In some competitive markets, choosing a commercial printer for your organization can be tricky. Ultra Graphics has compiled a list of the top 5 traits your printer should have to best support your business or non-profit. This article will describe the following traits, and why they’re important: Accessibility, reliability, versatility, affordability, and authority ( a lot of “ility’s”)
The accessibility of a commercial printer (or any organization for that matter) boils down to how easy it is to get a hold of someone to help, how quickly your questions/comments/concerns are addressed, and how good they are at following up and maintaining an open line of communication.
Marketing your business or non-profit is all about communicating and being accessible to your audience – would you expect anything less from your printer? Pick one that responds quickly to your business, takes time to learn the best ways to help it grow, and anticipates your needs. It helps if they have multiple ways of contact, such as phone, email, website, and social media – as long as they are getting back to you quickly.
Wanting a reliable printer kinda goes without saying. Your organization needs someone who can deliver every project on time and within budget – and on those (hopefully) rare occasions when you’re in a last-minute jam, it’s also nice to have a printer that will come through for you.
Another part of being reliable is being accountable. When your printer makes a mistake, they should own up to it and make it right. Accountability goes a long way in building trust in the relationship – they need to prove that they’re in this for your success as well as theirs.
Could you imagine having to call one place to get business cards, another to get brochures, and yet another to get posters or banners? Save yourself some legwork and use a printer that has the versatility to support your organization in multiple ways. It’s nice to know that you can work with a printer with a solution to almost all your challenges.
A bonus – if you work with someone who can help market your business or non-profit in multiple channels and media, you get the added benefit of having your branding, colors, message, and themes consistent. A cohesive brand image is one that constantly reminds and cements who you are to your customers, and they will respond to it.
Of course, when it comes to marketing and print – you get what you pay for. Still, it’s nice to find a provider that stays competitive for the products you need the most. Avoid cookie-cutter pricing – your business is unique and that needs to be reflected in how you’re treated.
This ties into a printer’s versatility too, in that having lots of options for lots of situations means you can get the right product, at the right quality, for the right price. Not everyone needs gold foiled business cards with embossed ink, some businesses just need something better than an thin and floppy scrap of paper that was ordered online – and to not have to pay an arm and a leg for it.
Most savvy organizations know that a printing company requires not a small amount of knowledge, experience, and expertise. Authority is gained not only by operating for a long period of time, but using that time to grow, build, evolve, and improve. Look for a printer that has been around a while, one that has a good reputation online, and a long history of helping organizations.
What do you think the most important traits are for a commercial printer?
The irony of a blog post about how to pick a commercial printer written by a commercial printer is not lost on us. However, we do believe the traits explained above are important, and we think we do a pretty good job practicing them. We also use them as criteria by which we try to improve every day to better serve our customers, illustrated by our Ultra Graphics culture.
Have any other traits you find important in a commercial printer? Let us know.