Make a Big Deal Out of Combo Products
Getting It Together
Because the decision to go with a combination product is often driven by the expertise of the salesperson, education is key. PrintGraphics offers seminars, promotional media and territory representatives to educate distributors, as well as marketing materials featuring selling tips and summaries of how the products are designed.
And because taking a proper job order is essential with these intricate products, suppliers like Interform Solutions, Bridgeville, Pa., provide standard job order sheets to distributors to ensure accuracy.
Said Customer Service Manager Diane Valentino, "It's important for distributors to give us the right specs, including the size of the label, necessary die cuts and slits, what the label is being affixed to, temperature considerations and whether it requires repositionable adhesive."
In addition, the type of printer and whether the label is being pulled off of the 11-inch, 14-inch or 8.5-inch side of the form are factors that influence the direction for integrated labels.
Affixed products such as labels, tags, cards or other pieces are often blown onto carriers for various direct mail and promotional printing applications. Therefore, deciding on the proper adhesive can be tricky. There are, however, multi-purpose adhesives capable of meeting a broad range of applications and temperature ranges. Affixed solutions also offer more substrate choices for the product being affixed.
On the other hand, die-cut integrated products offer far more design flexibility than an affixed product, and so they're frequently used for mailers and marketing materials. Miller, however, thinks of integrated labels as workhorses because of their prevalence in industrial and health-care settings for items such as packing lists and lab slips. Valentino said Interform Solutions also manufactures a great deal of job-specific integrated products, which are growing in popularity as end-users' office equipment is changing.
With end-users gravitating toward inexpensive laser printer technology, some flexibility may be lost and cost savings negated. For instance, Miller explained that laser cut-sheet printers are designed to handle up to about a 90 lb. index at 7 mils. Factor in the carrier, card stock and laminate of an integrated product, and the combined thickness becomes too great for these printers to contend with.