Tag Archives: printing

Top tips for choosing the right printing company

 

outsource print

How do you choose the right printing company?

Confronted with so many potential suppliers how do you decide which printing company to choose for your print requirements or how do you outsource your payslip printing?

How do you find the right service provider when there are so many to choose from?

Which one do you select and what selection criteria do you employ?

Until recently, companies did not pay much attention to the way they reviewed their print strategies and requirements. Little or no consideration for cost was given to the various print devices, paper, supplies, general print and consumables being ordered on a daily basis.

All that changed with the onset of the financial crisis.

Companies are more aware of the need to review their print requirements.

The biggest problem is that company executives or department heads have no idea how much it is really costing them to process, print and mail out a plethora of items each week.

They have no idea of the overall cost of their print bill, the quantity of supplies they get through in a week, the number of suppliers they are using and the time spent resolving hardware problems.

Money is wasted by the continued use of unnecessary devices, obsolete hardware, staff spending time on print and I.T issues resulting in hours being lost to dealing with different vendors and suppliers.

Many companies are now appreciating the benefit of an outsourced print service reducing the complexity of managing various suppliers and spiralling in-house costs and managing print and distribution in-house.

Outsourcing print whether to a print management services company see here or by adopting a managed print service here requires knowledge and understanding of what your organisation is trying to achieve.

Too often buyers focus on one thing only and that is PRICE.

Unfortunately choosing on price alone results in the customer being dissatisfied with the quality, service or the end product.

print outsourcing business documemts

Price should not be the only consideration when evaluating suppliers and/or vendors.

“We are buying on price only” or “we want the cheapest solution” are typical of the current climate.

The buyer can not expect a great quality product or service if he/she is buying on price alone.

To then add value to a service or product so the customer benefits becomes an impossible task.

Most companies don’t want the hassle of sourcing suppliers to manage their print, payroll or billing few know where to start looking or what considerations need to be taken into account when outsourcing.

Print is the end product – from printed payslips and invoices, cheques, direct mail to the use of MFPD’s multi-functional print devices managed in-house, all deliver paper in some shape or format and not many companies are equipped to research and employ print services that will save them money.

What is happening in the market place?

It is a print buyers haven, assuming they have the knowledge to purchase print or skills to outsource the required business function.

Print management companies, print suppliers/consumables, vendors and manufacturers are desperate to win work at any cost and the buyer can get what they want at a price they are prepared to pay.

Companies seeking these services are going to market lacking the skills required to source the right partner to work with.

Print checklist20 point checklist of tips to think about before choosing your print supplier

Before you even consider the following list you need to think about the services you require?

Have an approval criteria or list of what you are looking for notably:-

Are you wanting to outsource all your corporate print from letter-headings to billing and payslip printing? (Print Management)

Are you looking to reduce the number of print devices and print in-house (Managed Print Services)

Are you looking to reduce the cost of one specific area of print such as your billing or cheque and payment processing?

Once you know what it is you are trying to achieve then the following list will provide a useful guideline, it is by no means complete or exhaustive.

1. Choose a company that can offer innovative solutions capable of adapting to your business environment.

2. That can/will provide ongoing support, consultation and recommendations that take into account your evolving business needs.

3. That has a complete solution for your requirements i.e if you are outsourcing your payslip printing you might want to adopt multi-channel distribution that includes printing and sending them electronically.

4. Offers best in class service and delivery, experienced personnel, good operational processes and protocols particularly if you are outsourcing cheque printing. 

5. Check the quality of the work – what do they do, what is their niche and how will they deliver the service to you.

6. Technically competent – will the incumbent supplier be able to deliver what they say they can?

7. Is the proposed supplier financially stable?

8. Is the supplier reliable – will they fulfil/deliver the product/service in a timely manner?

9. Are they enthusiastic – can they demonstrate the extent of their knowledge of the product or service they are proposing?

