When we began manufacturing thermal paper products for distributors over thirty years ago, this was a much different business. Back then, product expertise and personal relationships were at the center of business deals. Now, decisions primarily come down to price.
This focus on price at the exclusion of other important factors is understandable. For one, customers are getting squeezed on their side as well, creating a need to find lower prices in order to maintain margins. Secondly, as digital technologies continue to take over, paper has become much more commoditized, which allows buyers to, in some cases, be less selective.
Just remember, even in today’s commodity market, there’s a big difference between affordable and cheap. And cheap receipt paper that is ill-suited for your particular machine, is likely to end up costing your company more in the long run.
With that in mind, here are a few things to consider when selecting a thermal paper supplier:
Yes, price is important. But, raw paper costs are set by the mills. The more established suppliers have been working with the top paper mills for decades, which often enables them to negotiate better prices for their paper. In addition, suppliers with a long track record in the industry are better able to anticipate price changes and help customers prepare ahead of time.
As most manufacturers know, not all thermal paper performs the same. And some types of paper work better with certain printing machines. The more experienced suppliers employ technical experts who know your machinery inside and out. They can work with you to determine the exact type of bond or thermal paper that will best fit your particular needs, which can help prevent extraneous expenses. So pay close attention to the experience of a supplier when considering proposals.
Inferior paper, or paper that isn’t ideal for the specifics of your machine, will jam, tear, and clog your machine at an infuriating rate. You may feel thrifty for getting a great paper price, but you’ll be regretting your decision when your machine breaks down. You know how frustrating it can be when your office printer jams? Imagine that, but with each passing minute dollars are being accrued to your debit line.
By all means, get the best rate you can find. But remember, you get what you pay for. Opt for quality.
Printing technology is evolving at an exponential rate. The new machines are quieter, faster, more efficient, and make fewer mistakes. Most suppliers are working to manage overhead by operating on older machines. Suppliers, like Telemark Diversified Graphics, who are continually investing in new equipment, are able to turn jobs around faster, more proficiently, and, ultimately, at a lower cost as we’re minimizing waste and making fewer mistakes.
No Substitute for Relationships
Cheap thermal paper is great until something goes wrong. Then what? How do you hold a company lacking customer service accountable? Establishing a strong relationship with a paper manufacturer will wind up saving you money and peace of mind over the course of time, even if it costs a few cents more per roll. Not only can a paper supplier that offers exceptional service help you maximize your business opportunities, and ensure the proper type of paper for your needs, they are sure to be responsive and help address any problems or issues that may arise. So consider selecting a thermal paper supplier that you feel comfortable forming a relationship with. You may be surprised by how much more you get for your money.
At TDG, we encourage customers to expect more from their suppliers. Because, with us, they get more. Feel free to contact us to discuss what we can do for you. We’re always happy to provide a complimentary quote.