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Archive for April, 2008

As mention in a past posting (http://projectcenter.wordpress.com/2008/04/10/web-design-flash/), Flash is an animated component that is usually used as intro to a website, but can be implemented within web pages as well.

Keep in mind that entire websites can be created from the Flash software, but there are big issues with that approach. First, it means that your site will probably need more bandwidth over the internet for a viewer to load the website. Second, once the Flash website is created, it is cumbersome to make any changes at a later time. Third, if a client needs to change designers (i.e. the designer goes out of business or does not provide good customer service), the client needs to have and give access to the Flash source file. Without the source file, Flash needs to be recreated rather than revised, which increases the cost of the project.

As a suggestion, it might be a good idea to ask a prospective designer what softwares they will use to create a client website.

Check out ProjectCenter’s services at www.makepapereasy.com.

Bidding is common is most industries, mainly because some industries are based on commodity products. A great example might be the hardware technology industry, where any number of suppliers could be selling the exact same items. This, of course, encourages clients to bid out to get the best price possible.

Unfortunately, clients tend to forget that printing is a service business, and proceed to bid small jobs out to a bunch of service providers. This can and will eventually cause problems for the client for two reasons: 1) the printing business tends to be local in nature, so printers usually know each other and talk often; 2) the printing industry has historically done very well at maintaining it margins.

Printers will catch up to what a client is doing rather quickly, and will take measures, such as coming together with other printers, to prevent a client from taking advantage of the system. Here is a great example:

A prospective client requested to have printing done for their display/exhibit. The client could not or would not provide the specs for the tension banners that were needed for the it, so the printer was left having to contact the maker directly. Their response was that they had already quoted the client directly, and “3 other printers had already called” about this client requesting specs.

So the maker knew they were being priced out, which means they closed out the printers, making the printers looked foolish, which means the printers will most likely avoid the client in the future.

By the way, the end result of this real-life example was that the maker ”screwed up” the client’s exhibit, and now the client has no alternative vendor to work with. 

Check out ProjectCenter’s services at www.makepapereasy.com.

Print On Demand is a term that has been thrown around for some time now. It typically relates to online internet purchasing, where a client can log into a website, load or choose artwork, sometimes allow text information to be inserted and then print and ship to the client.  This is a great source for those that do not need personal service.

There are some drawbacks, such as the aforementioned lack of service. A lot of POD outlets provide very little or no customer service, and rightfully so since they tend to have to sell their product at razor-thin margins.

Sometimes there are stipulations such has having to buy a minimum amount of stock (i.e. shells) that is printed with basic information, with variable information to be inserted online later and printed again. Also, with products such as business cards, it is very common for a client to have to enter information and place an order for each card needed, rather than being able to enter and print multiple cards at a time.

People seem to like the ‘whiz-bang’ features of Print On Demand. Most online sources have a function where a template proof appears on the screen, and when information is changed, the changes take place in real time as you are viewing the proof.

Check out ProjectCenter’s services at www.makepapereasy.com.

Carefully planned predatory pricing practices have allowed national chains to establish virtual monopolies as they drive local competition out of business. And then they raise their prices.

-www.LocalFirstAZ.com

Check out ProjectCenter’s website at www.makepapereasy.com.

Can a printer and/or broker rush an order?

The answer is yes, as long as a client is willing to pay more, and increase their risk of error. The important part to note here is the increase in risk. Pressuring anything or anyone to reduce turn-around time tends to allow eyes to stray from the details of a project. The problem seems to begin with the primary requestor (i.e. someone’s boss) because they don’t understand that printing begins as a service, not a tangible product like a grocery store item. Or it begins with a secondary requestor (a person fulfilling a request for the primary requestor, such as a purchaser) that was given a deadline, but let the deadline slide, and are now in a pickle to get the job done.

The moral of the story is that lack of detail begets lack of detail.

Check out ProjectCenter’s services at www.makepapereasy.com.

Shells refer to preprinted stationery (typically business cards) that are stocked for future additional printing. As an example, a client might want to maintain a certain image for the materials, but have a lot of employees to manage.

A client like this would have shells printed, that would include images and text that would not change from piece to piece (i.e. company logo, license information, tag lines, etc.).  These shells would be stocked at the printer’s facility, and when a client’s employee needs stationery, the shells are then run through the printer again, only printing the employee’s the variable info (i.e. contact information).

Some companys offer an easy way for client’s employees to add their own information online (see www.makepapereasy.com and click “Stationery Reorders”). Websites like this offer the employee and/or client a real-time visual example of the piece that are creating. Once the employee approves the online proof, printed materials are shipped directly to the client.

ABOUT PROJECTCENTER:

ProjectCenter is a single-source service company providing marketing and document solutions to small, medium and large-sized businesses in the U.S. area. ProjectCenter is based in Phoenix, Arizona and its services include graphic design, web design, printing, copying, scanning and mailing. For more information, please call (602) 252-6655 or visit  www.makepapereasy.com.

Independent businesses provide meaningful service with a personal touch. It matters to them that you are satisfied and will come back again.

-www.LocalFirstAZ.com

Check out ProjectCenter’s services at www.makepapereasy.com.

Flash is a wonderful tool to make a website more attractive, but clients need to be aware that there is a cost associated to such a feature. Flash is an animated component that is usually used as intro to a website, but can be implemented within web pages as well. Here is an example of a website with Flash: http://www.cavancommercial.com/.

It is hard to say how much more Flash can cost, but it can add anywhere from 10% to 30%, depending on how much is being created.

Check out ProjectCenter’s website at www.makepapereasy.com.

Blowback is the practice of printing electronic documents to paper (blowing them back to tangible form). The typical scenario is when hardcopy documents are scanned, but then hard copies of the scanned electronic documents are needed.

ABOUT PROJECTCENTER:

ProjectCenter is a single-source service company providing marketing and document solutions to small, medium and large-sized businesses in the U.S. area. ProjectCenter is based in Phoenix, Arizona and its services include graphic design, web design, printing, copying, scanning and mailing. For more information, please call (602) 252-6655 or visit  www.makepapereasy.com.

Independent businesses are unique enterprises that contribute to the character of our community by offering a more diverse selections of goods and services.

-www.LocalFirstAZ.com

Check out ProjectCenter’s website at www.makepapereasy.com.

For a Consumer Data Mailing List, there are multiple geographic selections to choose from:

Zip Code, Zip Range, Carrier Routes, Radius, City, State, County, Multi-Location Radius, Area Code, Phone Prefix, DMA Code, Census Tract, CBSA.

Check out ProjectCenter’s website at www.makepapereasy.com.

Some clients get put off by being asked about the quantity of their project. It could be that they feel the broker is judging them.

The fact is that quantity determines how a broker (that is to say, a good broker) is going to handle the job in a price competitive manner. Generally speaking, any job under 1000 units will be taken to an iGen printer (a color copier on steroids). Any job between 1,000 and 10,000 units will most likely be taken to an Offset printer (the most typical printing method). Then, any job over 10,000 units will most likely go to a Web printer, that specializes in high quantity and quality.

Check out ProjectCenter’s website at www.makepapereasy.com.