Do you need outsourced print vendors? Outsourcing your printing can be a tough decision for many companies — many leaders expect to have to make a decision weighing the value of outsourcing print versus the potential costs.
To help make this choice easier, we’ve compiled a brief list of pros and cons for your organization to consider before choosing to outsource and work with a print provider. Or not.
PROS OF OUTSOURCING PRINT
More time for you (and your team) to do your job
Think of outsourcing print as a management choice. But instead of delegating printing proposals, posters, and fliers to your assistant, a third party vendor handles the proofing, binding, and shipping.
On demand printing services significantly reduce the amount of time you and your staff spend in front of a printer, giving you hours back to do more revenue-generating tasks.
Can help save money
You may assume that hiring an outside vendor is going to cost more than you can budget — but that’s not always the case. When using printing and binding services online, you’ll be tapping into their years of experience and streamlined processes that help them complete the job faster, and cheaper, than if you were to do it yourself. Your outsourced print budget will likely end up being less than your internal print budget.
Maintains consistency across all printed items
Particularly effective for companies with multiple offices, or with multiple departments printing different types of marketing or training materials, having a single outsourced print vendor can maintain continuity among every print brochure, manual, banner, or promotional product.
CONS OF OUTSOURCING PRINT
Vetting multiple print partners
In order to outsource your printing, you need to find a company to do said outsourcing. But how do you choose? Whichever has the lowest cost isn’t always the answer. Some other things to take into consideration when choosing an online print company are whether they have sustainable printing materials, provide overnight printing services, or have payment terms that work for you.
Don’t know where to start? Use this checklist to vet potential outsourced print suppliers.
Less control over the minutiae
Someone you don’t know or isn’t under your management is handling everything. Is that something you’re willing to let go of, in order to save yourself hours (sometimes days) previously spent printing and shipping marketing materials or internal documents?
Too many vendors to manage
Having multiple vendors can be a major con for people who need or want to outsource their print needs. Someone to print manuals, another to handle event marketing materials, and another to create cool promotional merchandise.
By switching to an online document printing service like Mimeo, you’ll be able to print documents and deliver them from the same website that handles your promotional products (also known as SWAG) and your online content delivery platform.
New tools and websites to understand
For each new online printing vendor, you’ll need to learn how to use their website and internal tools. If you’re not super tech-savvy, this could be an annoying con to deal with.
Similar to the “con” above, narrowing down your outsourced print vendors to a single partner will reduce the amount of time you spend figuring out new workflows.
Lack of or lower insight into vendors’ business practices
When printing, binding, packaging, and shipping your print materials in-house, you know who is handling each item and the values of your company. When outsourcing, you’ll need to dig to understand their business practices, if they’re not open with it from the beginning. For example, are they sustainable and use eco-friendly materials? Do they pay their employees fairly? If a print vendor doesn’t give you insight into these questions, that’s a red flag!