Is Your Bindery Part of Your Sales Pitch?

Printers have never been under such competitive pressure. The industry’s overall print volume continues to be under pressure as electronic alternatives grab marketing dollars. Print providers have to be both very efficient and very creative to retain existing customers and attract new business.

Printing companies can extol the technological virtues of their latest presses, prepress systems and workflows as part of their sales pitch, but how about finishing? Focusing on your finishing capabilities can truly set you apart from your competitors.

After all, showing a slew of good-looking finished samples to a prospect will always make an impression. That’s the final product you’re selling—a physical, tangible book, carton, catalog, binder or other finished piece that you can hold in your hands and that has a “look and feel” that a tablet or smartphone display can’t touch.

Is your bindery a one-stop finishing shop? In the past, printers tended to minimize their binderies, jobbing out work they couldn’t do inhouse to specialty trade binderies. But many of those shops have disappeared. Today, prospective customers want their print providers to offer the widest range of finishing services you can provide, with the added ability to do short-run work (quickly).

Every printer will have cutters, folders, and perhaps saddle stitchers and binders. But how about diecutters, hard cover book finishing, mechanical binding, and folder-gluers? There are many newer and smaller short-run finishing systems that can allow a printer to add a particular service without breaking the capital budget.

And finally, make sure your salespeople truly understand finishing. If you’ve ever viewed Trish Witkowski’s “Super-Cool Fold of the Week” videos, you can see the amazing creative power of folding layouts and how they can create magical, interactive printed products. As Trish tells her viewers, “Think finishing at the beginning.”

Don has worked in technical support, sales, engineering, and management during a career in both the commercial offset and digital finishing sectors. He is the North American representative for IBIS Bindery Systems, Ltd. of The United Kingdom.
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