In the age of digital files and communication, printed materials still play a big role in the vast majority of businesses. Everything from posters to flyers to brochures is used extensively to help a business grow and compete within their industry. However, the cost of outsourcing printing has many businesses thinking twice about placing their next order. Is outsourcing these print jobs the way to go, or should businesses seek to bring their printing needs in-house with production printing equipment?

There are a number of considerations at play here for businesses to examine. Cost is the most obvious concern for any business, but there is much more to the equation than just dollars and cents. Both options carry their own pros and cons. The better a company understands them, the easier it will be to make the best possible choice for their unique needs.

Comparing the Costs

Every business from small mom-and-pop shops to multinational corporations must adhere to a budget. Money does not grow on trees and printing budgets are no exception to the rule. In the past, outsourcing printing has often been seen as the more budget-friendly option, but that is beginning to change in the minds of business owners facing higher printing costs.

Part of this increase in the cost of outsourcing printing is that print providers have increased costs themselves, and then these costs are passed on to customers. For examples, USPS has reported increasing their rates on shipping. This means that printing companies must adjust their own rates to reflect the new costs their budgets must absorb. 

However, building a printing production facility from the ground up is also a costly investment. Businesses that do not have the capital to purchase or lease their own production printing equipment may find that outsourcing continues to be their best option.

Ultimately, in-house printing equipment is an investment that will pay off down the line. Companies that want to bring their printing needs in-house may face high upfront costs, but will see savings as they print more and more materials. Businesses that don’t have the capital for this investment or do not feel they will use the production printers to their full potential may benefit most from using an outsourced print provider.

What Materials Are Being Printed?

Businesses that decide to handle printing in-house must carefully examine what kind of materials will be printed and if the volume will justify having the equipment on-hand. Printing small posters or brochures may be feasible for businesses, but other items, like large banners or window decals, may require specialized equipment that will not be used frequently enough to justify the cost.

Sometimes, businesses may want to consider a combination of in-house and outsourced printing solutions. In-House production printing equipment can handle the basic, high volume jobs while outsourced printing equipment is perfect for more niche jobs.

Who Will Manage the Printing and Design?

Depending on the needs of the business and the size of the operation, in-house designers and managers that focus on the printing needs of the business may be necessary. One huge benefit of this arrangement is that the business has complete control over their materials and campaigns from beginning to end.

However, the obvious downside to choosing this route is the cost and effort that goes into hiring and maintaining this kind of staff. Consider a professional in-house graphic designer. According to Indeed, they could command a wage of nearly $20 per hour. When outsourced printing, the costs and logistics are managed by the print provider. Since they service multiple clients, the cost of staff is essentially spread out, which helps keep printing costs low.

The ultimate question to ask is whether or not a business wants to take on this kind of responsibility associated with in-house print production. High-volume printers with unique needs may feel the cost is justified, while lower volume businesses may not be willing to take on that kind of expense.

Who Has the Control of Timelines?

Bringing control of printing in-house versus using outsourced print providers can have numerous benefits and downsides. One important consideration is timelines. In-house print production means that the business is absolutely in control of the turnaround time needed for a project. This is one of the main advantages of in-house production compared to outsourcing. There are no other clients being serviced and, as a result, the job can be completed on schedule.

Of course, the risks of timelines and schedules can be mitigated by placing orders with outsourced print providers well in advance. What a business must ask is how valuable complete control and rapid turnaround is to them. Most outsourced providers deliver quality work quickly, but nothing can beat the scheduling benefits of printing services being brought in-house.

Outsourced and In-House Production Printing Equipment: Two Great Options

There is no right or wrong way to do printing. There are many advantages of in-house production while the cost of outsourcing printing simply cannot be beaten for businesses that do a lower volume of printing.

To learn more about the benefits of printing services and production printing equipment, and whether or not printing should be brought in-house or left to an outsourced print provider, contact RJ Young today.

The multi-function printer is designed to do it all: printing, scanning, and copying in color or grayscale. However, with the immense selection of printers available, how does an organization decide which is best? The answer depends on an organization’s printing needs and habits. Outlined below are the pros and cons of an inkjet or laser multi-function printer for business use.

Inkjet vs. Laser: What Is the Difference?

Inkjet and laser printing are two different types of printing technologies. Understanding this explains why they produce different printing results.

Inkjet printers print tiny dots of different color inks which are combined on paper, creating a wide range of colors. When printing photograph-quality images on regular paper from an inkjet printer, the print may still feel wet for several minutes since there is no heat, or an alternative method, to set the ink.

