Finding a competitive print partner in Australia

Finding a competitive print partner in Australia


How to find the right print partner ?
Finding the right partner to supply your company with its business printing needs can be tough work, especially if you are new to the print procurement process and are unfamiliar with the rules. With a profuse amount of print vendors out there, how do you know which one will get you the quality that is required, and more importantly the price you are looking for? This article will discuss the challenges for print buyers and some useful tips and services available.

The print procurement challenge
The first lesson to learn is that not all print vendors are the same. Many do not have the equipment that you require in-house or the knowledge to get the job done cost effectively. In most cases it is not in the print shops best interest to let you know this.

The reason for this is most print shops cannot afford to manage all the equipment you need. Many printers have one piece of equipment but not the other. For example a smaller print shop may only have a digital printer but not the finishing equipment for the requested binding. In another case they may have all the equipment that is required, but they are on a high rental agreement, and they do not have enough clients to make the printing cost effective.

How this effects the print buyer ?
Well firstly if you do not know where to look, you will commonly receive a price that is inflated, meaning your vendor has added their margin to the total cost. Secondly they may begin to outsource your business printing needs to different suppliers that add their margin to the mix along the way. That also means you are paying for the courier to move that job along from their location to another printers doorstep and back to the shop you started at, and if all of that wasn’t bad enough… Lastly your print vendor may not have the cheapest suppliers to begin with. So the end story is you are being invoiced that final price.

What is the solution for print buyers
The power is truly in the hands of the print buyer. You can keep going back to the same vendor to get your business printing done, or try your luck at another print shop… But with both of these options there is still one challenge, it may result in the same problems as before. Do keep in mind that not all print vendors come from a print background and therefore will not understand the flaws in their system.

Alternatively you can start asking questions, for example it may be about the print shops capabilities. A short list of some questions are below along with some of the challenges:

Do they have a digital printer in-house ? The digital print process is great for low quantities, but the price per unit does not drastically decrease with larger quantities and the printed product is renowned for having cracking issues when folded.

Does the digital printer have finishing trays attached ? Depending on the finishing attachment, it will allow the printer to fold and/or staple in one click. This means lower costs for printing A3 folded to A4 booklets.

Do they have an offset press in-house ? The offset print process reduces the cost per unit as the quantity increases, but it is not a cost effective solution for small quantities

How many colours is their offset press ?Running a full-colour job on a 2 colour offset press will substantially increase the costs.

How old is their machinery? Older offset presses usually have higher waste, require more work and therefore have increased production costs.

There are a lot of other questions that need to be asked, but many of these can only be answered by doing business with the print vendor and finding out the hard way if they can provide what you expected in the required time.

Also do not take the printers word for it, if they say they have the equipment ask to actually see the equipment. A simple conclusion is if it is not in the shop, then it is being outsourced.

Alternatively you can find a print broker to get you the best price. Print brokers service a niche in the industry, building relationships with printers and sourcing to those vendors that are value for money. Just in the same way a mortgage broker would find you the best fit for your financial position and then provide you with the vendors that will give you the most bang for your buck! Print brokers have access to trade only prices and pass along the savings they receive to their buyers and make their profit along the way. In most cases print brokers have minimal overheads and a high standard for quality along with a knack for finding you a combination of quality and price.

Can I Be The Print Broker
You most certainly can, and you may find a printer that gives you a once off discount to get your business but you may also find their value for money ends once you keep going back to them. It is also difficult to manage the print process without the technical knowledge or the experience to question your price estimates.

Print brokers usually build a solid relationship with an array of providers that keep the prices low and are rewarded with regular clients that keep giving them jobs. You should always search your local area for a print broker and find one that will partner with you to find the best solutions on every job.

Print brokers know the best printers for business cards, the best printers for brochures, the best printers for large format graphics, and so on. This allows them to meet the individual requirements of each specific job and because of the spending power they have, can offer better value and quality.

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