The Printing United Alliance reports that American firms spend over $150 billion on print and document-related expenses annually or an average of $725 per employee. For most businesses, that’s a significant enough sum to warrant teaming up with a prepress printing company.

However, not every firm can enjoy the benefits of outsourcing. In all likelihood, it may not make sense for businesses that do a lot of printing in-house. Even so, when should you consider outsourcing printing services? If you’re unsure, here are situations or signs that you may need to give a commercial printing service a call:

1. High In-House Printing Costs

Are your in-house printing costs cutting into your bottom line? You may have to consider outsourcing if you’re shelling out too much money for paper, toner, and other printing supplies.

A quality commercial printing company will have the latest machines and technology to handle the job more efficiently. They’ll also have access to bulk discounts on printing materials, which can reduce your expenditure in the grand scheme of things. In short, you can do more with less when you outsource the service. 

2. Specialized Printing Needs

Custom printing jobs require special attention, and your in-house team may not have the skills or expertise to handle them. Sure, they can print out the documents, but the results may not be up to par. If you have to reprint the entire batch, this could cost you more money in the long run. Plus, they may not understand aspects such as

  • Imposition
  • Pre-flight
  • File setup
  • Color management

If your company specializes in printing marketing materials, you’re probably aware of the importance of delivering quality products. And as far as complex or specialized printing jobs go, it’s advisable to have a professional handle them. For instance, if you need to print on non-standard paper sizes or special materials like vinyl, it would be more prudent to have a pro help you out. 

3. Inefficient Printing Practices

Employee printing habits can often lead to inefficiencies, which may result in loss of important customers. For instance, if they have to reprint documents frequently due to errors, wastage might end up being your firm’s middle name. 

Also, if your in-house printers can’t handle high-volume printing jobs, this could jeopardize your ability to serve customers on time. As such, a commercial printer may be the answer.

Outsourcing means dealing with a firm that understands the job’s nuances. A professional printer gets the job done right the first time, every time. 

In turn, this eliminates reprinting costs and can help you keep your customers happy, especially if you’re in a time-sensitive industry. By doing so, you can focus on other more important facets of your business without worrying about whether your documents will print correctly.

4. Constant Breakdown of In-house Equipment 

Let’s face it; technology has a way of becoming obsolete quickly. Or maybe your equipment is just not as reliable as it used to be. In any case, if your in-house printers are constantly breaking down and you’re forking over a small fortune to keep them running, you may have to make a tough decision. Besides, the costly downtime and a significant loss in productivity would adversely impact your business. By outsourcing, you can avoid such disruptions. 

Most reputable commercial printers have the latest machines that are less likely to break down. And since they specialize in document printing, they can fix issues that arise quickly. Moreover, they can offer on-site support in case something goes wrong. As a result, you can rest easy knowing they can meet your needs.

Remember, the goal is to keep your customers happy and satisfied. If in-house printing equipment is causing more problems than it’s worth, it may be time to outsource the task to a professional team. 

5. Print Volume

If your business doesn’t do much printing, investing in an in-house printer and related equipment might not make sense. Plus, the maintenance of such equipment and upkeep costs can be pretty high. In cases like these, outsourcing your printing needs may be more cost-effective.

Conversely, if you have many print jobs, investing in high-volume printing machines might be more efficient. That said, your budget may not always allow for such an investment. Consider outsourcing to a quality commercial printer if this is the case. This way, you can access state-of-the-art machines without a significant capital outlay.

At some point, you may have to make the tough call. And while the decision to outsource document printing services shouldn’t be taken lightly, particular situations may warrant such a move. Hence, if any of the above scenarios apply to your business, it might help to start your search for a reputable commercial printer.