Blog > August 2020 > 7 Important Questions to Ask While Sourcing Your Next Commercial Printer
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7 Important Questions to Ask While Sourcing Your Next Commercial Printer

Deciding on which commercial printer, sign manufacturer, and fulfillment provider to partner with is a complex decision that takes time. We want to share with you some critical questions to ask and which capabilities to look for while going through your research process. At TEAM Concept Printing we know better than anyone that all commercial printers are not created equal and by making the right choice in your commercial print partner, you can save yourself, and your employees, plenty of time, frustration and money in meeting your printing, sign, and fulfillment needs.

Here are just a few of the many capabilities to look for. We suggest asking these questions.

Capability Question #1: Is this the type of commercial printer that can be more of a partner than a printer?

When in doubt experience counts! It is important to look for a commercial printer that has developed its reputation as a “go to” provider across multiple industries, trade associations, and regions. Understanding the provider’s split between direct and trade business will provide you insights into their customer service approach, capacity, and most important experience of both large run corporate work and short run custom work.
At TEAM Concept Printing we pride ourselves on being able to manage and produce projects for both direct clients and trade groups.  Our team of dedicated CSRs and Account Managers are measured on service, customer retention, and project efficiency rates. Over the last twenty years we have also grown with many of our customers and developed a deep understanding of their business as they have of our business. From that mutually deep understanding of what our customers want and need we believe that our experience in Offset Litho, Digital Color, Special Effects, Print & Mail, and Fulfillment will make any project or print campaign a successful one.    
Your business needs partners who can enhance your ability to serve your customers. For a printer, that means speed, flexibility, robust capability and the attention to detail to bring it all together. That's what we strive for every day. Our production group has collaborated with thousands of corporate, mid-sized, start up, non-profits, and government entities to create compelling print and multi-dimensional branded pieces. We will always take a consultative approach when completing your project.   
This type of collaboration can be seen firsthand by visiting our “Products” gallery on our website. There you will find many examples of our work. Within that products page you will see:
  1. Business Cards & Letter Head: Custom printed corporate branding & communication materials.
  2. Mailers & Postcards: Let us help you create direct mail marketing campaigns that stand out.
  3. Invitations & Announcements: Custom printed materials to make your next event a success.
  4. Booklets, Pamphlets, Brochures: Custom printed business literature & sales collateral.
  5. Catalogs & Publications: Custom printed books, magazines and other business publications.
  6. Greeting Cards & Calendars: Seasonal materials to keep your business top-of-mind all year.
  7. Boxes & Packaging: Custom printed labels, product packaging & 3-D marketing materials.
  8. Signs & Banners: Large format graphics & signage for indoors or out.
  9. Folders & Card Holders: Many styles and custom quality — inside and out.
Trade printing is one of our specialties. We partner with many agencies, designers and print brokers who offer our broad range of printing capabilities and fast turnaround on custom marketing and communication materials at a great price.

Capability Question #2: How does the commercial printer define customer service and how do they support it?  

Having a satisfied customer is the best business strategy that every company should adopt. 

When researching your next print provider, it is important to learn what KPIs / service measurements are in place for project completion, project quality, and fulfillment execution. Knowing if the printer has a G7 Master Printer Certification is a telling insight to their commitment to quality. Understanding the commercial printer’s facility size, team experience, and hours of operation will provide valuable insights on how customer centered they can be.

At TEAM Concept Printing we understand that our customers expect the best from us. Our presses run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in order to meet the needs of some of toughest deadlines. Our TEAM is measured on project completion, quality, fulfillment, timeline, and customer experience.
We offer only the best, most reliable printing through our commitment to the G7® Master Print Media certification.
As a qualified G7® Master Printer, customers benefit from the best color management system available today. We use the G7® process to match color across multiple devices so that your print projects will have the same shared appearance, regardless of where or how they're printed. Our proofing systems and presses are G7® calibrated and our technicians are trained and qualified to produce repeatable consistent color and images from proof to press. We are pleased to be part of a very select group of printers who have earned this qualification, and we are excited to use this state-of-the-art process to meet your full-color printing needs.
  1. More accurate match between proof and press
  2. Standardized color appearance across multiple devices
  3. Consistently hit desired color targets
  4. Designed to align all processes, stock and inks
G7® Master qualification ensures that designs will look in print the way you designed it on screen. Using the latest technology, we maintain high standards to produce high-quality printing. All of our presses and digital print equipment are calibrated to G7® standards, ensuring the highest color accuracy every time – from proof to press, one press to another. Our G7® experts also work to ensure all of our printing meets these high standards. Whether you print 25 or 2,500 quantity, our G7® master printer qualification promises predictable results you will love.
One of the challenges for printers today is the consistency between print devices, offset vs. digital and inkjet. To help manage the consistency of long-run (offset), short-run (digital) and large format ink jet technology, the G7® process is designed to minimize that variance.

