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Local vs Online printing

      I was inspired to write this piece after working with a customer that had a "not so great" experience with an online printing service. They had ordered posters to hand out at an event that they were hosting, only to receive the posters on the day of the event, printed on the wrong stock! Needless to say, they were in a tight spot and needed the posters that day! Since they had gotten them online, there was no time for the mistake to be corrected. They called us and we were happy to help them and produced their posters in a few hours. Crisis averted. So here's the thing, this was a regular client of ours that thought "We'll just go online and save a few dollars on this project". As it turns out, trying to save a few dollars ended up costing them even more! 

So I wondered, do customers receive as much attention to detail, and help, by going to an online printing company? In the long run, are they actually saving money or do they just assume they are saving money? What are the key differences between Precision Printing and online printing?

Cost

Which costs more? Online printers market their savings as the number one difference. Pricing is usually the first thought for most customers, but comparing local print shops like ours to online printing is like comparing apples to oranges. Here are some of the differences:

Online Printing – Customers have to submit a PERFECT file. Most online printers may not check the work for mistakes or errors. Knowledge of bleeds, crops and formatting are necessary. The customer must then pay for any corrections made to their files, as well as high shipping costs.

Local Print Shops – Local printers work with their customers to make sure the sizing and the layout are correct. At Precision Printing we advise our customers on their files and different material options. By doing this we ensure the final printed piece is perfect! Then we deliver the project locally for free!

KNOWLEDGE

Precision Printing has an expert in-house team with many years in the printing industry. A customer debating on weather to use online or local printing should take into consideration just how complicated the printing process is. The technology is constantly changing, and there are many factors that go into creating a finished piece.

Online Printing –  Most are just order takers with no real knowledge of printing, seldom do they have true print and design experts. There is little guidance and no guarantee the customer will get the results they intended.

Local Print Shops – Have experts that will help inform clients of the process and in turn will save them lots of headaches. Customers have their project on time (at Precision Printing we don't miss deadlines), within their budget and the way they envisioned it.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

At Precision Printing customers are people, not orders. Communication is key. Every order that comes in is followed by phone calls, emails and even with personal meetings.

Online Printing – All computerized. No one to speak to. No one to help guide a customer thru the process.

Local Print Shops – Real people who work with the customer from start to finish. Customer satisfaction is the number one priority!

CONSISTENCY

Cohesiveness and consistency are so important for corporate branding. Precision Printing makes sure all of our corporate pieces have the same papers, colors and design. It really matters to us that our customers are satisfied and happy with their printed pieces.

Online – Colors may vary and the paper stocks may vary. A customer doesn’t know what it will look like until it’s delivered. There are no assurances or guarantees.

Local Print Shops – A local shop will keep profiles of each customer’s prior projects on file to assure future printing matches. At Precision Printing we will run press proofs if necessary to make sure the customer gets the "perfect blue". With Precision Printing if a customer wants “peacock green,” they’ll get the peacock green they envisioned!

SPEED

There’s a saying, “You can have it fast or you can have it good, but you can’t have both.” at Precision Printing, I can assure you that's just not the case.

Online – Just because online is open 24/7 doesn’t guarantee you’ll receive your product when you want. Shipping is out of their control.

Local Print Shops – We prioritize jobs to meet the customer's needs. In addition, we will delivery it locally for free.

Conclusion

These are all factors when choosing online or local printing. Both have a place in the printing world, but when a customer wants a job done right, it’s probably in their best interest to choose local. When choosing local in Kansas City, choose Precision Printing!

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