Being a Des Moines-based business, where insurance is king and insurance brokers are common, most of us are at least familiar with the concept of “brokering”. Brokers provide a valuable service not only in the insurance industry but also in many other industries. Businesses across the country broker all kinds of goods and services including insurance, commercial freight, mortgages, product manufacturing, financial services, and yes, commercial printing.
Since we are talking about print brokers, let's first define what exactly that term means. Print brokers provide a managed service to their customers. In fact, print brokers are often known as print managers, as this better defines their role. A print manager acts as a liasion between a company and a wholesale printer. Print managers are responsible for assisting their customers with producing high quality jobs as efficiently and cost effectively as possible. They act as manufacturing reps, representing the capabilities of their partner print and bindery facilities.
Is it cheaper to just buy from a retail printer?
In some cases, purchasing directly from a retail printer is more cost effective. Print brokers specialize in coordinating large projects that require use of multiple vendors, and that is where they provide the most value. Whether you use a broker or a retail printer, having someone who can act as a knowledgeable manager and attend to all of the details of your project frees you from having to learn the details of the print industry in order to get your projects done. Blue Frog is able to handle a broad range of print tasks in house and provides full-service print work, including project management, at very competitive prices.
If I use a broker, is my work just sent out to the lowest bidder?
Some print brokers will seek out the lowest cost product every time. However, many companies do not operate in this way. If you use a broker, ask about their partner businesses and why they choose them to find out whether their priorities are in line with your own. Blue Frog provides a valuable resource to print brokers because we have a wide range of print capabilities and provide consistently high-quality materials with quick turn times.
Having access to a wide range of production equipment allows brokers to produce jobs with greater efficiency.
Retail printers have significant costs tied up in their equipment and because of this, they need to be using it whenever possible. Print brokers are valuable partners to print retailers because they enable them to make more efficient use of high-cost equipment.
It's also common for "retail" printers to broker some of their work.
No printer has every piece of equipment. If they did, the down time on lightly used machines would create a huge cash strain on the business. Because of this, they sometimes act as brokers themselves, seeking out a trade partner to produce the job for them. Even the biggest print shops outsource some of their print and/or bindery functions to other businesses.
What types of businesses do you work with?
Blue Frog manages projects for over 400 businesses both in the Des Moines area as well as across the United States and beyond. Our customers range from start up companies to global businesses in software, biotechnology, and hospitality. Not only do we keep our prices extremely competitive; we operate efficiently, providing our customers with some of the fastest turn times in the industry.
If you have a print project you'd like to get started, or if you're a broker looking for reliable business partners, click the link below to get in touch with us!
Updated 2 June 2016