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7 Questions to help you choose the right wholesale print partner for your Communities.

By February 23, 2018February 26th, 2018Uncategorized
  Over the last few years, many of our clients have asked us if we could help consolidate their print collateral with their branded marketing supplies. To meet that need, we recently launched BP Central Print Hub. We've combined the scale of a national wholesale printer with the personalized Division service our clients have come to expect from us. In this blog post we are sharing 7 questions you want to ask to get the right wholesale printer, if you are looking to consolidate. They are simple questions, but they will reveal a lot about your print partner's capabilities. 1.) What are my ordering options? Everyone has a different version of what "convenient" means in their work life, so knowing your ordering options is important when you are looking for a print management partner. Do you need an online ordering tool? Look for a company with a solid web presence. Do you need/like a bit of additional guidance for your order? Look for a company with the option to shepherd your order through the pre-press process with more rather than less communication. Do you want more options? Look for a partner that has both an online ordering option and is designed to engage with you via email or on the phone to offer production and creative support. 2.) Do you have an Environmental Policy? A majority of new home builders are initiating sustainable programs to make homes energy smart, water frugal and responsive to an increasingly eco-conscious consumer who cares about their environmental footprint. Does your print partner enable you to be consistent with those practices? Do they offer environmentally friendly accreditation or recycled stock options? Knowing your print partner's environmental policy lets you offer sustainable print collateral for new home Communities that advertise sustainable building benefits. Prospects for those communities will notice this small subtlety. 3.) What kind of Customer Service support is available? Email and chat-based customer service are convenient, and it's important to know when (and if) you'll actually be able to talk to a human being who knows your industry and can offer both print specification and creative support. Does your printer partner have a person dedicated to that? Is there a Production Manager you can access directly? Most Production Managers are protected by Customer Service Representatives, but in print there are many reasons why you would engage with your print partner to discuss Production timing, updates, edits, proofs, etc. The Production Manager is the person who is on top of your order's journey and should be able to tell you at any time, what the status us. Urgency, creative support, decision support and status checks are among the top reasons our clients reach out for human contact on their projects. Does a print partner make is easy to access these resources in whatever way is most convenient for you? 4.) Do you have a color management system? This may seem over simplistic, but it really matters. Does your print management partner have a system of checks and balances in place for ensuring their colors match? Knowing their color management system and certification is a good preview of the final printed products you'll receive. It's easy to assume everyone can answer this question, but the right partner will be able to give that information to you easily because they've talked about it in their own company and they've documented it in writing. 5.) Do you offer spot print? Whether you call it spot color print or 1 color print, spot color print is an important option for customers who want precise branding. While full color print is versatile, having the option to use spot color print is essential. Spot printing is not digital printing. Many printers will direct you to digital print which generally does not get the quality outcome that Builders need to merchandise a new home in print. 6.) Do you have a Digital Asset Management system? You want to find out how your digital art assets will be stored and what the process is to pull your design templates and update them for Division orders. Managing a distributed Marketing team across Divisions, means that you need to have a good system for managing your preapproved design templates and offer fast easy access to customize them by Community.  A Digital Asset Management system does not need to be complex or expensive, but it needs to be centrally managed so that Divisions can get what they need quickly and accurately to reach prospects in their specific markets. 7.) Is there a Designer on staff ?  You don't always need to go back to your  Agency to make a small tweak or update an address. A good wholesale printer will offer you easy access to a designer on staff who can get content updates and changes made for you quickly and cost-effectively at an hourly rate that is more reflective of wholesale printing rather than agency creative fees. There are many options out there. Be mindful that just because a printer has a web store and 1000's of products, doesn't mean you are consolidating. Large websites often look like one source, but they are using multiple printers. That's not a bad thing, but we notice that these types of companies do not have employees who are vested in the outcome in the same way that you have with one central print manufacturer. Local retail print shops that seem wonderfully personal are a retail business with retail pricing. Print Reps are often making commission on high margin print pricing. It's always questionable to me when a sign manufacturer is printing brochures. The scale of sign printing requires a completely different press than what is needed to print a brochure. You need a dedicated print solution for both.   Why Consolidation? A brief summary of our experience with procurement and consolidation in the New Home Builder industry: It used to be that cost savings were the major driver for consolidation, and dollar savings are still the number one outcome that companies are looking for. But, because labor is so tight in the new home building industry time is also a factor in consolidation. Marketers who can spend less time juggling multiple vendors, have more time to nurture and convert prospects to create homeowners for their Communities. So for Builder Marketers, economy of time is a close second to actual dollar savings. We launched BP Central Print Hub to help our clients consolidate and benefit from a national wholesale print collateral solution.  There's a difference between a large national print manufacturer and local retail print shops, print reps or other regional vendors, like sign companies, who offer print services. We've combined the scale of a national wholesale printer with the same builder-centric services our clients expect from us:
  • Creative support
  • Sourcing help
  • Production care
  • Logistics know-how
We hope you'll reach out to learn more as you explore ways to reduce your SG&A costs and control the way your brand appears in print collateral. Thanks for stopping by. Look forward to engaging with you soon. Cheers! Leslie Bridges, Chief Blogger Marketing Blueprints   Marketing Blueprints is sponsored by Builder Promotions, the leading builder-centric platform consolidating branded marketing supplies and Community print collateral for new home builders nationwide. We are more than our products and services. We are your New Home Community Marketing partners.  

Leslie is a partner in Builder Promotions Marketing firm, a company devoted to making life better at work for the Marketing professionals who work tirelessly to deliver New Home Communities that provide a place for families to live and thrive. She loves being a Mom and keeps a suitcase packed for the next travel adventure with her family.

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