There is a common industry insider expression that I wanted to share with the rest of you. It is considered as obvious and unbreakable as the laws of gravity on our planet.
The expression poses this choice to a client:
SPEED, QUALITY, PRICE – PICK TWO.
This expression is fun to play when you realize its validity. Many vendors will promise all three and only deliver one. Most vendors aim to provide all three, only to find that competitors and customer requests prevent it. Like the law of gravity, to try and ignore the rules may be dangerous to your programs.
Some of the reasons for this are:
No low quality shop can offer the high end services of a high quality shop so they have no choice but to be cheaper. Saving $200 on an invoice may cost you $20,000 in direct mail results. It usually does.
Also, for any shop to move a project quickly they have to consider the option of overtime pay which is 150% of normal wages. So higher speed always makes for higher cost.
Let’s play with a few of these:
* High Quality Print – Overnight – Costs Extra
* Low Cost Print – High Quality – Takes Time
* Low Quality Print – Done Quickly – Costs Less
Anyway, it’s yours to play with and now you know an industry insider’s secret.
I have tested it myself over the years and it holds true.
If a printer tells me he will print it fast and keep the costs down – the print always shows up damaged, scored wrong or with color problems.
If a vendor promises low cost, high quality work; it always shows up 3 days late. Perhaps you’re all familiar with this one?
We at CSG Direct are focused on quality and speed and we use our high quality staff (25 MQC certified by the USPS) to identify ways to save money through intelligent programs. With high quality staff you have more high quality options. That is how we attempt to capture all three of the above choices. But sometimes customers just don’t allow us to provide our full service and maximize this process.
Direct mail is not an industry to cut quality on, especially if you want to save money! I have seen too many low cost vendors ruin entire campaigns because they offer low prices and miss all the most important steps (maximizing every step is important.)
Direct mail is a details business. Demand quality if you want success. We’ll help you find ways to balance cost and speed from there. Knowing what you’re dealing with is half the battle.