Put the Finishing Touches on Print Sales
Manufacturers can also suggest questions to ask customers to ensure an effective application. "For instance," offered Jacobs, "find out if the product will be bursted by hand or by machine so that the correct perforation is used. With tags, ask whether the entire piece needs to be reinforced or if a patch will work. Chicago Tag & Label offers a reinforced patch that's done inline and provides superior reinforcement where it is needed."
With advances in technology, she also recommended checking with manufacturers to determine if the options requested are done inline or offline. Said Jacobs, "Chicago Tag & Label is now capable of performing many of these options inline, such as mixing multiple materials on one liner."
According to Donna Grounds, vice president of distributor sales at The Flesh Company, Parsons, Kan., a manufacturer's ability to do more of the work inline is cost-effective. "Having to go offline for finishing processes increases the costs of manufacturing the piece," she said. "However, sometimes the actual design itself, rather than the manufacturer's capabilities, dictates an offline process."
Grounds also reiterated the importance of thoroughly communicating end-users' needs to the manufacturer and being as specific as possible to avoid confusion. Distributors must be sure to give accurate specs, even in the quote process. "Some distributors are very knowledgeable when it comes to product design," she said. "Although including perfs on a product is fairly straightforward, a distributor new to the process may have to rely on our expertise to offer suggestions, and we are always happy to help."
By Maggie DeWitt