The life of print service providers is not always an easy one. Sure every job has its obstacles to overcome, but compared to your customers who simply put in the request and wait for it to be fulfilled, your job can be a bit challenging and even downright confusing sometimes. Whether you are trying to put together and manage mailings for someone’s multilingual campaign, dealing with nuanced requests, or attempting to personalize the promotional messages of your customers, print service providers have their very own unique set of challenges that can overwhelm a new business. Here are four different common challenges faced by print service providers so you can be ready for them in case they ever pop up in your inbox.
As a print service provider, one of the most obvious aspects of your job is to send out thousands upon thousands of pieces of mail to your customers. This involves getting the exact address, position, and format on the envelope. This might seem like such a basic endeavor, but the problem here is in quantity. As the quantity increases, the likelihood of errors gets higher and higher. When that happens, you get “returns to sender.” This costs you time and money in having to readdress the envelopes and send them back out. Errors here are totally on your end which are avoidable provided you perform sufficient double checking on all your envelopes. Not all envelopes will require the same type of addressing. Some need a different format or size depending on what country, city, or street you send it to. Double checking is the key factor in avoiding costly and annoying “returns to sender.”
When you are sending pieces of mail and print to countries all across the world, you will obviously need to be able to use the language of whatever destination you are trying to reach. This can be a challenge as translation is not always smooth and easy. If your customers aren’t able to understand the material, they will probably come to you for help.This can be troublesome if you have already started the mailing campaign as you end up dealing with two or more different files at the same time and have to go back and restart your composition. You then need to do the insertion and addressing for each and every different required language, and this is all for just one customer. You can see how this could bog you down and cost you time and money as well. One way print service providers can avoid this is to communicate clearly with your customers at the beginning of the process with providing the languages they will use. This way, you can avoid having to do back and re-do your work.
The marketing game is an ever evolving beast, and print service providers need to be able to evolve right along with it. One of the ways this is happening is in the steady increase in requests for personalized documents. Customers are asking for print service providers to manage their documents and their variable data printing. The benefits of variable data printing are very tangible, but they can require knowledge of graphics which can be a lot for print service providers to handle. The only way to avoid this is to either refuse to manage variable data printing for your customers or increase your level of knowledge about how to manage that area of business.
Variation in Data Formats
Sometimes your customers use a large variety of data formats that you aren’t capable of dealing with. When this happens, you end up having to ask them to resubmit their data in a format that is compatible with your system. Often, customers can do this no problem, but sometimes it’s just not possible for your customers to re-submit data in the proper format. For every customer that you can’t accommodate, you are losing time and money. It’s important to check with customers before you start working in order to avoid costly mishaps.
As a print service provider, your job is relatively simple, yet comes with many challenges that can cost you time and money. Dealing with variation in data formats, special personalization of data, multilingual campaigns, and addressing errors can be frustrating and confusing if you aren’t properly equipped to deal with such challenges. Remembering to check with your customers before beginning their work to ensure the project can be completed is a surefire way to avoid the majority of your mishaps.