Choosing a Print Partner: One Manufacturing Plant or Multiple?

When you’re searching for a new printing company, you likely have a list of considerations you reference when analyzing potential partners. This list might include things like glowing testimonials, services offered and the location of your printer’s facility. Some printers you come across might even have multiple facilities spread across the country. Should these vendors jump to the front of your list?

While it may seem like a benefit to work with a printer who has multiple facilities, this often does not lead to greater efficiency or customer service. In fact, it can oftentimes create new problems. Here’s why:

Which Facility Again?

One of the biggest reasons multiple facility printers can fail to live up to your expectations is due to the misplaced belief that if a printer’s satellite location is close to either your business or where your projects should be mailed, that this will naturally be the location which will handle the printing and fulfillment of these projects. Unfortunately, this is not necessarily true.

Most printers with multiple facilities nationwide rely on capacity, rather than location, to decide who prints which project. If the closest facility to you is overloaded with work when you need your project printed; rather than taking on your project, scheduling will instead direct your job to a facility who has the space to take your project. Location does not matter – the facility could be on the other side of the country for all you know. With this comes several issues you likely didn’t consider before choosing this vendor.

For one, they can’t guarantee your project will be handled by a facility who knows your organization (and you) and everything that comes along with that – be it printing preferences or the knowledge to be on the lookout for specific details. If an issue does come up, it could be awkward for that facility to contact you directly. Or will they have to contact your account representative, who themselves may not work in the same facility. You can see how this could develop into an unnecessary game of telephone calls. This delay will likely end up slowing down the progress of your print project, potentially even pushing back your deadline and leading to extra costs.

Then there’s the issue of mailing. If you build your expectations around your projects being printed and mailed from one specific location, then you’re likely to be disappointed. Projects may not get to your audience quicker because they’re not coming from that preferred facility. This could affect your internal deadlines and force you to build in extra time for delivery. The worst part is you may not even be aware which facility is printing your project until you’re contacted by the printer or your rep directly.

Doesn’t sound so great.

One Facility Efficiency

A printer with “only” one facility who also serves as a one-stop-shop for all your printing and fulfillment needs, however, does not face these same issues. Rather than having your print jobs carried out by an anonymous print manager who could be anywhere around the country, you’ll be working with a team who really knows you and your business. Along with allowing them to quickly address errors and get feedback from you directly, this also allows then to make instant suggestions for improvement of your print projects. These could include ideas to lower cost or suggestions for different kinds of paper that might make your project stand out more, for example. Most importantly, you’ll know who’s working on your project and feel confident that it will be appropriately handled.

Having all your warehoused items in one location, furthermore, means that you’ll be able to receive accurate inventory counts whenever you need it. Feel like stopping in and assessing your inventory yourself? With one facility, this is easily doable, especially when compared to having your inventory split up across multiple facilities around the country. Simply put, inventory management is increasingly difficult with multiple facility vendors. Often a project gets routed to a facility that ends up not having the inventory required to complete the job, incurring delays.

Then there’s the issue of mailing. Working with just one facility means you can accurately predict your mail delivery times and plan accordingly. If your project has been produced at a facility halfway across the country, you will need to make sure to get your project in the mail early enough to make up for the additional delivery time. Those concerns would not be an issue if you were working with your trusted print partner that understands the importance of your mail date.

Working with a printer with one facility just makes your life a lot easier. Multiple facilities do not necessarily mean that a printer’s methods and internal processes are efficient. When it comes to trusted, efficient printing, it’s the people who make all the difference. Move that to the top of your print vendor consideration list and forget the multiple facilities one. Service matters – not the amount of buildings.

For more information on how our comprehensive services located under one roof can serve you, click on the contact us button below.

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