Monday, 11 November 2013

Printing - from a beginners perspective

Jeremy Plumley is owner and director of The Local Print Company, and sheds light on how his experience of printing shaped our print mission.

I started out in business in late 2006. It was my final year at University and I knew that, with the bit of talent I had, I wanted to do something exciting for myself. Initially I started and grew a little web design studio, serving small businesses in the local area. As the business grew it diversified into general graphic design, translating what customers wanted online into print and naturally production. Everything we could was outsourced which worked well and kept overheads down. However with no knowledge of printing i initially chose one of the most expensive and best known suppliers, thinking they must be the best. I was fooled into believing their marketing gumpf which showed how much cheaper they were than the industry average, and 'how much better they were'.

As the volume of work grew I started looking at other options - i needed something quicker, with better customer service and to deal with experts - not sales people. I had been paying around £170 cost for 1000 trifold leaflets (one of my biggest selling products). When i found the same leaflets for £50 less I thought the company must be bad. When i discovered seemingly the same spec for £90 all in I dismissed it - surely the quality must be terrible, the service awful and the company unreliable? To confirm my suspicions I placed a test order, and having been wowed by the level of service they offered, was blown away when the quality was the same or better than my original supplier!

I immediately switched everything to my new found, incredibly cheap printer and on we went.

You see where this is going and i'll skip a few years... essentially with printing there's a couple of ways your leaflets, business cards, flyers etc can be produced - digitally and litho. If you're after fast turnaround printing you're going to be needing digital. If it's quality that you want, you can't beat litho. However that doesn't tell the whole story. There will also be quality 'buff's' out there who insist on only the finest quality, technically perfect reproduction, but in the real world what my customers are looking for is fast turnaround, cheap printing... and that's what we offer. Of course quality is important, and that's what we deliver - though we've dropped the attitude. Yes, litho would be better quality - but would it be worth charging double the price for the same low quantities? Would the customers still enjoy our service?

We now work completely hand in hand with our supplier - one small factory, which prints 100% of our orders. Keeping production in one place gives us the flexibility to ensure we're getting the best possible price, and highest levels of service. It's as near to in-house production as you can get without lugging the printers down to our offices - though we don't have the overheads, staffing and need for profit. This allows us to be more competitive than our competitors, to focus on service and price, and move forward with the website... our finger firmly on the pulse at all times. now works with some of the largest businesses in the South-West, with some of the lowest prices in the country. We're proud of where we've come from, how we do business and where we're going. Check out our printing today...

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