10. Does the structure of the company indicate reliability and longevity in other words they aren’t going to disappear in 6 months time.print checklist

11. Do they have experienced personnel capable of advising beyond printing for example print management companies do more than just manage your print they are multi-channel partners they can provide expertise on direct marketing, SMS, data management, social media and promotional gift items.

12. Do ask for case studies and testimonials from current customers to authenticate the suppliers statements.

13. Don’t make your decision solely on price – cheap prices mean inferior quality and service.

14. Ask as many questions as possible no matter how trivial to ensure you are confident in the future service.

15. Establish what other services the supplier can provide this is useful for any future business/company developments you might have. For example they might provide direct marketing print and design capability or can advise you on your social media marketing strategy.

16. Visit the site or manufacturing premises – is it secure if printing cheques and payslips? If it’s a managed print solution ask to visit a managed site to establish how it works or request a reference site to discuss how the company are benefiting from MPS (managed print service)

17. Check the reputation of the supplier – ask for a client list and check the website what do they talk about, what services are they advertising?

18. Ask for a trial run for example can the print company offer to print some basic items free of charge? If it’s an outsource service such as payslip printing ask the supplier if they are able to take a data file and provide a print out for a minimum fee so you experience the service first hand.

19. Use social media to see how your supplier engages with its audience. Do they offer expert advice and help in the form of great content, are they on all the social media networks?

20. Be loyal to your print provider or outsource partner. Once you have found the right printing company or partner keep them. Having a good relationship will ensure you can look to them for all manner of printed or outsourced information and advice and in turn they are more likely to offer you discounts, give you a first class service and provide additional services.

Are there any criteria you would use in addition to the above?

How did you find your print partner and how successful has the relationship been?

Digital Print Management can be found on twitter, facebook and Pinterest, connect with us on Linkedin and Google+.

 

 

 

Web to Print. How to reduce the cost of your short print runs!

An Online printing service or web to print solutions can provide quick, cheap and efficient print from business cards to letter headings; marketing leaflets and flyers.

So I thought it might be a good idea to give you a quick overview of what online print actually is and how it can reduce your costs for short print runs.

Online printing also known as web to print; print on demand and digital printing it offers a variety of print options that make it fairly easy for those of you who don’t have a background in print or design to order online. It is a commercial prepress process that bridges the gap from digital content online and commercial print production.

What this means is that you can create, edit, upload you’re own designs and templates or choose from a vast array of pre -designed templates allowing you to view and approve the completed online template during the prepress phase.

Web to print increasingly calls for a PDF work flow environment with output provided by digital colour printers; although there are many print services that offer fulfilment using both digital production and offset facilities.

 How does web to print work?

Accessing a website with a storefront view enabling the customer to peruse through a variety of templates or catalogues in   which they can choose business print, marketing  leaflets, newsletters. Within these storefronts, customers can choose pre-designed templates where you can alter the copy, typeface, images and layout; or alter a layout and design that has been created by another person.

While most web to print applications allow customers to customise pre-designed templates it also allows for customers to upload their own unique content for automated print production.

It’s a great way of producing small print runs at low prices with quick delivery ideal for marketing ideas that you get in the middle of the night and you want to test before going down the route or producing a full blown direct mail effort.

What makes our web to print different?

Simple really we have evolved a workflow process that enables us to personalise your templates so if you want to do a mailing to say 2,500 customers easy! Working either from a pre-designed template or by uploading your own; we will process, print and post all in one click. A payment summary is provided so you know exactly what it is costing you and your order will automatically be acknowledged once payment has been accepted. Despatch will be confirmed at the end of the order placement. Online printing gives you the flexibility to print just what you want when you need it 24/7; because the order can be processed in real time online!

Which means freeing up your time to get on with your business.

If you want help and advice as to how the service could work for you then call or email us and we will be happy to advise!

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p60 Printing and how to manage it.

p60 printing solutions.

P60 printing time is looming fast for all Pay Roll Departments.

But fear not because help is at hand!

P60s  and p60 printing doesn’t have to be a cumbersome task that has to be managed internally.

