Why In-house Binding Can Boost Business
Adding specialty binding services can broaden your client base and heighten customer satisfaction.September 2013 By John Lugviel
Customers are always looking for that something special—a feature that makes one service stand out above and beyond the other options. If you don't offer something remarkable, your business will fail to thrive. The key is to maintain your traditional services, quality and reliability, while offering customers added value through the auxiliary services you provide.
Running a successful in-plant printing facility in an economy as cutthroat as ours means embracing these value-added applications. Adding specialty binding services can broaden your customer base and heighten the satisfaction you already provide to your existing customers.
Customers are looking for a full service printing package for a number of reasons:
- There is a cost and convenience benefit to the customer to have all printing and finishing services done under one roof.
- They are looking for finishing services for their reports, books, documents, etc. that will make their final product appear more professional.
- There is no need to coordinate the movement of the product from one facility to the next, resulting in a faster turnaround time.
How to Choose Binding Equipment
When considering a binding machine, one of the primary decisions to make is whether to invest in an electric or a manual model. Manual binding machines don't have the speed of their electric counterparts; however, some still prefer them for the element of control they provide when creating documents. Electric comb binding machines tend to be the more popular option due to their speed, efficiency and ease of use.
In either case, you'll want to make sure the machine you choose fits your needs based on:
- Your in-plant's budget.
- The projected quantity of binding production.
- The size of the documents you'll be binding.
- The type of binding methods you'll be using (wire, comb, spiral).
- The speed and efficiency that you will need from your binding equipment.
When purchasing binding equipment, finding a product that offers adjustability and versatility is a key factor in determining which equipment will give you the most long-term use. Look for equipment that gives the operator the option to control the depth of punch margins (the space between the edge of the paper and where you want to punch your holes). This adjustment allows pages to turn easily once bound and makes it easier to bind small, off-size documents and to use oval comb binding elements—meaning you receive the most versatility from your binding products.
Also, check that the dies are interchangeable. This gives you the ultimate in versatility and allows you to use multiple binding methods with just one machine. Most importantly when purchasing bindery equipment, make sure the product you invest in is durable. With the exception of replacing worn dies occasionally, you should be able to get many years of use out of your equipment.
Calculate Your ROI
So how do you determine if investing in binding equipment is the right decision for your organization? How do you calculate potential return on investment when one of the key factors of the return is the potential for an increase in volume?
First, find out whether your existing customer base is going elsewhere for binding and finishing services.
- If your customers are currently heading down to the local quick printer to have their documents bound and finished, find out how much they are paying and the volumes they're working with.
- When you begin to source binding equipment, your dealer or sales representative will be able to help you calculate the cost of binding documents in-house.
- Is your in-house cost the same as or less than outsourcing? If so, binding equipment will provide a value-added service that your customers will likely appreciate and utilize.
If your customers are not currently outsourcing binding and finishing services:
- Is this a service they could and would utilize for their printed materials, if they had the option?
- Is there a market within your organization for these services for customers who do already use your in-plant to print materials?
- Is there a niche your in-plant can fill for those customers?
Give Your In-plant an Edge
If the answer to these questions is yes, adding binding equipment could increase your customer base and provide a service that gives your organization an edge.
Next, consider whether there are new customers to be gained by adding binding services.
- Would adding binding services not only bring in customers in need of binding services, but add to your current print production volume, as well?
- Being a one-stop shop for all printing and production needs for your organization can save customers time, hassle and money, and this is a major draw for many who may otherwise look to outside facilities for the production of their materials, or may be doing the printing of their materials themselves.
- Adding binding equipment can be the necessary value-added service that draws potential customers to your facility, and can help you gain customers who may not currently use your in-plant services.
Bottom line: today's in-plant customers appreciate services that add value and save them time, money and stress. If you're considering adding binding equipment to your in-plant by choosing a long-lasting and versatile binding solution, it is easy to determine how long it will take to pay off your initial investment and start to make revenue on the binding services you can offer your internal customers.