Advantages and Disadvantages of In-House Printing

4 color printing

There are many advantages of in-house printing. There are also disadvantages.

When a company decides how to do the printing of their materials, they often analyze the benefits and risks associated with both before making a decision. The decision is usually based on things such as cost, finding the right vendor, or simply what will work best for the company. Sometimes, even turnaround time is a factor.

When analyzing the benefits of printing in-house, the cost and turnaround time are often factors in the final decision. Other reasons to consider in-house printing are security of information and the ability to maintain that security. Printing these specific materials can be costly both in time and money if they are sent outside the company.

Other types of printing that some companies will consider when looking at in-house versus outsourcing are color versus black and white. Again, there is a cost associated with both and much of the time, color printing costs more. This could be used as another reason to keep this type of printing in-house.

While there are many reasons to keep in-house printing alive and well, there are some disadvantages as well. Just as in-house printing saves time, it can also be a waste of time (and by extension, money) if there is not enough staff to keep up with the demand of a company’s needs. This is where outsourcing comes in handy. Yes, it may cost more in the beginning but having a staff waiting for work is even more costly.  This is because the company is paying them to do nothing. It’s all about the bottom line for businesses. When a Financial Officer looks at the expenses for a time period, they are looking for their bottom line to make sense.

Another thing to consider when looking at the advantages and disadvantages of in-house printing is that of graphics. If there are graphics that need to be added, it may be helpful to keep it done in house. On the other hand, if the graphic is too complicated for the company’s in-house printing to handle, it may be helpful to outsource that particular project. Again, it depends on the needs of both the company and the project they are working to complete.

There's another question to consider as well. What are the potential advantages of doing both? Would it be advantageous to outsource some of the bigger projects to a vendor while keeping in-house printing alive and well for smaller, more frequent projects such as badges and key cards? This can save money for a company while allowing them to have some control over the end product. On the other hand, combining the two may end up costing a bit more because of having to pay BOTH outsourced vendors AND in-house printing staff. 

When it comes to in-house printing, there are many things for businesses to consider. Cost and the needs of the business are just a few of those things. There are even more things to consider when deciding to outsource printing. In the end, the bottom line will show if printing should be done in-house or outsourced to a vendor. No matter which one is chosen, often times, it can be changed by the business at any time depending on the financial and printing needs of the company.