Changing Markets Drive Commercial Printing
“That’s not to say that we couldn’t do other pieces, this is just what distributors are coming to us with right now,” noted Sander. After all, books and booklets can lead to a host of products as distributors develop vertical markets within an account. “Many of our long-term customers are starting to give us commercial printing orders and we anticipate quick growth in this area,” he added.
The orders are being generated by a variety of industries, and, for the most part, Sander said end-users typically are not looking for distributor guidance when it comes to the layout and design. “We find that the design and specs may come from an ad agency or the end-user might have someone on staff with graphic design experience. But, a distributor able to provide some input regarding application considerations, size and the best and most economical way to produce the product gains a competitive edge,” he said. With regard to stock used for a particular project, specific grades and certain types of finishes may also be specified by the end-user customer. Otherwise, distributors new to commercial printing can simply consult with the manufacturer and bring back some recommendations.
Both gentlemen find the majority of distributors they deal with are up-to-speed on the finer points of selling commercial printing, and their customers are able to enjoy greater benefits and services, such as better pricing and versatility in meeting other business needs, than when dealing with an ad agency or graphic design house. For distributors interested in exploring the profitability and creativity of commercial printing, the best advice is to just get started by finding out the type of products a prospect orders and gathering together a few appropriate samples. “You wouldn’t want to walk in with a sample of a menu when the prospect is looking for a college catalog,” cautioned Sanders. “Do a little homework and then give us a call. We can start sharing ideas.”