Tag Archives: Cheque 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?

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Cheque printing. Why cheques could get a new lease of life

cheque scanningWhen I first wrote about cheques and cheque printing and why I felt they were still important for business there was understandably much antipathy.

Many businesses and organisations rely on bacs and chaps payments so why the need for cheques?

Haven’t they become extinct?

Not yet.

They are getting a new lease of life only a year or so after the banks tried to relinquish them.

Big high street names are working on a solution to make cheques easier to process by being able to scan them and send the details electronically.

By developing smartphone apps, local shops, schools and individuals will be able to cash in cheque payments.

The proposed scheme could significantly reduce fraud and costs incurred by the banks.

Moreover the lifespan of the cheque which is due for review in 2018 could be scrapped giving the cheque a longer lease of life.

Electronic cheque processing or cheque imaging is a new development for the UK but not so in the USA, France, India, China and Asia.

The industry body Cheque and Credit Clearing Company are keen to look at different ways of improving cheque clearing that will sustain cheques long passed 2018 and for as long as they are required.

This is good news for many customers as it would decrease the time taken to process cheques and enable the consumer to use cheques for as long as they want to. cheques

Using the current system, when cheques are processed, details are checked by hand but an electronic system would allow the payee to pay the cheque in at the bank branch where it would be auto-scanned and the image then sent to the bank which issued it.

The details and signature would be verified by a computer system.

But the future is imaging technology apps developed by banks for use on smartphones giving the consumer or SME’s the option of scanning the cheque details using mobile phones or tablet device.

In theory you would scan the cheque, transfer the image to your bank and have it paid in to your account sitting at your desk or at home.

The original paper cheque would be kept as a record in case there are any payment issues or the payment didn’t show in the bank account.

The imaging process would not only make the process secure but speed up the cheque clearing process to 48 hours.

Under the present cheque clearing system it takes two days for someone cashing in a cheque to start earning interest, four days before they can withdraw the funds and six days before the money is guaranteed as theirs.

cheque printing

Banks don’t like cheques because they are expensive and time consuming to process. They are also a very easy target for fraudsters.

Plans to do away with cheques by 2018 by the payments council had to be scrapped due to a consumer and business outcry. The council said that an alternative paper based payment would be provided.

In 2010 banks planned to dispense with the issuing of cheque guarantee cards which protected payments up to the value of £250.00.

Many petrol stations and major high street retailers stopped accepting cheques in this year and in 2011 the payments council decided that the plans to scrap cheques would be scrapped until such times as a viable alternative could be offered.

Introducing an electronic system of processing cheques would be a major advantage for businesses but it would require changes in legislation because the Bills of exchange Act and the Cheques Act give banks the legal right to decide whether or not to honour a physical cheque.

Electronic processing would also include postal orders, bankers drafts and dividend cheques.

Cheques would be written in much the same way but the receiver would be able to scan the cheque create an image and electronically forward the details to the bank speeding up the entire cheque process reducing the banks and consumers time and enabling cheques to continue to play an important and worthy role for businesses, associations and consumers.

[Adapted from an original article first seen in the Daily Mail – August 2013]

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Cheque printing. Why cheques are still good for business?

Last year 1.1 billion cheques were issued, 620 million were personal cheques and 493 million were made out by businesses.

Back in June I wrote about the cessation of the cheque guarantee scheme and the U-turn the Payments Council had taken in relation to cheques. It was genuinely feared that cheques and cheque printing would be phased out by 2018 and be replaced with?

With what?

Last week I was delighted to hear and read that the Payments Council is now reviewing the re-introduction of the cheque guarantee scheme this is where cheques to the value of £50.00 and £100.00 are honoured by the Bank.

Although chip and pin is very much part and parcel of our everyday lives we still have the problem of writing personal cheques for things like school trips, book clubs, subscriptions or pay the domestic plumber.

Cheque printing is still an integral part of many businesses?

Many companies will pay their suppliers via BACs but there are local government departments and educational institutions who by outsourcing cheques and payments will generate manual cheques and they are an important component in their payment stream.

But what if making payments by cheque and electronic means is becoming… well a bit of pain..

Using an electronic & Cheque payment solution/Payments Bureau will save you time and money. A service that prints and personalises cheques including the signatory all in one pass to APACS and C&CCC (Cheque & Credit Clearing Company)

Printing and personalising cheques can be a costly exercise and also a security issue!

Using an end to end service affords flexible credit and cheque outsourcing and fulfilment that satisfies the following:-

  • outsourced cheque printing & mailing
  • outsourced credit printing & mailing
  • no minimum or maximum data quantity
  • no specific file format required
Using a Payment Bureau service gives flexibility to outsource regular and one off payments and can be used for:
  • Bacs
  • Faster Payments
  • Cheques
  • Direct Debit
  • Remittances
The automation of payments and collections can be administered without costly software.
A payments bureau is ideal for combining cheque and electronic transactions from one secure payments file and in the event of your system failing ensures that all your important payments and collections are made on time.
Cheques and cheque printing along with Bacs payments can work effectively.
So before we say good bye to the cheque book forever spare a thought for the importance it still retains in our everyday lives.
For all your cheque and payment processing drop Digital Print Management a request to call and we can discuss the best and most cost effective solution for processing your payment!

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Outsourcing. Top tips to consider before you outsource!

I have often been asked the following questions when it comes to outsourcing:

  • Should I outsource or should I keep it in-house?

  • Is there a process or a mechanism to help me determine how I go about this process?

  • When or at what point should I view outsourcing as an achievable and realistic option for my business?

