8 Things to Look for When Choosing the Best Printing Partner
“Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.”
When it comes to sourcing print products for your business, should you use a print supplier, or a print partner?
There is a distinction, although it’s often not well understood.
Suppliers are often selected through a bidding process. They will provide standard transactions for goods or services, for a period of time, with standard terms and conditions. When the transactions cease, the business relationship ends.
Partners are business relationships based on shared values, integrity, and mutual trust. These are long-term relationships where supply partners add value, along with their goods or services.
If you were to consider great partnerships in history, who would come to mind?
Perhaps William Proctor and James Gamble , who combined their business strengths in 1837 to create Proctor & Gamble, one of the most successful companies in the world. Or maybe Microsoft, founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen. If you’re thinking entertainment, it might be Simon & Garfunkel, Ant and Dec, or Posh and Becks. What they have in common – to varying degrees – is great success born of partnerships. The sum truly is greater than the parts.
With thousands of companies operating in the UK printing industry, how do you know who to trust with your projects? How do you choose the best printing partner for your business?
“In numerology, the number 8 is a number of material acquisition… a building number… a business and finance number that builds companies, institutions.. procedures, and other things of value to society”*
So we’ve put together (in no particular order) eight things to look for when selecting your printing partner, to help you choose the perfect partner for your business.
It’s true that reputations proceed us, and recommendations from others are invaluable when selecting a partner. Company websites are excellent places to find examples of previous work, and customer reviews. Find a company that has a wide client base, proven experience, and great testimonials.
2. Value for money
No matter how large your print budget, you will want to select a print partner that can provide value for money. Cost and quality are often, inevitably, linked. Look for a print partner who offers a fair price that reflects the quality of the products and services they offer. High-quality, cost-effective print is achievable – don’t accept anything less.
If manners maketh man, a conscience makes a company. In fact, the ethics of a business touch every part of it: how it treats its employees; how it engages with stakeholders; how it approaches its work; and how it values its customers. Choose a print partner whose values and ethics reflect your own.
Look for a sustainable print partner whose environmental policies and behaviours support yours. Choose a Carbon Balanced printer, and join World Land Trust’s international programme to protect, preserve, and restore threatened ecosystems.
If you’re investing in a long-term relationship, it’s rather important that you like each other. This applies not just to how friendly and helpful the people you’re working with are: it applies to business compatibility too.
Do they understand your business, and business needs? Can you imagine working closely (albeit remotely) with them? Do you feel confident entrusting them with your marketing collateral? Find a printer whose enthusiasm matches your own. Look for a friendly and approachable print company that will listen and explain and advise. Compatibility is key to a happy partnership.
This might sound obvious, but when you’re thinking long-term commitment, it’s important to know that your print partner can meet your needs – the right service now; the complete service in the future. If you’re looking to grow your business, can your partner accommodate that growth, or even grow with you?
Explore the full range of services available. What are their offset and digital capabilities? Can they print more than just paper? What are their turnaround times? Can you rely on them to deliver what you need, when you need it? Look for a print partner that can meet your business needs, whether it’s a single sheet proof or several thousand copies of print.
Innovation is using new technologies and products, and implementing new ways of thinking to add value. Without innovation, the print industry – like any other – would soon become irrelevant. Without innovation, there can be no growth.
Does your prospective partner invest in state-of-the-art, environmentally-friendly technology, and cutting-edge design services? When you select your printing partner, look for a business that embraces innovation, and you’ll stay top of the trends too.
In business, it’s important to work with people you can depend on. Competition in the market is fierce, and dependability can be a competitive advantage. Demonstrable honesty, integrity and flexibility makes a partner a pleasure to work with, and ensure you’re never left in the lurch.
Learning is integral to living – it is impossible to live without learning something. Choose a print partner with industry experience, and you’ll benefit from the expert skills and knowledge that they have learned over years of print provision.
One More Number
If these qualities are important to you, we have one more number for you: 01625 870000. Call Galloways today and see what we can offer your business. This could be the beginning of a beautiful partnership.