Is your business is doing a lot of mission-critical printing and mailing? If your printing volume is picking up and your expenses are escalating, at a certain point you reach a critical stage when you must evaluate whether you’re doing it the most cost-effective way. Should you consider setting up a dedicated print production and mailing operation in house?
Here’s our guide to print production benefits and capabilities.
6 reasons to do print production in house
These are the top reasons we see companies choosing to “in-source” print production and mailing, rather than using outsourced print production services.
When you outsource your printing, costs can sometimes get out of control. That’s partly because of volume discounts. To get a good price from an outsourced print vendor, you often order more than you really need. Those extra pieces take up storage space (which costs money, especially here in New York City!) and eventually get thrown away.
What if you need to change the content of a piece? You’ll waste the thousands of pieces sitting in inventory.
When you do your own on-demand print production in house, you only print what you really need, when you need it. And the costs are the same for any size print job, so there’s no waste. There’s also no cost for shipping or transporting materials. And you can more accurately budget for print expenses.
2. Tight deadlines.
How fast can you get outsourced printed materials? Usually it’s a day or two in the best case. What if you need something for an unexpected presentation in a few hours? Doing print production in house gives you the ability to print whatever you need when you need it.
You might also find yourself constantly making last-minute corrections to documents that have already been sent to the printer. That situation often causes delays. But if you’re printing in house, you can make changes quickly.
3. Changing volume requirements.
Maybe your business is changing, and you’re not sure how it will impact your printing needs. When you do your own print production in house, you don’t have to commit to printing thousands of pieces you might not need.
Also, you might be exploring more personalized printed materials. That means you’ll be doing smaller print runs using variable data printing technology. If you’re outsourcing, that’s going to drive up costs. When you print internally, you have the freedom to do any size print runs without increasing your cost per piece.
4. Quality control.
When you’re relying on an outside print vendor, you have to hope they get your branded colors right. You want high quality images and crisp text. In many cases, you’ll only see emailed digital proofs. If you do have the option of inspecting a printed proof, it may take a day or more to get it.
Chances are, you won’t know for sure how a piece turns out until you inspect the final shipment. With in-house print production, you can verify an actual printed proof (in minutes) before going ahead with the print run.
If you are printing confidential information, that’s a big concern when you’re outsourcing. Failing to comply with privacy regulations (such as HIPAA and Sarbanes Oxley) can result in expensive fines. Does your vendor have the security in place to make sure your documents and information don’t fall into the wrong hands? When you do print production yourself, there’s less risk.
6. Technology improvements.
In the past, companies were forced to rely on outsourced offset printing to get high quality color pieces on heavy or coated paper stock. Or when they needed anything that required binding and finishing. All that has changed now with the latest digital print production equipment and software. You can now print all kinds of offset-quality pieces yourself.
Types of pieces you can produce in house
Print production equipment and software has come a long way in recent years. You may be surprised to learn everything you can do with digital technology.
Not only can you achieve superior print quality and color matching, but digital presses can print on just about any kind of stock you choose. You can also add binding and finishing options that all but eliminate the need for outsourced offset printing.
You can produce a variety of different types of marketing & sales materials, including post cards, inserts, catalogs, booklets, brochures and letters with digital print production systems.
And, you can use print production software to do variable data printing for personalized mailing pieces that target different audiences. That can be useful for sending custom offers to different prospects.
Of course, you can print much more than marketing materials. Any type of professional services organization that sends proposals, reports and other documents can take production print in house. Even companies that send out thousands of invoices every month often choose in-house print production.
When you’re considering which way to go with your print production, remember that’s only half of the picture. Should you also automate mailing?
Mailing automation saves both time and money
If you’re considering bringing print production in house, it’s probably time to consider mailing automation as well.
Here’s a quick overview of the benefits. With automated mailing, you can:
- Save money on postage and shipping costs.
- Reduce shipping mistakes that impact your business.
- Streamline your operation to save time and reduce labor costs.
Are you sure taking print production and mailing in house is right for you?
As you can see, there are lots of great reasons to “insource” your printing and mailing. But there are also situations where you’re better off outsourcing. Also, doing a combination might be best for your needs.
Learn more: 5 Reasons to Outsource Printing & Mailing
Here’s the problem: who can you trust to give you expert advice that’s not based on self-interest?
Here at Superior Office Systems, we offer sell production print and mailing equipment, but we also work with the best outsource printing & mailing solution available. That means we have no vested interest in steering you one way or the other… our printing & mailing experts evaluate your specific needs to help you make the best decision for your business.
Want a quick, no-obligation assessment? Take our free quiz to get expert advice about which way to go.