Every business has its cycle. In the plastic card printing industry, we peak in the fourth quarter of the year as we push through a vast number of gift card orders and then draw a deep breath as things quiet down in the first quarter. This is something we expect and something we plan for.
Chances are you already have a blueprint for how your business will operate in 2013. If it includes marketing and promos with gift cards, membership cards, loyalty cards, etc., let me share some insights that have the potential to save you time, money and stress in this area.
Insight #1: Take Advantage of the Quieter Times
Plastic card printing is easier, faster and less expensive in the first half of the year. As I discussed in my recent blog post, With Plastic Card Printing, How Fast Is Fast?, companies like ours generally ramp up at the beginning of the third quarter as orders for gift cards increase. But don’t you need gift cards all year? Be proactive in the buying process. Don’t wait until October to place that order for 50,000 cards. Consider printing some or all of them earlier in the year.
Insight #2: Don’t Forget the Time It Takes to Design
One of the biggest challenges in the plastic card industry currently is design. People are getting much more creative (and they can because the technology is more advanced than ever). However, the more complex the design, the longer your lead time needs to be.
Start with the date you need the cards, then work backwards from there. Include enough design time for any truly creative card concepts, such as custom die-cuts.
Insight #3: Make Your Plastic Card Printer Your Partner
Waiting until your plastic card design is complete before contacting your printer is not the best approach. Like you, we know our business well and are in a position to help you create an optimal plan for getting your cards when you need them at the most affordable price. In other words, printers are more than order takers. We want to understand your business and its dynamics so that we can help you prepare for your needs.
If you take these three insights to heart this year and act on them, I know the plastic card ordering piece of your business will go more smoothly for you in every way. Need a plastic card printer in 2013? Contact us.