When a business prepares to do a large print job, they will request quotes (hopefully free quotes) from plenty of commercial printers. While some may only focus on the quoted price, the more experienced buyers will look into the "fine print" and find what else the company has to offer. Confirm that the quote you go with contains these 5 elements.
When a quote has an estimated price that seems too sweet, shipping could be the hidden catch. Buyers be aware of what type of shipping the quote includes. Printers may be estimating the cost of the most basic shipping, when shipping needs are a complicated and different for every situation. Does the buyer have the proper lifts to get the print off the truck? Is the business the third floor of a building? Many basic shipping quotes don’t cover delivery requests similar to these and both parties should be clear on the delivery charges before moving forward. Ideal printers would offer FOB (Free On Board), which means the seller would cover all shipping costs to get it to the place of business.
Does the commercial printer have a track record of delivering on time? Many projects are time sensitive and are near worthless if they arrive late. Even if the print job is not time sensitive, speed is key in a productive commercial printing relationship. When going into a partnership with a printing company, double and triple check that the agreement has conditions assuring an on time delivery. Clients who are printing in large quantities should look into printers that print with a 2nd and 3rd shift staff.
Capabilities and Service
Every printer will say they can complete the project, but few will be able to make it all in house and with top-tier quality. Investigate whether the printer has the right type of printing, paper, and ink that will be best for the product. Smaller printers will simply outsource jobs if they can’t do it themselves, which means extra overhead cost for the customer. The right printer should have the capabilities to do the whole project under one roof. La Crosse Graphics is an example of a full service commercial printer that has a wide range of capabilities.
A digital copy of the production is often overlooked but very useful to have. Printers can take a brochure, magazine or guide and make it into a fully interactive PDF. Electronically send a "Smart PDF" of your dazzling print to anybody that does not have a hard copy of the original. PDFs can be distributed to clients, placed on the company website, and circulated among employees. Paired with print, the value of a product can be escalated to new heights with digitization.
Quality will always be king in commercial printing. Partner with a company that will swear by their service. Online printers will often disappoint in this aspect because of the uncertainty that comes with eCommerce. It is hard to tell the quality of print until it is right in front of you! Ask if the seller will send samples of the product or similar products they have completed in the past. Print is powerful when engaging and produced at the high quality. Settling for anything less than perfection is a waste, especially when ordering in large quantities.