A print provider is the vendor actually responsible for printing designs onto the products.
What Is a Print Provider?
A print provider is the vendor actually responsible for printing designs onto the products. With their resources, a print provider will print, deliver and abide by the client’s deadlines. It does not matter if your project is big or small; the print provider will add value to it and also provide helpful suggestions along the way.
How Do Print Providers Operate?
While print providers are well-equipped with resources to offer you day-to-day solutions like business cards, their expertise is far beyond that. They capitalize on an effective business model where they function as a single resource that handles a wide array of printed products and services. Specific printers have specialties like commercial printing, digital printing, integrated cards, web-to-print, ecommerce, and so much more.
When you choose to work with a print provider, you eliminate the need to source each printing job to an individual printer. A dedicated provider understands the way your work operates, delivers in time, and meets expectations.
Things to Consider Before Choosing a Print Provider
Getting into the world of print on demand (POD) involves looking for a print provider who best fits your requirements. While there are so many providers in the market, the best businesses share the same traits. Keep reading if you want to know the most important things to consider before choosing a print provider.
Many POD brands sell printed t-shirts online. And it makes sense because t-shirts are easier to design, print, package, and ship. But what do you do when your needs go past printing t-shirts?
Expanding your merchandise to products like swimwear, children’s clothing, and home accessories can be a good way to get more revenue. This strategy will only work if your print provider offers such printing services. This is why it is necessary to partner with someone who can help you expand your product range.
Price and Location
Pricing is one of the most critical factors in choosing a print provider. Some providers have base prices and shipping prices that vary according to their location. It is essential to pick a print provider who is located around your customers and in your region. This will help you lock a base price with the provider and manage shipping costs.
The capacity of your print provider can also impact your customer base. For example, if the provider operates in multiple locations, you’ll find it easy to expand into new markets. Freedom of location gives you the ease to diversify the product and sell it to different markets. Just make sure that the print provider supplies your product range to all locations and meets delivery deadlines.
Customer service is a good indicator of how good it will be to work with a print provider. If your partners are always available and ready to help you, it will be pleasant to deal with them. Always choose a print provider who is readily available, listens to your feedback, and offers a viable solution.
Ideally, the print provider should have a customer service team that takes calls and offers instant help. The provider is also responsible for informing you about delays, schedules, any flaws, and emergencies. A print partner who is easy to reach can make matters easier in this line of business.
Quality of Work
What matters the most to a client is the end product they receive from your store. The client does not know who is handling the prints or shipping. If the end product is looking off, your relationship with the customer is ruined. Therefore, you should check and double-check the quality of work of a print provider before signing up with them.
Look at how consistent the company is in fulfilling quality work. To check physical product quality, packaging, and shipping, you can order product samples.
Ordering a sample is a great starting point in checking product and print quality. If the sample order has issues, you can communicate to the print provider and see how they respond to your feedback. This process will educate you on how a long-term relationship will be like with a particular provider.
Today’s customers love instant gratification and want their order on their doorstep as soon as possible. Every print order has an estimated fulfillment time which is calculated on the basis of work nature, location, etc. Some delays are possible if the season is busy or an accident happens, but it is understandable only if the print provider is proactive otherwise. Working with a print provider who is often late or fulfills the wrong order will be a nightmare. It is vital to pick a partner who consistently delivers on time, and you can rely on their service.
Print providers invest a lot of money into their equipment and logistics. A good print provider keeps tabs on the latest technology and invests in the best machinery. The only way to check how good someone is at their work is by looking at their reputation. Usually, reputation goes hand in hand with years of business and reviews by clients and other merchants. Print providers with a good reputation work actively to maintain this reputation with clients.
Mistakes are a part of any business, and in POD business, a mistake means the order is either returned or replaced. There can be many reasons why a customer is unhappy with their order, and anyone can be responsible for the mistakes. It is how the print provider handles these mistakes that will tell you a lot about them. Make sure you do your research and research each company’s policy. This way, you also know the process that ensues when a customer returns their order.
It might also be a good idea to display the provider’s return policy on your own website and internet assets. If an order is returned, your customer will also know what happens next. Such a process keeps things fair for all parties involved.