There is a reason graphic designers do so many preflight checks before moving any of their designs to a printer. Advertising and marketing print production can make up 80 to 90% of the total product cost. Any mistakes aren’t just costly – they can be devastating.
Considering the risks associated, the release process is necessarily stringent and complex. It requires many checks and balances before approving any production runs. Checking colors against samples provided, testing the different print method, and choosing the correct mediums, this is part of the design process.
As most printing houses already operate at their lowest margins, they offset the risk against the advertising or marketing firms. They have their own controls in place, limiting their liability.
Should Advertising Agencies and Marketing Firms Outsource Print Production?
Usually, marketing firms and advertising agencies outsource most if not all or their print production. This makes sense as the equipment and expertise fall under a slightly different discipline. Although designers remain involved in the production process, it’s mainly in an oversight capacity.
What has changed is the quality and affordability of production quality printers. Not just that, but the software used to setup and configure the devices are more user-friendly. Moving a design to a modern wide-format print press is as easy as hitting send.
As most agencies include the production process as part of their service offering, taking responsibility for the process anyway. This means if the production process becomes easier, it makes sense to keep it in house.
This could increase revenue and production control, which also mitigates certain risks. With the right wide-format printing solution, small changes to the design workflow enable agencies also to provide production printing.
Managed Print Solutions Offer an Alternative
As opposed to outsourcing the production of the print material, there is another alternative to acquiring the wide-format multifunction devices. Using a managed print service provider allows a cost-effective way to move production revenue in house. The solutions include the device, its maintenance, and services, as well as subsequent support.
Modern multifunction production level devices (such as the KIP 880) bring a new dynamic to the cost-efficiencies available to advertising agencies and marketing firms. They work fast and produce consistent quality prints no matter what the medium. This also means agencies can conduct their test runs in house, providing quicker feedback and samples to their customers.
Wide-format devices also come with software that can enhance the design processes. It also enables creative resources to oversee every aspect of the production cycle. If ECM solutions are included, controlled workflows maintain harmony between creative team and production units.
In this way, advertising and marketing agencies can expand their portfolios by insourcing production printers without necessarily increasing their resources. As it is part of a service level agreement, the maintenance, support, and ordering supplies do not add additional burdens to the agency staff.
Account Management and Billing Integration
The wide-format printing units can also be integrated into an account management systems. This provides transparency and accurate billing for customers, while the agency retains production and cost control.
Wide-format printing presses such as the Konica Minolta AcurioPress have duty cycles that run in the millions per month, so agencies will never run into capacity problems. As they are wide format, they can handle most if not all marketing materials and desired mediums.
Process Control ensures Accountability
Secured with access control, the devices can use pull-to-print to release jobs by a responsible person. This ensures production authorization is controlled and resources remain accountable for each run.
Using a Managed Printing Services Solution, agencies can produce a wide variety of materials such as packaging, envelopes, banners, signage, or shelf-talkers. With all production runs logged and auditable, usage statistics can even inform future business decision relating to larger production services.
Choosing a Print Solution for Advertising and Marketing Print Production
There is a significant opportunity for additional revenue streams by moving some production tasks into the marketing firm or advertising agency. While these two complementary services are usually physically separated, modern technology enables a cost-effective method to bring them together under the same roof. This will benefit customers and businesses alike.
The cost of ownership for wide-format MFDs is consistently decreasing and using a managed print service provider makes it even easier to expand the business. Agencies will have access to support, expert advice, and quicker repairs.
Blue Technologies provide best in class multifunction devices and all associated support, supplies, and maintenance as a managed solution. They monitor the stock remotely, meaning you won’t face downtimes due to shortages. Contact Blue Technologies to discuss a wide-format, MFD solution for your agency today.