Choosing a printing partner and or agency may seem an arduous task when the right factors are not considered. The task is a necessary hurdle for every serious-minded organisation who want to ensure that their identity is not misrepresented to its audience.
However, there are many printing companies out there, but few are the ones that will position your organisation’s image strategically in the market place. It is therefore pertinent to consider carefully these uncommon factors enumerated herein in choosing your best printing partner or agency.
Master all the basic printing information
There are certain information that your organisation and or the officer in charge of the printing should be armed with. Most times, this information would have been garnered over time especially through experience. It will also help you to evaluate the outcome of any project that would have been sent to the press. Details such as type of materials needed to be used for the project; which may include the weight of paper, type of paper, size of the final product, type of impression to be used, finishing etc. are among may other essential information.
However, it is advisable to re-confirm this information with an experienced agent in order to be in sync with the realities of times. Once you are armed with these info, you are in good stead to negotiate good quality as well as escape the various antics of some selfish agent.
Nature has taught us to accept the fact that experience can never be purchased from the air, it has to be earned. If you think experience is expensive, try the opposite. Always put this first before choosing that printer company. There is always a place for various levels of printing agencies, but don’t settle for less. Experience reduces the loss of resources especially those that are scarce, such as time, money and materials. From our experience, organisations have had to bring back projects that were initially awarded to another less or not experienced agent, spending twice their budget. Experienced agencies have the needed technical expertise (machines and personnel) needed to turn out the right products.
Flexibility is key
This is an important factor that many often overlook and treat as trivial. Flexibility is a critical virtue you should look out for in choosing your printing agency. Flexibility is the character that reflects that the company is willing to forego a certain kind of gain in order to achieve a compromise and consequently loyalty from their clients. Policies must not be cast on stone, rather they should be made to enhance a cordial relationship between the organisation, the printing company and any other client. Flexibility, allows your organisation to know if the printing agency has developed enough muscle to receive shocks and stress from an external force and remains stable. Please do not overlook this.
Visit that location
For you to trust any agency, pay a visit or do a courtesy call or simply request for a facility tour. Establish a prequisite for adopting any printing agency. This should be done by your top management, focusing first on the interest and objectives of your organisation. It is unwise to think that a well-designed website only is enough to grant that agency that trust. Ensure that they are located in a well accessible (easy to get) area, whether rented or cooperate property. Look out for security efforts and apparatus made available by the agency. Ensure that there are no legal issues or court actions against the entity or against the land on which it is located on. It could be a mojor set back.
The risk factor
Life is a stage decorated with risk. It has become a discipline that has developed over the years, thus initiating global standard practise. It is will be absolute negligence on the side of your organisation or the printing agency to think that there are no risk involved in executing a printing project. Either side should, therefore, take a look by identifying the risk that could evolve in the course of the project and the ways to track and tackle it when it arises. What if the machines breaks down in the course of executing the project? Which is also racing against time. Does the printing agency have the ability and the resources to manage any given risk, should it arise? As you attempt to resolve these queries, it will be more glaring, if you really need to get along with that printing company.
Mfonabasi Udoh Barry
Mfonabasi Udoh Barry is a PR professional, a communications and socila media startegist. He works with DOXA DIGITAL