Outsourcing this onerous task can free up the Pay Team department’s valuable time. 

How?

Simply outsourcing the process to an experienced outsource provider!

By taking your p60 datafile we remove the pressure to generate and distribute p60’s ahead of the annual deadline.

Once printed, we collate the p60s using our verification mailcare system ensuring that individual forms are checked and inserted accurately prior to despatch.

Outsourcing P60s; P45s; P11d’s can all be outsourced whilst you continue to manage and maintain the payroll printing internally.

Managing the processing and printing of P60s takes the responsibility away from you and places it firmly and squarely on the shoulders of the company fulfilling your P60s.

How does the process work then?

From the outset, we discuss with you your requirements, the layout and specific timescales and agree a time and date for you to send us a datafile.

In the first instance we receive a test file from you for us to evaluate. Upon agreed specification; proofs are created for you to sign off and approve. When you are ready and on the prescribed day, you forward a P60 datafile; which is proofed, signed off by you the customer and then the P60s are printed and despatched following our pre-agreed timescales.

I’ve never done this before, who will help me and what about security?

No need to be concerned! Our expert specialists will guide and keep you informed every step of the way. All data files are managed in a secure ISO27001 accredited facility with C&CCC (Cheque & Credit CCClearing Company) compliance.

Using a secure method of transmission (SFTP) a full audit trail is generated for each file and all the relevant and important steps are put in place to ensure compliance and data integrity.

I have data from different systems, how will you manage it?

We regularly receive data files from different I.T. systems or software even data files sent from multiple locations. As long as we are aware of this at the start of the project this can be integrated into the implementation process and managed appropriately.

How will you get the P60’s out to our employees?

You tell us what you want. We can either post them out or have the documents boxed and securely returned to a Head Office address. Or, we can post out and optimise the best postage discounts available; post to multi-branch locations for internal distribution.

But we process our payslips using pressure seal?

Again no problem you can have either format. If your employees are use to receiving pressure seal type payslips then we can send the same format for your P60s. Alternatively, if you prefer your P60s to be A4 and then inserted into envelopes we can manage that as well.

How do I know I can rely on Digital Print Management’s expertise?

Quite frankly you don’t and we can quite understand that you might be taking a big step into the unknown.

We understand the concerns and issues associated with outsourcing any project that is why we specialise solely in OUTSOURCING.

We are committed to ensuring that our customers get the right solutions you might say that it is a passion of ours making sure the customer gets what they want!

To make it easier we’ve written a few articles for you to browse which should help make selecting the right print partner easier!

There’s a selection on our blog, but we think these two will help! Why Outsource?  Top Tips to Consider before you Outsource?

For your p60 printing needs please contact Digital Print Management. Or call us for a free impartial discussion.

We focus on payroll, payslip printing and distribution so you can focus on business!

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Why Outsource Your Payslip Printing?

 

There are many benefits for a company considering outsourcing its payroll processing and printing.

Businesses face enough challenges on a daily basis and being able to streamline some of the internal processes is advantageous. One of the key areas is by outsourcing either payroll processing or payroll printing, or both because it affords the following benefits:

  • Cost reduction
  • Reduces the workload of the payroll department
  • Reliability – outsourced payroll processing and printing will speed up the process providing paper and electronic distribution of payslips
  • Expertise in payslip printing – assuming you select the right service provider
  • Flexibility to meet your needs over time and as the business grows
  • Speed and accuracy using pressure seal mailers
  • As the payroll is processed offsite there are no concerns with data integrity or data protection
  • Allied to the above are the provision of a full disaster recovery facility which means that your payslips will be processed and your data will remain totally secure
  • There is no expensive in-house I.T as expertise is provided by the incumbent supplier

How do you choose the right partner?

  • Do they have ISO27001 and can demonstrate secure processes and procedures?
  • Expertise – how knowledgeable about payroll systems and software is the service provider?
  • Can data be accepted from more than one source i.e. multi-files, multi-channels, multi-locations?
  • What mailing or distribution options are available by your managed service provider i.e. mailing, return to head office, electronic to email or online payslips
  • Offer the flexibility to meet your specific needs?
  • Can they demonstrate excellent customer service?

