Printing Overseas While Maintaining Quality Control
Updated: Feb 28
One of the most widespread misconceptions about overseas production is that doing so requires you to sacrifice quality. And while it's true that there have historically been some cheap products imported, myriad offshore producers do impeccable work based on very high production standards. Many European countries may have wonderful facilities for producing certain types of products, and parts of Asia have greatly improved their plant facilities and are known for producing delicate, intricate work.
So the question is, how do you know which plants to utilize and how to maintain quality control over a piece being created thousands of miles away? It can be incredibly intimidating trying to identify the right plant and to simply trust them with your money and, maybe more importantly, your idea.
A few key characteristics can help you identify a plant with a trustworthy team:
From the very beginning, communication is absolutely key, which can be very difficult, especially if you're literally speaking different languages. Find a team that is eager to communicate and works to keep you informed, even without you asking questions. That sort of communication will help put your mind at ease, knowing that you will be fully up-to-date throughout the project and not miss important deadlines or problems that may arise.
That brings us to transparency. Certainly, as with any printing or manufacturing, the process can run into a number of issues that affect timelines or require changes. Find a plant with a track record of owning up to their own mistakes and communicating any problems that arise quickly and clearly. A trustworthy team keeps you aware, warns you of possible trouble ahead, and works with you to quickly adjust as needed to keep the project unimpeded.
Finally, you'll need to find a team with a track record of efficiency throughout the process. There are many, many benefits to overseas production, but shipping to your destination certainly adds to the production timeline. Add to that the fact that time zones create the need for a lot of asynchronous communication, and you can only conclude that each step of the process needs to be efficiently designed and the plan rigorously guarded and implemented.
Finding a team that offers all of these components is critical and will save you lots of time and future headaches, ensuring that you deliver a product that enhances your brand and pleases your customer. You'll also want to find high quality plants that produce high quality products, of course. In recent years, the labor laws in Asia have changed, meaning the workers have better environments, conducive for offering the best service. The employees are able to pour time and care into every single order that comes in—evaluating the files, catching design details, and supporting the Stateside team.
That sort of plant will also offer physical assurances throughout the process in the form of a dummy, a proof, and a pre-advanced copy to evaluate how production is going on any print products. A dummy is a blank mockup of the product you wish to create. A proof is a sample of the text pages. A pre-advanced copy provides a way to ensure the pages are correct before they are bound and finalized.
Printing and manufacturing overseas can be difficult, but the benefits far outweigh potential bumps in the road when you have the right production partner. CōDRA has been building relationships with production plants throughout Asia for more than 30 years. Our team can communicate with the plants in their languages, and we fully understand the process. If you'd like to take advantage of the amazing benefits of offshore production, CōDRA is the collaborative partner you need!
If you're ready to delve into the world of overseas printing and manufacturing, contact us here to get started today!