Print Sourcing

Four Common Frustrations with Commercial Printing Services

Using commercial printing services can be a strain on your most valuable resources–time and money. There’s a better way to get printing solutions.

Finding commercial printing services can be a real drag. There’s no shortage of vendors out there offering printing solutions. But that’s actually part of the problem. Where do you even begin choosing the right fit for your needs?

frustrated with commercial print

Here are four factors that make it difficult for marketing teams like yours to find the right commercial printing services.

#1: Too Many Printing Vendors to Manage

As I mentioned, there are plenty of printing vendors out there. Most savvy marketing managers maintain relationships with at least several of them. Having a few options for getting your most common pieces printed can help ensure that you’re getting competitive prices and the responsiveness you need. 

Unfortunately, managing vendors can eat up way too much of your time.

Suppose you have four different vendors lined up to give you quotes on printing your corporate brochure. That’s a plus because you’ll be able to compare apples to apples and select the best price and turnaround time. But in the process, someone on your staff will have to exchange phone calls and emails with contact people at four different printing vendors just to get the information you need. Now imagine that happening for every print project that comes your way. Your time is better spent on other things.

#2: Too Much Upselling by Printing Vendors

Found a vendor that can deliver the right printing services at the right prices? That’s great. But keep in mind that they’re trying to get something out of the relationship, too. 

Even as they seek to understand and meet your needs, your printing vendor wants to squeeze the greatest possible profit out of the machines in which they’ve invested—and printing presses don’t generate any revenue when they’re sitting idle. So, your printer’s sales reps may offer you deals on additional print pieces you hadn’t originally intended to buy.

At best, you could save money by taking advantage of discounts. But most of the time, you’ll probably feel pressure to buy products that don’t really help you reach your marketing objectives.

#3: Too Little Visibility into Commercial Printing Services

As we’ve discussed, most marketers have a go-to list of print vendors for their most common projects. This can be both a plus and a minus. Directing most of your business to the same few vendors can help minimize the ramp-up time for projects and may even earn you loyalty discounts. But most busy marketers have neither the time nor the inclination to explore the market for commercial printing services and learn about the new capabilities that could help them do more with their marketing budget.

What new printing solutions have emerged since you last looked for a new vendor? And where would you go to begin researching them? It’s tough to answer questions like these when deadlines are looming.

#4: High Prices

Ever put together requirements for a commercial printing job, called around for quotes, and then canceled the project entirely because all the prices exceeded your budget? Most marketers have. It’s a tough situation to be in. Now, nobody expects print vendors to give away their services. But it seems there ought to be printing solutions for nearly every budget.

Of course, shopping around for the best prices would take up even more of your time. And the more vendor relationships you have to maintain, the more complicated you’ll make life for your staff.

So, how can you get the best of all worlds? How can you solicit the most competitive prices from a wide range of capable vendors without having to spend hours maintaining relationships—and fending off upselling attempts?

It’s all possible when you work with a printing partner that acts on your behalf. We at RBO PrintLogistix help organizations like yours get the most out of your print budget. Our next article will explain how.

What is Intelligent Print Sourcing?

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