Posted by: AG | April 2, 2010

More about using print brokers

By Steve Laker

Who are print managers’ customers?

Their customers include individuals, members of the public, sole traders, small, medium and large companies; government departments, local authorities and charities.

In any case – whether sole trader or multi-national corporation – each of their customers are equally important to them and customers use print managers or brokers for the service which an out-sourced supplier can provide in procuring their printing.

How do print brokers make money?

As a business, a print broking company naturally needs to remain a profitable concern. They maintain low overheads by not having their own printing equipment, among other means. They procure goods on behalf of their customers through trade-only suppliers who have low overheads themselves: they don’t employ sales staff (they out-source that operation to management companies) and they occupy premises in geographical areas where business rates are competitive (typically out-of-town).

Print brokers apply a modest margin to their trade purchasing prices and their prices to the end-line user are representative of those which their customers would find in the commercial market; often less so. A managed or brokered printing service is value-added and a print manger or broker’s diverse supplier base allows them to be a one-stop solution to their customers, saving those customers the cost and resource of employing a dedicated buyer.

Who are a print broker’s competitors?

Commercial printers and High Street-based print shops. Neither do what the other does but print management companies offer what both do and more besides. A print broker’s managed print solution means that they can offer their competitors’ services in one basket; often at a reduced cost.

How can print management companies be better than traditional printers?

Many traditional print companies try to offer the one-stop solution which print brokers do but they have higher overheads. Therefore, all non-core business which they outsource will come at a premium. They also don’t have the resources to have researched their non-core business market thoroughly enough, nor usually sufficient staff to offer the level of service which a dedicated management company offers on out-sourced work. Print managers and brokers are dedicated to a constant awareness of the market and the changes therein, to consistently offer their customers the best printing solution.¬† While I ran Allen Glazer Associates, we even set up an entire subsidiary company devoted to hiring and subcontracting out graphic designers to printing firms or customers on a temporary basis. That way they had full control of their graphic¬†design from start to finish and could make changes instantly, instead of requiring us to intermediate.

Because they out-source all of their customers’ projects, the print broker’s internal resources are free to manage their customers’ printing for them.

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