September 16, 2020 The Print Authority

Choosing a Printing Company: 9 Things To Look For When Selecting a Printing Partner

When it comes to choosing a commercial printing company, it can be confusing to understand what to look for. What indicates a quality product? How do you know this company has the right options for you? Much like other business relationships, you need to find the best fit.

To help you find the right fit, we asked 9 thought leaders what to look for when choosing a commercial printing company. Below, they share their insights and the questions you should ask before purchasing printing services.

Can They Meet Your Current and Future Needs

When selecting a printing company, it is important to think about who can meet your current and future needs. By choosing someone that has unique offerings like graphic design, web to print portals, wide format services, offset printing, promotional products, etc., you can ensure that your printing partner can serve you as your needs and business grow. So before making a decision, ask the company what they can provide you outside of just printing fulfillment!

Eric Blumenthal, The Print Authority

Look for Detailed Reviews That Tell Stories

A lot can go wrong in the printing process. You might get thousands of dollars of finished product where the printing is slightly off, or some other flaw. This imperfection is normal and expected, and you need to find and work with the businesses that will remedy it. Look for reviews that tell a story, more than “this printing company is great”, and instead something like, “there was a small issue with my print job and Nancy was incredibly helpful in remedying it. They even paid for rush shipping. Thank you!”

Michael Alexis, Teambuilding

Ask for Three References

Ask them for at least three references for companies that are the same as yours or very similar. Then, call those three references and if they can’t tell you what you need to hear, I would highly suggest you keep looking for a new commercial printing company.

Ben Walker, Transcription Outsourcing, LLC

What’s Their Strengths

It’s best to develop a long-term relationship with a commercial printer. Rather than approach a printing project as a one-time transaction (which it may be), think more long-term. Learn about their strengths and weaknesses as a commercial printer. Can they handle certain types of projects? By learning about a commercial printing company, you’ll be able to determine whether they are the right partner for your long-term needs.

Brett Farmiloe, Small Business SEO

Do They Meet Your Customer Service Needs

Find a company that will give you the customer service you need. If you use a printing company on occasion, it might not be too important to have a designated account manager, but if you know your business requires frequent and extensive printing jobs, then make sure you find a printing company that assigns you an account manager that specifically handles your account. By finding someone you trust, you’ll have a better experience.

Peter Babichenko, Sahara Case

Take a Deeper Look at Shipping Costs

The first thing you should do when looking to partner with a commercial printing company is research all of the services they offer. Some places specialize in certain areas and you want to make sure that the place offers the exact type of printing services you need. You should also be taking a deeper look at shipping costs. The price of shipping varies at different printing places, but it is important to know exactly what the delivered cost is upfront. Shipping costs can sneak up on you at the end of the process and add a large amount to your total without you even realizing until it is time to pay up.

Dan Reck, MATClinics

The Correct Quality in the Promised Time

When choosing a commercial printing company you want them to have integrity. Price is important, but getting the correct quality product at the promised time is just as important. And if you make a genuine connection, they can often do something fast in an emergency situation.

Joanne M Elsen, CPA PC

Do They Offer Exactly What You Need?

It seems obvious, but you need to find the company that offers exactly what you need—bonus if they specialize in it. If you choose a printing company that only prints your needs as a special order type of deal, and they don’t usually offer the service you need, the higher the likelihood that they won’t always turn out the way you want them to. Find a printing company that has experience in your needs and will be able to deliver the high quality you expect.

Gwen North, Lake Rabun Hotel

How Quick and Responsive Are They to Your Queries?

A professional printing company should, at the very least, be able to handle the type of printing you need for your organization. There is a large difference between the needs of an architecture firm and a boutique pet store in terms of printing. Therefore, be sure the printing company can handle the paper size and needs of your organization.

Then, you should also consider how quickly a printing company is able to get back to you and address your task. There is nothing more frustrating than trusting a company for important projects and finding out your printing got sidelined in favor of someone else. Give the company a chance, but don’t give loyal business where it isn’t earned.

Antti Alatalo, SmartWatches4U