Capability Question #3: How can the commercial printer keep my entire project under one roof?

Consistency and focus matters in the print and visual graphic industries. Adding extra layers of providers and new steps to a print process can lead to project delays and quality issues. Simply put, more chefs in the kitchen is a bad thing. Knowing if your project is being sent to external facilities for completion is an important insight you want to know.
At TEAM Concept Printing we pride ourselves on our “One-Site” commitment to every project. You design it. We print it.

We have the following capabilities:

  1. Conventional Offset: 2-, 4- and 6-color presses offer uncompromised quality for larger jobs.
  2. Digital Color Printing & Embellishments: Various options offer full color & flexibility for shorter runs and tight deadlines.
  3. Thermography: Raised ink offers added value possibilities for a variety of projects.
  4. Post Press Finishing: Foil, 3D varnish, embossing, lamination, numbering and other enhancements.
  5. Folding & Binding: Saddle stitching, perfect binding, spiral binding, folding and trimming.
TEAM Concept Printing’s “One-Site” commitment makes it easy to start and finish high-end print projects on time and on budget.

We offer the following services under one roof to ensure your project is completed on time: 

  1. Kitting & Mailing: Bulk mail, personalization, kit assembly and warehousing.
  2. Specialty Effects & Finishes: Foil, custom shapes, dimensional effects, varnishes, coatings and more.
  3. Green Printing: Soy inks and recycled paper make print an eco-friendly choice.
  4. Trade Printing: We offer our full range of services to print brokers, agencies, graphic designers and other resellers.
  5. Promotional Gifts: Logo imprinted apparel and ad specialty items, including awards, coffee mugs, pens… you name it.
  6. Political Campaigns: We can help you gain name recognition and get out the vote with high quality campaign marketing materials.
Our focus on our “One-Site” commitment has created some of the fastest turn around times in the business. All though every project is different you can typically expect the following turnaround time commitments from TEAM Concept Printing:
  1. 4-Color Process: 3 to 4 days
  2. Business Cards (standard ink colors): 24 hours
  3. Business Cards (PMS Colors): 48-72 hours
  4. Announcements, Letterhead, Envelops: 72 hours

Capability Question #4: When was the last time the commercial printer invested in their equipment line and facility?

According to America’s Original Printer – Ben Franklin, “The best investment is in the tools of one’s own trade.”  

This statement is very true and will help with your research of a commercial printer. Asking questions about a provider’s equipment list, their training and certifications, their relationships with the equipment manufacturer, and their most recent round of investments should factor into your decision regarding who to go with. Knowing how shipping and fulfillment is factored into their operating equation is also important.   
At TEAM Concept Printing we pride ourselves on having the latest and most sought-after presses, binders, cutters, and special effects pieces of equipment. Since 1999, we have been steadily adding equipment to our roster. Our current commercial equipment list has over 150 separate pieces that are subdivided in the following categories:
  1. Digital Printing
  2. Traditional Printing Presses
  3. Bindery
  4. Large Format
We recently expanded our partnership with Komori by purchasing our third press off of them. In early August we took delivery of our latest KOMORI GL 640L W/ COATER & LED/ UV CURING SYSTEM - 6 Color 40 Inch Press. There are less than 250 of these presses in the world and we are one of only a few commercial printers in the US that have one.   
Our recent equipment investment did not stop with the Komori, we also invested in these additional pieces of equipment; MBO 550 ROTARY DIE CUTTER, ROLLEM INSIGNIA 7, KLUGE FOLDING/GLUING OMNIFOLD GLUING SYSTEM, RICOH PRO C7210X, CHAMELEON FOLDER GLUER 920MXX, and a new HORIZON PERFECT BINDER BQ-270V. All of these investments enhance our capabilities for longer run jobs, packaging, pocket folders, key cards, and enhanced die cutting.
To accommodate our recent equipment purchases we enhanced our facility. We added an additional 20,000 square feet of space bringing our total space up to 60,000 square feet. Within our facility we have our head office / admin center, production, design, fulfillment, and a state of the art client services center.

Capability Question #5: What innovative product line or service sets you apart from other commercial printers?

Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity not a threat. 

