Is your printing meeting the right standards?
Quality matters. Whether that’s making sure the meals we order when go out are as delicious in reality as they sound on the menu or that we’re served promptly and politely during our regular supermarket shop.
Quality also counts in the printing world and can make all the difference between receiving a mediocre service that delivers the bare minimum, to a highly efficient service that adds value to your brief, not to mention industry-leading results.
The latter sounds great, doesn’t it? And I’m sure that’s exactly what you want from your printing company. But if you’re not familiar with using a professional printer, then deciphering who is and isn’t going to deliver in the quality stakes can be tricky.
However, it needn’t be such a headache, not if you ask the right questions from the outset. Here are some to get you started:
Q. Are they ISO 9001-certified?
There are lots of industry standards for all different sectors and all different things however, the one industry standard you should be looking out for is ISO 9001.
If your printing supplier has this mark next to their name, then it means they’ve implemented quality management systems requirements for all, not just some, areas of their business.
In particular, if your supplier has ISO 9001: 2015, then that means they have quality management principles in place, including a strong customer focus and continual improvement and that their presses are managed to run to the colour standards set out within this framework. ISO 9001: 2015 is also designed to help ensure customers receive consistent, good quality products and services at all times.
Q. Do they meet the latest environmental standards?
As well as ensuring your printer holds the quality industry standards, it’s also essential they’re working to the latest ISO 14001 environmental standards too.
Why? Because working within these standards means they’re committed to managing their environmental responsibilities, which goes hand-in-hand with maintaining quality.
Being ISO 14001-certified isn’t just a sign that an organisation’s measuring and improving their environmental impact, it also shows that they’re using the latest processes and technologies to make it happen too.
Q. How much of a factor is quality across their organisation?
It’s one thing having the latest industry standard certifications under your belt, but it’s actually another thing for an organisation to actually be living and breathing their commitment to quality, day in, day out.
It may sound obvious, but does your print supplier continuously train and retrain their workforce on how their role relates to the quality standards? Are employees given regular updates on developments in the latest regulations, legislation and standards during their inductions, appraisals and training?
Ideally, standards, such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, should support every single aspect of your supplier’s manufacturing processes, regardless of their size or scale.
Q. How much attention do they actually pay to delivering quality?
Aside from training staff on their role in delivering quality, the best quality print suppliers will also keep a close eye on the standard of their work to ensure their standards don’t slip, as well as identify and tackle any problems before they become too much of a major issue.
This involves having specific procedures for each and every one of their processes to ensure everything’s carried out to the highest standard, is consistent and has been signed off before the next process can begin.
Having these robust measures in place can often highlight things such as jobs that crop up that differ from the quote or order. Identifying issues like these early on means they can be dealt with quickly and the risk of delay can be minimised.
Got any questions or perhaps you’d like more best practice advice on making sure your printing meets the right standards? Contact us or talk to one of our team on 01709 710000.