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Printers that use Subcontractors - Pros/Cons

Just when you thought the process for choosing a printer couldnít get any more complicated, here is another important factor to consider - does the printer subcontract out work? And, if so, how much and what kind of work is it?

Using a subcontractor isnít always a bad thing. In fact, there are cases that you might prefer to choose printer that uses subcontractors. Specialty tasks require special machines, and, by nature, are tasks that arenít commonly requested or performed. For that reason, most printers do not own all the machines that are required to perform all the different types of binding methods, printing styles and other specialty tasks. If they did, they would have to pay for the machines and for the space that the machines take up on the floor, and this would add to the total cost of your project. Furthermore, if a printer hasnít performed a certain task very many times, it is pretty likely that they wonít be as adapt at operating the machine and performing the task as a smaller printer that specializes in that task. So, by sending out those specific aspects of your project to a third-party, youíll end up paying less and getting a better result.

On the other hand, if a printer is sending out the major portions of the project, or even the entire job, to a subcontractor, you have reason to be worried. Chances are you will end up with an inferior product and will have to pay more since the original printer will be adding on their charges on top of what they had to pay the subcontractor. Also, in these cases, it can be difficult to communicate changes or questions as you donít know who you should be talking to.

It is perfectly appropriate to ask a printer if they use subcontractors, and if so, which tasks they would be sending out for your project. You should also ask the printer if they will take responsibility for the quality of the subcontractorís work.

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