Business Process Improvement, Outsourcing, Postage and Mailing, Printing

In-House Printing vs. Outsourcing: Is It Time to Make the Switch?

FSSI logo Kelly McConville on January 25, 2019

graphical depiction of a commercial printing facility.

In-House Printing vs. Outsourcing Print and Mail

There are many benefits of outsourcing printing. For one, outsourcing high-volume printing and mailing jobs is one way to ensure that you can reduce costs and maximize profits, focus on higher-value, revenue-generating tasks, better allocate your company’s resources, have the proper compliance controls in place, and ultimately stay ahead of the curve. Additionally, you will be able to optimize print workflows and streamline the processes to achieve maximum productivity – giving you a sigh of relief when it comes to your print-mail efforts.

Are your in-house printing efforts overwhelming and taking too much of your attention? Are your dedicated costs and resources skyrocketing? It may be time for a workable print outsourcing solution. Outsourced printing can alleviate the stress and allow you to re-focus your energies on what you do best: manage your business.

top benefits to outsourcing print and mail graphic.
Is outsourcing right for your company? Here are six benefits of outsourcing print and mail services.

Advantages of Outsourcing Compared to Printing In-House

  1. Enhance Your Quality and Brand
  2. Reduce Costs, Increase Profitability
  3. Free Up Space and Valuable Resources
  4. Disaster Recovery, Equipment, and Compliance

Partnering with a printing outsourcing company enables you to benefit from their experience, knowledge and technical know-how. You also won’t need to invest your own time and resources into setting up operational workflow controls or creating a disaster relief (DR) plan.

Let’s examine the benefits of outsourcing printing and mailing when compared to printing in-house. (If this all sounds familiar and resonates with your current in-house printing challenges, it may be time to reach out to a document outsourcing company.)

Enhance Your Quality and Brand

With your staff focused on the tasks at hand, do you have the resources or foresight to focus on quality and innovation? Are you just concerned with getting the job done?

Understandably, you may not be thinking about tomorrow, or even how you can improve, especially when you have deadlines to meet and print jobs to fulfill. But, how are you going to stay up-to-date on the latest technologies or even put your best foot forward when you don’t have the time to think ahead?

Consider this: Your output quality reflects your company, meaning that every print job you complete, says a lot about your brand. Is it saying all that it should? Is the quality the best that it can be? If you aren’t completely well-versed in print technologies and options, you may not even know. One of the advantages of print outsourcing is access to new technology. There may be new technologies (new hardware, software, tools) that can take your print output to the next level – from the actual printing itself to innovative tools that help you better manage the process, add personalized elements, and improve your overall response rate.

Maybe there’s a way to do things better – a way to enhance your quality and brand, while always staying ahead of the curve.

Solution: When you partner with a print and mail vendor it allows you to be in front of new technologies and innovation because you are partnering with industry experts that have invested in new technologies so you don’t have to. Your company image and overall brand benefit from this expertise with the latest tools available, which can enhance quality and present your company in the best possible light, with every document.

Reduce Costs, Increase Profitability

As you probably know, the costs associated with in-house printing can be significant, as good-quality printing relies on top-quality printers and an experienced team that knows how to operate them. Maintaining expensive equipment on-site, properly training personnel, and keeping up with demand represents a significant financial investment.

Consider this: Even the lowest-end commercial printers can be a substantial investment, with mailing equipment representing a similar cost. Folders, cutters, perforators, tabbers, meters, cameras… you’ll need those too. Add in the supplies to run and maintain the equipment, software to manage day-to-day operations, utilities and environmental considerations, and having trained, dedicated staff, and the costs go even higher.

And that doesn’t even address production and mailing. Did we also mention that changes can be costly? Or that you may not get the highest postage savings if you don’t continuously send high volumes of mail?

Last, you will want to consider keeping up with the latest technology. This can represent a significant financial contribution. Unless you have the means to constantly update your equipment, you are going to struggle to keep up with ever-changing technology.

Solution: Outsourcing print and mail reduces the need to purchase and maintain high-quality print technology and costly postage, as well as the need to continuously re-invest in your equipment to stay up-to-date. This means that you can maintain a high-quality level of print while allocating money and resources to business-building initiatives.

Free Up Space and Valuable Resources

If you have an expansive warehouse located on-site, you may think that you’re well suited to include your print-mail equipment in-house. Conversely, if you don’t have a lot of space, you may consider re-allocating existing space to make room for equipment – and think that this is a workable solution.

Consider this: Print-mail equipment is big! With all of its workable parts, the applicable machinery takes up a lot more room than you think. Plus, there needs to be a safe distance around the equipment so people can maneuver around it without injury. Add in the features for a controlled environment that is unique to the facility (temperature, cameras, etc.) and you have a dedicated area that takes away from your business-related activities.

With print production requiring more than just equipment, how do you fit all of that into your company workspace? And how would the scenario change if you were to dedicate that space to your actual business – to business tasks that help increase the bottom line?

Last, factor in your staff and whether you have the resources for dedicated personnel to focus 100% on your print-mail efforts. A related challenge may be shifting priorities if these individuals have to focus on other business activities and also keep up to date on the latest technology and practices.  

Solution: Outsourcing mailing eliminates the need to assign a dedicated space for your production activities, including the implementation of a controlled environment – a costly endeavor. You’ll also free up your staff to focus on business-building tasks. Work with a trusted outsourcing company to support your print-mail efforts off-site in its own secure, high-tech environment.

Always Have a Disaster Recovery Plan

Are you having trouble getting controls in place? Do you struggle with setting up processes that work for all of your in-house printing efforts? Do you have a plan if something goes wrong?

Investing in the right equipment and setting up a dedicated workspace is just the start of implementing your in-house printing efforts. There also needs to be pre-set controls to ensure that everything runs smooth and according to plan – to help maximize efficiency and keep costs within budget.

Additionally, you need a detailed strategy if your equipment and associated space become damaged or compromised – e.g. the power goes out, there is a flood or fire, or the machinery suffers a malfunction.

Consider this: The opportunity to quickly and efficiently get from point “A” to point “B” in the printing process without the proper controls, is unlikely. Also, the chance of a disruption to your operations is high. At some point, you will need to incorporate a backup plan if you are going to resume your efforts and be effective. Identifying these details will help you to know how to proceed and stay functional.

Having an operational roadmap and backup plan in place will help you define the proper procedures and protocol for your main activities, including all of the variables that may affect these activities and how to proceed in the case of any disruptions (i.e. you will be prepared).

Solution: Partnering with a print and mail outsourcing company enables you to benefit from their experience, knowledge and technical know-how. You won’t need to invest your own time and resources into setting up operational controls or creating a disaster relief (DR) plan. You can proceed with the confidence that it’s being handled for you.

Ready to Take the Next Step?

A print outsourcing solution is a fast way to streamline your customer communications. If any of the benefits of outsourced printing resonate with your business objectives, please contact us. We can help create a custom print-mail solution designed to specifically tackle your communication goals.

Outsourcing can open the door to possibilities for your business by putting the procedural details, operational controls, and technical know-how in the hands of the experts – and allowing you to focus on your core business activities. Simply put, outsourcing your large-scale print efforts support your company’s growth by making you more profitable, productive, and efficient – a win-win for any company.

Whether it is a cost-cutting measure, better space utilization, reducing compliance risk or improving the quality of communications, there are many compelling reasons to switch from printing in-house to outsourcing printing.

If you would like to learn more about FSSI and how we can help support your custom print and mail needs, including creating a customized plan, please call 714.436.3300 today or contact us online with any comments or questions. Taking the next step is easier than you think.

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