Should Your Business Outsource Big Print Jobs?

With improved capacity, quality, and efficiency in modern multi-function printers, maybe it’s time to rethink how you approach big print jobs.


Conventional wisdom has long held that for small and medium businesses, bigger or more complex print jobs should be outsourced to a commercial printer. But is that still the case? Due to advancements in office MFP technology, perhaps not.

Today’s professional printers can handle higher volumes, faster turnarounds, and better quality prints (including color) than ever before. So in 2016, with sophisticated in-house equipment available at reasonable costs, are you still outsourcing your company’s larger print jobs? If so, here are a few reasons to reconsider. 

First, consider that outsourcing anything, including printing, involves some amount of waste. Some of this is hidden in the time and expense required to travel to and from the print shop (or to pay a courier to do so), costs which are rarely considered when calculating whether or not it makes sense to complete a print job in house. Also, if an employee is tasked with using the equipment at a commercial print shop, additional waste may be generated due to that employee’s unfamiliarity with the hardware, which can result in overage or botched jobs, all of which must still be paid for (even if they are thrown away). 

Outsourcing a print job will almost always take longer than doing the same job in-house, because print shops are unlikely to be dedicated exclusively to your company’s needs. There may not be a direct cost that can be determined based on having to wait an extra day for a print job to be completed (unless “rush” charges are applied) but these delays can equate to lost productivity and increased overtime.

Another big consideration is data security. Sure, many print jobs involve mundane material like marketing flyers or mailers. But what if you’re printing advance copies of your annual report or employee security badges? It’s not just a question of whether you trust your local print shop with the materials – it’s whether you trust each of the people they’ve hired who might touch your print job. Even outsourcing seemingly innocuous material like printed gift certificates could result in fraudulent losses if a dishonest employee runs off a few hundred extras for himself.

The good news is that recent advancements in technology allow today’s business printers to handle larger and more complicated print jobs than ever before. When it comes to volume, HP PageWide printers can output up to 75 pages per minute, which means even a very lengthy print job can be wrapped up within an hour. If color prints are on the menu, HP PageWide printers also offer professional-grade output, whether you’re printing glossy photos or simply adding some dazzle to reports or sales materials. Best of all, HP PageWide printers have the lowest total cost of ownership of any major business printer, which means you’re likely to save money on every print job over outsourcing, no matter their size. 

It's natural to think that outsourcing large or complex print jobs is the cheaper option, but the economics deserve a closer look. For businesses seeking advanced printing solutions, only HP PageWide printers can deliver the fastest speeds, affordable color printing, and at a surprisingly lower cost than expected. It all adds up to best-in-class total cost of ownership.

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