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Building a strong relationship with your printer is more important today than it has ever been. When choosing and developing a relationship with your printer, price certainly plays an important part. However, there are also other important key factors such as;
- Flexible and approachable service
- Ability to adapt to change
- Introduce new and innovative technology
- Clear understanding of marketing and design
- Demonstrate skills in multi-channel marketing
These key factors should be an essential part of the selection criteria we also have a few more suggestions to further help you with your choice;
- Ensure the printer is experienced in the types of jobs you'll require of them.
- Match your company's culture to that of your printer. You must be comfortable with the people and company you're dealing with frequently. Companies generally prefer doing business with companies they can identify with culturally. Also, consider the size of the printing company. The very large printing companies have tremendous capabilities and resources, but whether they're structured to provide the level of service your company needs may be questionable. Sometimes bigger isn't always better.
- Determine your long-term prospects with your printer. If your intentions are to work on a regular basis with them how will you feel? Is this something that can be maintained long term? How will you consider your printer as a large creditor?
- Make sure your printer clearly understands your companies needs and business culture. The printer needs to be able to grow along side your companies' growth. This is to best achieve long-term goals for both.
- Financial stability. It's a good idea to get a good understanding of your printers financial situation. You are investing in a long term business relationship, one based on trust and professionalism. You need to be assured that they will be in business for a long time. Ask for their top ten customers and ratio spend to confirm they are not overly exposed in the event they lose a major customer. Also make sure they are fully up to date with all legally required insurance requirements.
- Don't be shy to ask for references or testimonials that are up to date. Ideally contact details are preferable so you can speak to the current customer directly.
- Don't go out for multiple quotes unless you're willing to change printers. Printing companies are not necessarily open to this. If they think you're shopping around to get the best price from your current printer, they will not always quote their best price for you. It can also affect credibility. Printers as most suppliers need to know they are valued. If you are serious about selecting a new preferred printer they need to know that you are serious about switching companies for all the right reasons.
- Set some strong KPI's. It's essential you make it very clear that there are some fundamental KPI's to set. This will ensure both parties maintain a clear undertaking that standards, pricing and procedures will be maintained. This can be reviewed bi-annual or annually.
- Most importantly and in our opinion possibly the most significant factor when choosing a printer is that they should be able to consistently demonstrate a proactive approach. This will ultimately provide you with the best possible outcomes.
We hope these suggestions help you when you next decide to choose your printer. It may also be useful to contact the Printing Industries Association of Australia 1800 277 425