The following principles can be attributed to almost any business function that you are considering outsourcing from payroll, the Accounting function, corporate print to HR.

How to outsource

What is outsourcing?

A good place to start is to understand what the process of outsourcing is.

Outsourcing is the contracting out of a specific task such as payroll, invoice processing, billing, credit management to a third party provider often implemented as a cost saving measure for tasks that a company requires but is now finding onerous and time consuming to manage in-house.

SME’s to large companies turn to outsourcing to cut costs and streamline their operations.

What are the key points to bear in mind when you are considering the need to outsource some or all of a business process(s).

Key Points to Consider Before You Outsource?

  • Where are you in the outsourcing process? What does the outsourcing process conjure up in the minds of senior management? And what are the tangible benefits that can be derived from outsourcing?
  • What is your level of commitment to the process? i.e. Is it a fundamental part of your business plan to relinquish some if not all of a business function? How serious are you about outsourcing as a mechanism to streamline some of your business processes?
  • Have you decided how much time you are going to put aside to establish this as a project and move it forward?

    Outsourcing some of your business processes can save you time and money!

  • Who or what person will “champion” the process and will take responsibility for steering the project to its conclusion? By this I mean having the authority to make the decision outright for your organisation to procure an outsource partner.
  • Have you determined what areas of the business might benefit from being removed to an external outsource partner?
  • What impact is the process (you are reviewing) currently having on your business? In other words is the business function now taking too much time away from your core business objective?
  • Is it costing or adding too much to your bottom line?
  • Is the process too manual intensive?  Is it not cost effective to make the investment to automate or mechanise the function in-house?
  • How many people are involved in the process? In other words has the function outgrown that of the organisation to a point whereby externalising this particular business process is a realistic alternative?
  • Are you able to quantify the time taken to get payroll/invoice processing complete and on time?
  • Can you quantify the cost of doing it in-house?
  • Is cost the main factor in considering outsourcing? What I mean is, are you basing your decision to outsource purely in terms of what it is costing you to do it in house? Are there other factors that might influence your desire to outsource?

Coming Next: The Benefits of Outsourcing for Your Business.

Do you have any questions you’d like us to answer?

Any anecdotes or experiences you’ve had with outsourcing that you can share?

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Cheque outsourcing. How to do it and what to look out for.

Cheque printing and BAC’s payments are being used in vast quantities daily for payments to suppliers and customers alike.

The difficulty with combining both methods can be costly and labour intensive particularly when you are hand matching cheques and separate remittances factor in cheque distribution for various signatories and the task suddenly becomes cumbersome. A customer recently expressed his frustration at what seemed like an endless stream of cheques to sign; in reality that wasn’t the case, it just felt like it to him!

By using an end to end service for cheque printing and sign-writing the process becomes a completely automated, flexible outsourced fulfilment service for cheques and credit printing all prepared to C & CCC standards.

I am going to make the case here for why organisations should seriously consider outsourcing this process.

So here’s a list of tips to consider before cheque outsourcing!

1/ What do you hope to achieve by outsourcing your cheques? Is it cost reduction, time saving, automation of the process or a combination of all three?

2/ How many payments do you make monthly/weekly and is this inconvenient or difficult to manage?

Outsourcing enables a company to combine cheque and electronic payment transactions from one secure payments file, a bureau can take care of data separation and exceptions reporting too.

3/ Are you wanting to continue with a mix of cheque and BACS payments?

Using a payments bureau gives you the flexibility to outsource regular and one off payments and can be used for BACS, Cheques, DD Payments. You can automate payments without having to purchase or administer software.


Cheques are still needed to make payments to people and businesses.

4/ Does your system allow you to create cheque remittances? Or is it something you’ve never made the time do? By amalgamating a cheque with a remittance portion simplifies the printing and sending of cheques, no separate cheque and remittance run.

5/ Outsourcing cheques is not like asking your local printer down the road to print your stationery requirements; you need to ensure that the printer has APACS accreditation and C & CCC (Cheque & Credit Clearing Company) along with ISO27001 the information management accreditation which demonstrates a company’s process regarding the handling of your information and data.

This is critical in any outsourcing process but even more so for cheques and payments. A due diligence visit to the security printer is a must to authenticate process and procedures are in place for the handling of cheque data.

6/ Professional – Do your cheques currently convey your brand or they are simply bank standard issue?

By outsourcing your company cheques they can be personalised with your company image and design.

7/ Administration – How much time is it really taking to print and process cheques in-house?

Outsourcing cheques and payments will be done quickly, accurately and can be tailored to be processed daily, weekly or monthly.

8/ Security – what happens when cheques are distributed around the business for signing they can easily be mislaid or misappropriated and non infilled cheques pose a security risk.

Outsourcing gives you secure cheque design with additional security features UV, aqua-fugitive and holograms plus an audit trail for all cheques printed and not where’s that cheque I sent up to the 4th floor for signing gone?

9/ Do you have multiple sites?

If your organisation needs to manage stocks across a branch network or across many sites using a customer automated stocking or replenishment system will automatically manage and replenish stocks at each branch.

10/ And finally, do you need cheques for overseas banking?

Cheques can be printed in any format in any denomination – sterling £; euro € , dollars $ or even multi-currency options as A4 cut sheets, cheque books, continuous binder cheques or pressure seal mailers personalised using MICR printers, sign, fold, insert and post out.

Digital Print Management can offer independent expert advice on what kind of printed cheque a company should use and can advise you on the latest cheque formats and security cheque printing solutions.

CALL US TODAY! for more information.

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