One professional? How could one professional handle all my printing and marketing needs? Today print buyers or marketing departments have many different things to buy. They need to procure branding collateral material, like business cards, letterheads and envelopes, but also buy things like packaging, labels, invoices, banners, boxes, shopping bags, catalogues, direct mail pieces, gift cards, loyalty cards, and a host of other material.
Traditionally because of expertise and cost of production, printing companies focused on one brand of printing. An envelope manufacturer handled your envelopes, a four color process plant handled your catalogues, a banner plant handled your banners and a forms manufacturer handled your forms. Like every other industry, the printing industry has evolved. Today print management companies, brokers and agencies handle all brands of printing. Why is this better?
It’s better for numerous reasons. If you consolidate all your purchases with one supplier, you have more clout. Second most good brokers or print management companies use a few manufacturers for each printing process. This leads them to get the best price for you and allows you to fill your rush orders more easily. If one press is busy with another company’s rush order, your order must wait no matter how urgent your job is too. If you have access to a number of like manufacturers the odds are great that someone will have availability for your job. These brokers or print management companies also have a lot more buying power than just one company.
Buyers and accounting people have less time than ever. If they can deal with one person it makes the buyer’s job a lot easier and having one vendor makes the accounting department’s people a lot happier. Less cheques means more productivity and cost savings for the company.
The good print management or print brokers invest their time learning the new technologies, investigating the latest print companies presses to see which ones best meet their client needs. With the cost of presses today running in the millions, not all companies invest in new technologies. Digital presses today have grabbed a greater chunk of the offset market and will continue to grow especially in the variable data market.
Another explanation for the growth of print brokers and print management companies is that many print companies have decided to only deal with these companies and have no direct sales force. This allows them to deal with companies who know printing and know what they need and also allows them to get away from constantly hiring sales people and watching them leave and take their clients with them. The print companies like to stick to what they know best and have the print brokers stick to selling and customer service.
The market is now turning global, I know from my own company, Solutions Ink that where I only purchased locally, today I purchase through out Canada, the United States and also the Orient. With the internet my client base has grown internationally and finding the best printer by quality and location for press approvals and shipping costs. With the advent of e-commerce ordering and proofing system, where your office is located,is less important, than what you can do for them.
If you need more help understanding the difference between dealing with brokers as opposed to actual printing companies check out numerous print management companies on the web or check out http://www.solutionsink4u.com. See why companies like Nike, Canon, Tommy Hilfiger, Liz Claiborne, McGill University, and Governments have all been dealing with print management and print brokers. If you need help drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.