Why would you use an agency for your print production, when you could go direct to the printer?
OK, it may appear to cost you a little more than if you went direct, to the right kind of printer, and you really know your stuff – but time-wise, and potential mistake-wise, using an agency is actually more likely to save you money, and definitely time, in the long run.
Through years of experience of managing print jobs all day, every day, and having already made all the mistakes (we all make them, after all), agencies have already learned, and continue to learn, the best ways to deal with different types of print jobs. That kind of expertise just doesn’t come overnight.
By knowing the job that’s been designed for you inside-out, your agency already knows the end result that you want to achieve. They’ll have a passion for all things print, verging on the obsessive! This means they’ll be able to present you with the options that are going to work, for your budget. Having a well-managed roster of printing suppliers gives an agency’s production expert the ability to pick and choose the optimum printer to produce the job, quickly. By choosing from several printers, they can not only pinpoint the most competitive prices and get you the best value for money, but also make sure you’ll get the finished product when you want it. More often than not, the prices will be more competitive than prices you would be able to get by buying print direct.
A good agency maintains regular contact with their suppliers, even when they don’t have work that suits their skills, so that they are kept up to date with developments in processes and technology. This makes a good agency aware of new processes before an urgent job comes in, and cuts out any need for last-minute and rushed research into the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of a new print method. Not being afraid to admit that they don’t always understand what a printer is talking about allows a production manager to learn more and fully understand what’s possible, and in some cases, what’s not! It’s through using shared knowledge from several printers that they are then able to specify correctly and ensure that they are using the right paper grade, binding, finishing for your job, without any hesitation – and know that you are going to get an amazing finished print that is fit for purpose and looks fantastic.
By using an agency, you will certainly alleviate administration time, you won’t need to spend time chasing quotes and using a fine tooth comb to check that they match your requirements, after all, if a printer doesn’t give your quote the priority it deserves, how much priority will they give your print job? By sending accurate specifications and detailed purchase orders, and by thoroughly checking the order acknowledgement and proofs, an agency reduces the likelihood of incurring any annoying extra costs on the job. Nobody wants to have to order a re-print.
So, in short, using a decent agency to produce your printed material will save you time, diminish costly mistakes, and cut out the need for you to become an expert when you’ve, frankly, got better things to do!