Conversely, laser printers use the same basic technology as photocopiers. A laser scans back and forth over a photoconductive drum, creating regions of static. The regions of static allow particles of toner to stick to it. When paper rolls under the drum, toner transfers to it. The fuser then binds the toner to the paper with heat, producing a dry printed product.

When an Inkjet Multi-Function Printer Is Best

Modern inkjets offer stunning color quality and flexible paper options. However, these capabilities far surpass what most businesses need. Choose an inkjet only when both needs exist:

1. Photo-Quality Color Printing

Companies that routinely print gallery or photo-quality color images may be served best by an inkjet printer. They easily print vibrant images with depth and clarity.

While recent advances in technology have led to the color inkjet multi-function printer becoming more efficient than their predecessors, inkjet printing still costs more than laser printing. Inkjet printers are not recommended as the sole printer for offices that also print business documents on a regular basis.

2. Printing on Multiple Types of Paper

Inkjet multi-function printers handle a wider range of paper types than many laser printers. Media stock is not made to withstand the heat from the fuser in a laser printer. It could melt, damaging the hardware along with the printed items. Similarly, paper stocks of certain textures may not allow enough heat in the grooves to properly bond the toner polymers.

Users should always look for products labeled as compatible for laser printers, whereas the result is more consistent with inkjet printers, no matter the paper type or stock.

When a Laser Multi-Function Printer Is Best

Laser printers remain an office staple, offering speed and efficiency to businesses that print or copy documents frequently, or in large amounts. Companies will find that laser multi-function printers and copiers are the most economical solution in their operations.

1. Crisp Printing

Businesses that primarily print office documents rely on laser printers for their ability to quickly produce clean, precise lines for fine text and form style printing. This precision stems from the use of toner. Composed of electrically sensitive polymers that immediately fuse to paper in the presence of heat, toner is a far more conservative material than ink from inkjet cartridges and lasts much longer.

For office settings, laser printers offer serious advantages in comparison to inkjet printers, where ink dots may bleed and spread in paper fibers, or where the ink does not dry fast enough, resulting in the inability to print batches of paper at one time.

2. Rapid and Double-Sided Printing

Most modern laser printers come standard with automatic document feeders with duplex printing. Here, toner is fused in one layer and dried immediately, delivering the ability to print on both sides without impacting clarity. Duplex printing gives offices the opportunity to dramatically reduce the amount of paper they use, purchase, and process. This is still not a standard feature on inkjets. Double-sided printing can be done manually by reloading prints into the paper tray of an inkjet printer; however, print quality often plummets because the ink penetrates and bleeds through to the other side.

Despite their complicated process, laser printers print much faster than inkjets. While inkjets may put several layers of ink down, laser printers only place one layer. Laser printers are also made to withstand heavier office use and built with stronger engines to produce higher output in less time.

Laser Multi-function Printers Improve Business Productivity

Today’s multi-function printer offers a range of features and sophistication, including automatic document feeders, color touchscreens, and Bluetooth connections to mobile devices. Modern multi-function printers strive to simplify the modern office with its efficiency and ability to meet every need.

Laser multi-function printers offer the widest range of applications while remaining the most cost-effective. Models such as the HP Color Laserjet Pro multi-function printer, produce professional quality printing.

If photographic-quality color printing on a non-traditional stock is not a requirement, a laser printer more effectively balances long-term costs with print quality.

Buying or leasing the right laser multi-function printer can significantly impact a business’s productivity. Start a conversation today with an office technology expert to determine the best choice for you.

The fast-paced, tech-savvy environment makes managed network services a smart move for startups and small businesses. Rather than scrambling to throw together digital infrastructure, fully managed IT services in Chattanooga, Tennessee provide professional-level expertise and security from day one. Below are three benefits of small business IT Services in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Why a Small Business Benefits from Using Fully Managed IT Services

Starting off on the right foot in the digital environment gives a leg up to any modern business and represents a critical requirement for survival in a startup-oriented economy. Here are three benefits for small business IT Services in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

1. A Managed IT Provider Increases Security and Reduces Risks

Hackers dedicate their careers to breaching security. Businesses should meet this dedication with equal vigor. Managed IT providers give businesses the same level of professional cybersecurity as the leading tech companies.

When it comes to technology, small businesses are at a disadvantage and hackers know it. Since 2011, cyber attacks have increasingly targeted small businesses because they bank on the assumption that startups and family-owned operations will not have the expertise to thwart infiltration. This approach has worked up until now.

