looking to save money and drive the effectiveness of print then you should be looking for a print management firm that can demonstrate more than frugal sourcing. Ask for examples of where the print management firm has suggested changes to a brief and what the results have been.

How big is the business?

There are traditionally very low barriers to entry for print management. A laptop and a mobile phone is all you need to start pitching for print work. However, make sure you use a credit rating service like Credit Safe to determine the financial position of the business and ask about staff premises.

Can I speak to some existing customers?

Speaking with other clients already using the print manager can be a great way of getting some genuine feedback about what it’s like to work with them. Ask how they started working together, what sets the print manager apart from others and what they value the most about the service.

Do they have an X-Factor?

It might be a clever artwork management system, a unique finishing technique or a direct mail service that differentiates the business from its competitors. Finding out what the print managers claims to fame are and determining if they might be useful to you can be a great way to understand if they are the right supplier for your business or charity.

 

The Production Hub are a print management and direct mail firm with a strong reputation for delivering complex direct mail campaigns for charities and commercial businesses. If you aren’t currently satisfied with your printer or print manager we welcome the opportunity to show you how our Perfect Print Management and Clever DM services will save you money and make your print spend more effective. Give us a call on 01622 232711 or email us at enquiries@productionhub.org.uk