It is up to you how much printing management companies do. The service usually entails helping and advising you about printing, finding competitive prices for your printing, buying said print on your behalf, and then managing the whole printing project.
Independent Ideas and Advice
Cliffe Enterprise does not own a sheet-fed printing press, a digital press, a finishing kit or a web offset press. However, we spend over £4 million annually on print and paper on behalf of our clients, utilising a supply chain we carefully select and manage to meet our strict quality and cost requirements. As a result, we can truly state that we are an independent company owned by our shareholders, not by a printer. We are also not controlled by the need to ‘fill’ a hungry printing press on our shop floor.
The Buying Print Bit
Cliffe Enterprise’s account managers spend the vast majority of their time ensuring that your print job is manufactured in a way that is most effective for your business. We consider not only the finished dimensions, but also the finishing requirements and the final objective of the project. When we match a project to a prospective supplier, there are a number of factors we consider.
With our experience and skills, we can match the right specification to the right printer. Client benefits include:
- Potential reduced printing costs
- Reduced risk of errors
- Deliver the best-in-class work on time.
You will also benefit from consolidation of spending. We obtain better prices from our suppliers because of the sheer volume of work we place with them, as opposed to what you could get by purchasing print for just your business.
Print Management = Print Variety
Using a print management company will give you access to a wide range of printing options. It is possible for a company to print a glossy magazine and a high volume catalogue by utilising different printing methods. It is possible to find two different printers for the same job using a print management company, saving the client time and effort. As well as promotional printing, signage, and short run digital printing, a print management company can also handle short run digital printing. Using a print management company could reduce the time spent on determining which printer can handle each of these projects.
Experienced Account Management
Print is so much more than an ‘off the shelf’ product. The item is usually a bespoke manufactured item, sometimes considered an art form, that has a limited shelf life and is often required to meet a tight schedule. A print project’s style, paper, process, and timings are all different, and this creates a variety of opportunities “for the wheels to come off”. As a print management company, we can often detect problems before they occur because we have a dedicated production/account management team. The majority of issues are handled without the client’s involvement, and the project is completed on time, within budget, and to quality. We take care of all steps in the process, so our clients can sleep well at night. Occasionally, there will be an error in the printing process, and if it happens, we must work to resolve the problem on behalf of the client by working out a solution with the printer and the client.
As a minimum, a credible print management business must hold the following accreditations — ISO9001 (quality) and FSC (paper audit trail). They should also insist that their supply chain holds current accreditations as well. Every year, we have our accreditations independently assessed to ensure that we remain current with best practices and legislation.
Our quality supply chain is the cornerstone of Cliffe Enterprise Print Management’s relationship building strategy. We have worked with many of our suppliers for more than a decade. Therefore, neither we nor our suppliers are afraid of having difficult conversations with each other. In the event of a dispute, this is especially important. We operate an open book policy on dispute resolution at Cliffe Enterprise, which allows all parties to see communications from all sides. Besides speeding up the resolution process, it also improves the relationship between all three parties in the long run.
In summary, a print management company offers the following advantages:
- Cost savings due to economies of scale
- Management of the entire process
- We have a print expert who can offer you the best advice available in the industry
- Longstanding relationships between the print management company and printer will result in a more fluid printing process and fewer issues