Managed IT services provide one prominent solution to this problem. One of the largest benefits of these services involves the ability to leverage professional experience and infrastructure without needing to make the costly investment to develop them in-house.

The IT industry is rapidly evolving and that is not set to change any time soon. Hackers continue to find more creative ways to make off with valuable data. The challenge of staying on top of all their tricks may stress and bloat a company’s security budget.

This environment creates more ways for critical details to slip through the cracks and create exposure. Conversely, there exist few problems which professional cybersecurity experts have not seen before. When it comes to small business IT services there is no excuse to slack on partnering with a reliable provider.

2. A Managed IT Provider Simplifies Compliance

Finance, healthcare, and manufacturing comprise the three largest industries of Chattanooga. Regulatory compliance is far more than just a buzzword or even a best practice in these industries. Legal requirements make it a priority.

Compliance regulations cover the storage, use, and transmission of data. When correctly followed, they provide a framework which guarantees the safety of employee, patient or consumer data; depending on the industry, these may range from encryption recommendations like in NIST, to legally mandated procedures such as in HIPAA. Failure to comply often involves costly fines or even lawsuits resulting from a breach.

Managed network service providers know regulatory compliance and can help streamline an organization’s achievement of the requirements. In the case of managed IT services, the burden of compliance gets shifted to the professionals. Small businesses can stop worrying.

3. Stay Focused and Boost Competitiveness

Small business IT services keep employees focused on what matters: making the business successful.

IT problems can disrupt productivity and can cause businesses to lose money because most businesses heavily rely on digital infrastructure. The smaller the business, the greater the potential impact. Rather than focusing on profitable strategies, employees spend time detangling problems and searching for the right fix.

Adopting fully managed IT services in Chattanooga, Tennessee also gives small businesses a competitive edge, especially in the city’s startup tech sector. The city where Coca Cola bottled its first drink has a reputation for innovation. Citywide access to fiber internet and investment into startup infrastructure has attracted workers and investors looking for the next big thing which will disrupt an industry.

This means small businesses need to present a professional digital face from the start. They must convey the same stability as established companies, along with the promise of agility and creativity not found in a larger company.

A broken website, half-functioning server – or worse, a successful hack – simply does not send that message. With the right managed IT provider providing seamless support, even startups can send the message that they take security seriously.

Managed Network Services Give Startups a Boost

Managed IT providers constitute a logical choice for startups and small businesses for many reasons, and those benefits are amplified for newer businesses. Professional experience in digital infrastructure and cybersecurity ensure that a business gets off the right start.

Sixty percent of small businesses fail with six months of a cyber attack, making managed IT services a vital component of every organization. Interested in ensuring the longevity of a business? Contact us today to see how RJ Young’s managed IT services can support your business’s success.

RJ Young is pleased to announce that on April 3, 2019, RJ Young completed the acquisition of Business Electronics. BE is a privately-owned total office technology and solutions provider in Birmingham, Alabama.

Founded in 1988, Business Electronics ­­­serviced the greater Birmingham area providing products and services including document management solutions, IT solutions, digital interactive whiteboards and displays, AV, imaging and unified communications systems. BE also offers the industry’s best in multifunction copiers and printers, while placing a strong focus on customer relationships.

“Business Electronics has a history of providing superior customer service and top-quality office solutions,” said RJ Young President & CEO, Chip Crunk. “We look forward to further expanding our presence in the Birmingham area and furthering our mission of providing excellence in office technologies.”

In order to continue supporting and servicing customer accounts, sales and service employees from BE will remain in Alabama. These employees will join the 650 employees of RJ Young to continue the high expectations of standards in sales and service.

This acquisition further widens RJ Young’s footprint in Alabama and allows RJ Young to offer new technology solutions to better serve their customers.

About RJ Young

RJ Young is the largest, privately-held dealer in the Southeast and one of the largest in the nation, specializing in document management solutions, managed print services, remote support, remote monitoring, fulfillment services, and office imaging for small to enterprise level businesses. Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, RJ Young has been partnering with businesses since 1955 and has over 650 employees in over 30 sales and service locations across nine states. Under the corporate tagline “Your productivity is our mission,” RJ Young helps modern professionals become more successful in their businesses with solutions to securely manage paper and digital information and empowers businesses with leading printing technologies. To learn more about RJ Young, visit https://www.rjyoung.com.