Print and Fulfillment Companies – Choosing the Right One

Published by Steve Manicor | Topics: Fulfillment, Print, Training

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fulfillment-printing-questionsFor organizations that do seminars or create accreditation content, few things are as important as their relationships with the vendors who print and fulfill their educational content. Vendors in these areas have to have the right capacity, the highest-quality products and the best dependability to make sure that the organization’s content gets to the right people at the right time.

If you are looking for print and fulfillment companies, ask yourself these five questions:

  1. Can the printer or fulfillment company produce what we sell today and tomorrow?
    Sometimes our clients switch from companies because their print and fulfillment vendors weren’t set up to produce materials in multiple formats or didn’t have the right packaging. For example, a company should be able to create a workbook in hard copy or a resource book CD, then be able to deliver that same content online as a downloadable PDF. Make sure you know what your vendor can actually produce and ask for samples, and make sure they’re set up to change as technology does.
  2. Does the printer or fulfillment company add extra steps to your existing processes?

    Look at the management system that a potential vendor offers. Does the system integrate into your existing e-commerce solution, or will you have to track inventory in multiple places or sign into several systems before you get your answers?
  3. What types of reports can the vendor’s fulfillment system provide?
    You should always be in control of your inventory and production, and the best way to keep track is to tap into a robust reporting system that allows you to see the big picture and slice up the data as you need it.
  4. Does the printer/fulfillment company have a good–no, a GREAT–reputation?
    You can’t afford to invest time and money into a relationship with a poor-quality vendor. Ask for a list of references and consult with colleagues in your industry to discover dependable, high-quality vendors that will get the job done.
  5. Is the printer or fulfillment company’s price fair?
    When looking at print and fulfillment service companies, you may discover significant differences in costs from one vendor to the next. You need to look carefully at what you’re getting for those prices and avoid going by the bottom line alone. Make sure you completely understand the elements of a proposal before comparing the price to another vendor. You might find that a higher overall cost covers more services than a lower quote from two separate companies, not to mention the additional shipping costs to move your materials from the production company to the fulfillment company.

Any print and fulfillment company you consider should be happy to answer your questions to make sure they can meet your needs. If you find resistance to provide answers, or worse, if you can’t find a real person who can answer your questions, chances are you need to keep looking.

Free Download: Production, Fulfillment and Distribution


About Steve Manicor

Steve is Omnipress' Director of Business Development. He has over five years serving the meetings and training industry. He leads our product/service leadership and development teams. more

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