Offshore Printing: Maximum Volume, Minimum Cost
Looking to save money through offshore production? If managed correctly, offshore printing can definitely deliver massive benefits. Printing, however, is just one of the so many elements involved in the process. If you wish to know more, then read on.
Why Offshore Printing?
Ranking as the number one reason why more and more clients go for offshore printing is affordability, and here’s why: affordable printing can ultimately generate profitability. Through offshore printing, companies are able to give full attention to their core activities, boost flexibility by hitting their bottom line budget, and evaluate their lean production by trimming down operating costs, thereby increasing profit.
Printing costs in Asian countries are relatively cheap – with China, providing the cheapest services mostly because of lower labor costs and availability of quality domestic paper. Such high cost-saving potential indicates that offshoring can assist small businesses in maintaining a streamlined structure and managing growth. Through offshoring – which basically involves getting a quick access to a more specialized and sophisticated job that almost always requires no extra cost – a business is likely to expand rapidly.
How Does It Work?
The key to a successful offshore printing procedure is constant communication with your local representative and the company you’re doing business with.
Apart from communicating with the offshore press, one of the earliest tasks of a local representative is to provide the client a clear understanding of the entire process. While there’s plenty choices to be communicated between a client and a press operator, it’s always best to kick things off with the selection of the paper media – from the size and weight, down to the color and finish. The content, on the other hand, has to go through pre-press for design, layout, and conversion into the appropriate formats for electronic presses, then for offset printing. From there, galleys and proofs are retrieved for the client’s approval. The local representative then goes on to further keep both the client and the printing company on the same page.
Once the job is ready for the press, all of the client’s finishing requirements are met. The list usually includes collation, binding, and packaging. Specific packaging requests by the client are carefully noted, and the final output is then wrapped up and arranged for shipment.
Shipping the product sure adds hours to the overall project. Your best bet? To use these supposed additional hours to your advantage. How? By making sure that the proofs meet your requirements and that the printed material turns up right on time, which might just spare you a significant percentage, even after the additional shipping costs.
While any sort of offshore arrangement is expected to come with a language barrier, it’s no big deal, as the whole arrangement is more about the client’s understanding of their business, as well as their needs.
Other Factors to Consider
Besides the cost and turnaround time, here are some other factors one must consider when availing offshore printing services:
Quality & Standards
It does make sense to outsource a print job to where a highly educated, skilled, and motivated workforce is.
Seeing that technology is available worldwide, more and more companies are investing in the best and the latest tools.
Quality is always an important factor to needs immediate addressing. Even with today’s technological advances, it’s still imperative to focus on quality, which usually varies because of the wide range of printing equipment.
In China alone, the steady growth of its printing industry is demanding better education. With over 12,000 institutes and universities that offer graphic arts-related programs, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Some companies go as far as reorganizing their business, building information management systems, and deploying Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).
Printing standards are different among the different stretches of the globe. Such standards specify different ink densities and aim points, which may result in different colors; hence, it’s imperative that the client is aware of the printing standard exchange.
What fosters the move to offshore printing, you ask? Simple: new technologies, some of which are:
Printing Press Improvements
Internet and Telecommunications
Portable Document Format (PDF)
The past few years have witnessed the improved quality of offshore printers. What’s more, the embracing of the press-calibrated digital printers, as well as computer-to-plate tools are said to have strengthened the credibility of offshore printing.
Apart from quicker and easier communication made possible by e-mail and instant messaging, advances in the Internet and telecommunications provide both parties the opportunity for online proofing. Instead of sending physical mails, clients can simply give their approval over their computers.
PDF is the standard file format, which has a knack for preserving all colors, graphics, fonts, and formatting. Such files are compact, and can be viewed, navigated, printed, and shared with no trouble.
While offshore printing isn’t exactly new, it has become an efficient option for most businesses. Together with its cost-effectiveness, more technological advances are introduced, thus improving offshore printing’s competitive rate.
Keen to know more? Contact us for more information.