If you are considering working with a print management company rather than sourcing, buying, quality checking and progress chasing yourself, then you need to know the facts.

It’s an area where size does matter. 

Print management has grown considerably over the last 10 years, but there’s a huge difference between a print manager working out of his bedroom, and a print management company that has vast resources behind them.

If all you want is the cheapest price, regardless of quality, service and delivery, then a print manager working in isolation can probably do the job.  They know where they can buy print at the lowest price – usually with printers who have machines standing idle.  Doesn’t this tell you something?  Print managers won’t generally be concerned with quality, how the job is packed or how it’s delivered.  They are only concerned with price – the lowest.  Print managers make their money by dealing many thousands of pounds worth of print at a small commission, so it’s certainly not cost effective for them to check quality (on press if necessary), ensure that a job is packed appropriately and that delivery will be made on time.

A true professional print management company on the other hand works very differently.  They are seasoned print professionals with ink and paper firmly fixed in their DNA.  They will have a team of experienced print account managers who will work with customers to deliver the very best job at a competitive price and on time.  These account managers will be experts in all aspects of print from simply stationery, marketing collateral, point of sale, exhibition and promotional print, to complex work with multi-finishes, die-cut, embossing, foiling and lamination.  They will always be on hand to advise the best way to achieve a desired result, and take responsibility for the finished job.

Professional print management companies will work with a roster of fully accredited and proven printers across web, litho, digital, large-format and promotional merchandise.  They will be printers who have a history of printing to the highest standards, a rigorous quality control procedure, expert packing department and excellent after sales service.

Good print management is not only about the ink on paper, but correct and optimum storage of printed items and the ability to deliver to multiple locations at different times to suit customers’ call-off needs.

A good print management company will also provide an on-line ordering system for regular items – this is especially valuable for companies which have branches throughout the UK and Europe, whereby the branches can order items directly, so they never find themselves out of stock of marketing materials, operational, or campaign-critical print.

Think carefully before you choose who to work with.  If your brand demands high quality print, and you want the assurance of a dedicated account manager working alongside you to guarantee complete satisfaction, then there’s only one choice.  A professional print management company will win hands down every time – size really does matter.