Outsourcing Wide-Format Can Be Profitable?

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By Debbie Nicholson, Think-to-INK!

PartnershipToo often, we don’t undertake Wide-Format projects that are not in our wheelhouse.  Possibly, we are afraid of outsourcing it to another printer because we don’t “trust” the security of our client list or worry about the quality of the end-product.  Think of it as a partnership.

Did you know –the term Wheelhouse first originated in baseball.  Wheelhouse means “the area of the strike zone where a particular batter can hit the ball most forcefully or successfully.”

Special Note:  This week, I spoke with a Large Printing Company that just outsourced an expansive Wide-Format Project to two other companies – while keeping some of it in-house.  The reason – more profit!  I asked him if he could share with me the percentage. Would you believe me if I told you he said --  30%.  WOW!

Why would I want to Outsource Wide-Format Projects? (just a few)

  • Equipment is not large enough for the project (in part or whole)
  • By not taking the entire project it risks losing the whole job or customer
  • The project needs to be shipped/installed in other states
  • Can’t produce that quantity to hit the due date
  • Equipment is down, need a resource
  • Don’t have the correct finishing equipment or staff
  • Need to learn other production skills (learn from other companies)
  • Could be more profitable to outsource

Outsource in-houseSecure parameters for Outsourcing Wide-Format Projects? (just a few)

  • Reach out to “known” Wide-Format Printing Companies, you trust
  • Set an appointment to tour their facility, meeting with upper management
  • Discuss, at length, their true capabilities and processes/procedures
  • Talk with specific staff – to understand their commitment to their job
  • Set clear parameters regarding confidentiality, quality and project updates
  • Provide a detailed estimate request for projects (with a required due date)
  • Immediate notification is necessary if the due date is compromised
  • Demand no changes/additions are to be made without your written permission
  • Require proofs for approval, before production
  • Re-printing and re-shipping obligations need to be confirmed
  • Stipulate packaging and shipping requirements during the estimating process
  • Provide direct contact information for your company
  • Videos and or pictures are to be forwarded and cataloged during production
  • Daily production updates will confirm deadline targets
  • Determine the amount of samples/overs required sent to your facility
  • If the product is being shipped directly to the end customer (Private labeling is essential)
  • What certifications do they have for specific installs (Signage, Fleet, Graphics)

Now, you have enough information to consider Outsourcing your Wide-Format projects and adding more profit to your bottom line.  That’s a Home Run!

In Closing:

Exciting News:  There will be a Wide-Format Peer Group held in Mid-America, April 30, 2020, - May 2, 2020 (pending the health of our nation).

Attending will be Wide-Format Printing Companies and a few Companies that are new to this exciting and innovative way of printing.

There will be speakers from 3 of the top Manufacturing Companies that provide products to the Wide-Format industry.  Also, we will experience a working tour from our host Company and learn how they integrate printing into the marketplace.

If you would like additional information regarding this great event, you can reach out to me.



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