Find out more about payslip printing at Digital Print Management or call us.

Please call us if you are thinking about outsourcing your payroll printing and would like independent and free advice or email us.

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Outsource Printing V Printing In-House

Outsourcing print saves a company time and money.

 

In the years I have been involved with outsourcing print one question that always comes up is the case for and against outsourcing print!

Print Outsourcing or outsource printing is not a new phenomenon by any means however, there are still many UK companies that manage their print in-house, in fact as I write this article I will be meeting with an independent foreign bank to discuss this very topic!

I am very biased of course, it’s a no brainer to me. I know that over the years we have saved companies thousands of £’s which has translated onto their bottomline!

However, I like to consider the customers perspective and fears, for example: “It’s too expensive!”, “Will I really see cost savings?”, “Just the thought of talking about it sends me into a cold sweat!” “I don’t want to give up control!” “The M.D. wants us to do our own!”

These are some of the comments that actually make me and my team cringe and have cropped up in our exploratory discussions over the years we’ve been promoting the argument for print outsourcing.

Come on, I bet you already do some form of outsourcing; take the domestic situation, maybe you outsource the ironing, or you have some domestic help with the cleaning all with the aim of saving YOU TIME. This is called domestic outsourcing. You are entrusting a service provider to deliver a specific service to suit your needs. So what’s the difference?

Whether to print in-house or not is an important decision for a lot of businesses.

But the real issue is the true cost of printing in-house?

When I refer to true cost I mean the £’s, time, the invisibles which a business can’t really quantify.

Big printer/copier manufacturers have spent vast amounts on promoting to businesses that printing in-house is cheap, fast and more efficient however, this is rarely the case. Printer manufacturers rely on us mere mortals to purchase again and again.

After the initial investment in your chosen printers or MFD’s (multi-functional devices), what about everything else?

Paper, ink/toner, maintenance, drums, fusers, repairs, power and the biggest cost on a company’s bottom line TIME.

Yes, time it takes to evaluate, source and buy or lease your print devices.

Then you’ll need the ancillary equipment, if you’re going to be printing and despatching your invoices in-house then you will need mailing equipment and so the list goes on. Oh, by the way, don’t forget about the training and the personnel required in-house to operate the machinery, then, what happens if he, she/they leave!

Printers and associated equipment bought or leased are often oversold in other words, are of a very high specification and way in excess of the requirement of the company’s needs.

So many times I have seen customers stuck with equipment that is either under used because they have been oversold or not configured or designed for the tasks required by the company allied to that a contract that states in order for them to have the kit at an attractive rate they need to lease hire for something like 5 years+!

Outsourcing by now is looking a very attractive option for the business owner surely?

Outsourcing Print is a viable and cost effective proposition for many businesses.

Big companies are tempted to look at the large manufacturers to provide “managed print services“; in which the vendor takes control of the customer’s production of corporate, office and marketing documents typically owning the machines, providing training on how to use them, maintenance and most likely take a per page or click charge.

In-house printing comes with a pretty hefty price tag when the above are factored in to the equation and then there is the lease hire agreement and the commitment the company then has to make to the vendor to ensure he hits the click rate/nos of pages printed monthly, heaven forbid if he doesn’t!

Some businesses are too small for managed print services to be able to offer competitive pricing but the reality is there are many print management companies who will provide an excellent service at a fair price.

Coupled with the fact that we take the headache away by sourcing printed matter, material, consumables and thus streamline printing costs with ruthless efficiency making it a better proposition to outsource to an independent print manager than purchasing and running the equipment in-house.

One final thought on the above, independent means just that; as a print management company we are independent we aim to deliver a managed print service or print solution and are driven by the customers needs and wants.

Call us for an informal chat and with no obligation and see if what we can do for you!

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