With the rise of Corporate America, and the increasing bureaucratic attitudes of larger companies, it is not always easy to find what we are looking for in a company. Culture plays more of a roll in your choice of printer than you may realize. Often times we look for these cultural similarities subconsciously; however, here are a few key areas to pay attention to that can make a difference when evaluating a printer.
Individualism versus Corporatism: When selecting a printer, it is important that you find someone who will listen to what you want and be a voice for your needs. Look at their Customer Service department. Do you know who you will be working with? Will you speak to the same rep every time, or countless reps? How involved is your rep in the overall process? Will they act as your advocate and oversee your operation to the best of their ability? Or are they just answering phones and playing the pacify game? Because selecting a printer is your choice, make sure you know who you will be dealing with.
Having a Similar Voice: When seeking a printer, ask what is the voice, or the essence, of the company? How is this company managed? Is it similar to yours? Do they work with companies that are the same size or in a comparable industry to yours? Ask your Sales Executive for a variety of catalog samples so that you can see the quality of work being done for these companies. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, talk interests, and get to know people from the company. Ultimately, these are all ways to know that their vision and voice are similar to your own.
Values & Integrity: Begin by asking yourself about the core values of your company? What is your purpose? Then look for a printer that is able to uphold those values. For example, let’s say your values consist of the following: integrity; customer service; quality; good workmanship. Does your printer have any of these same values? Don’t be afraid to ask about the company’s internal processes. You’ll learn a lot about them this way. What are their training programs? What are their Quality Assurance operations? Do they have written values for their employees and guidelines they are required to follow? Make sure that the printer you select will have equivalent standards to your own.
Henry Ford said: “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is a progress; working together is success.” In order to guarantee the success of your catalog, you must find a printer that shares your visions, that has a common history, a respect for your product, who cares about your success and is willing to work with you to ensure that you have it. Understanding the culture of a company is more important than catalogers may think. Culture is what makes us who we are. You want to pick out a printer as carefully as you would an employee for your company. After all, they are a vivacious part of your vision; they are the finishing touch.