The reality of this statement can be seen, heard, and felt at any great commercial printing company. Understanding how a commercial printer has evolved throughout the years and how they create new products and finishing services to better support their customers is critical. Simply asking a company, “What have you done to innovate or help create new print features for your customer?” is a valid question. Strong commercial print providers will be able to show you concrete samples that were created at their facility with multiple customer testimonials.
In a fast-paced, ever-changing print industry with increasing customer demands, differentiation is the key to achieving greater market share and longer shelf life. The ability to outshine the competition and deliver truly memorable products is the top priority.
The growing appetite for digital embellishments stems directly from this need to stand out, and TEAM’s digital print technology continues to evolve to meet this demand. It’s why we built our advanced suite of digital embellishment services—known as LUX FX.
LUX FX transforms print projects with eye-popping sensory effects that lets the end user feel the print piece for a more tactile and memorable experience.
TEAM Concept Printing’s technology lets you spot-coat prints, highlight defined areas and add 3D effects, creating a vivid experience that's sure to resonate with customers and elevate your company's brand above standard print approaches.
Our high-tech, scalable print capabilities lead the industry in 3D spot varnish and foil digital enhancements, delivering dynamic performance for the most demanding applications and adding dimensional texture to your designs.
LUX FX digital varnish technology is perfectly suited to a wide range of different applications, from catalogs to business cards, high-end invitations, packaging, and much more. It offers unique and flexible features including a full-page scanner, high productivity with single-pass printing, and ease of use when developing pieces with dimensional raised ink, coatings and varnishes.
Our ability to perform variable data printing adds an entirely new spectrum of compelling personalization capabilities to help you maximize your marketing efforts. Now, you can achieve more levels of targeted personalization than you ever imagined, whether with basic customization such as name, address, sentence, etc., or realize full customization with multiple criteria such as images, texts, and layout to achieve the attention-grabbing differentiation your project deserves.
These are just some of the benefits your next LUX FX project could experience:
  1. Ability to use variable data for personalized text and graphics on every piece produced
  2. UV coating ranging from 3-200 microns thick for 3D raised texture effects and a tactile finish
  3. Digital hot foil stamping supporting up to 5 colored foils applied in one pass
  4. Embossing from 3 to 232 microns
  5. Quick prototyping and short run customization flexibility
  6. 100% digital process means no make-ready, no plates, no screens and no dies

Capability Question #6: What have you given back to your local community?

If you have the power to make someone happy. Do it. The world needs more of that! 

When considering a commercial print provider, it is important to align your community and philanthropy mindset with their mindset. People want to work with and for companies that strive to do good. When considering a provider, it is good to know how they champion in their community, who they are affiliated with, and how they provide support to their local nonprofits and why. A simple search of their website and their social media channels will give you a feel of their heart and soul.
In keeping with the values of our owners and employees, TEAM Concept Printing gives back to the community by supporting organizations that affect U.S. armed forces, veterans and their families, childhood health and fitness, and other worthy causes like these. These are just a few of the many local and national non-profits we support:
  1. Cal’s Angels 
  2. Lazarus House 
  3. Living Well – Cancer Resource Center 
  4. Michael Phelps Foundation 
  5. Mission 22 
  6. Folds of Honor 
  7. Beyond Type 1 
  8. Brighter Days Foundation 
  9. The Goulden Touch 
  10. Carter’s Kids 
TEAM Concept Printing provides gifts as in-kind donations and in many cases direct financial support. Contact us directly to inquire about support for your nonprofit organization. We love to help and be a part of anything that brings more good things to the world!

Capability Question #7: What is unique about your team?

Great things in business and in life are never done by one person. They are done by a team of people. 

Understanding how a potential print provider deploys an account, customer service, print / production, and fulfillment team together because it speaks to the very nature of you project and campaign will be looked after. Asking questions about production certifications, press training, tenure, and associate turn over are all important pieces to your research journey.       
At TEAM Concept Printing we are proud of how our “Origins” story directly grew out of our Founder Tony Rouse’s desire to create a one team concept. The type of organization that everyone under one roof was pulling for each other and creating great work together.
We are proud to say that the “TEAM Difference” comes from our long tenured group of highly trained professionals who are dedicated to producing only top-quality printing. Many of our associates have been with us for over 15 years and have earned the opportunity to progress throughout our ranks. Our leadership team is seasoned, professional, and passionate about our culture.

Throughout the life of a project the following TEAM members and support roles will support and monitor your project:

  1. TEAM Concept Field Service and Sales Managers
  2. New Customer Support Specialists
  3. Internal TEAM Account Representatives
  4. Online / E-Portal Account Representative
  5. Pre-Press Department Manager
  6. Production Department Manager
  7. Fulfillment Department Manager
Our goal, since day one, has been to create a great experience for our employees so they in turn replicate that experience for you and your project. Twenty years later we believe that we have the TEAM equation solved. To see and hear the stories about our TEAM and how we champion their efforts please take the time to view our social media channels, especially at LinkedIn at the #TEAMtough hashtag.   

To learn more about how we help businesses expand their reach and branding efforts via our innovative print and marketing solutions please visit us at  Let our TEAM become a part of your TEAM!
Posted: 8/26/2020 4:09:29 PM by Maggie Vietri | with 0 comments