‘GIGO,’ or Garbage In – Garbage Out, is one of the key barriers to the printer achieving an effective, lean, manufacturing process. This is often the result of having to accept client-provided materials that haven’t been created with the technical needs of print production in mind. Why not improve the process by hosting customer training sessions in proper document creation? Keeping your customers current with printing practices will help position you as an indispensable resource for them rather than merely a print provider. A well executed management initiated customer education program will also take the burden off of your individual sales reps to train print buyers and designers.
One effective method is to contract an outside “guru” to provide the instruction. You should charge a fee to cover expenses as well as to emphasize in your customers' minds that you will be providing real value in the sessions. Then, offer to rebate the session fee on the next print order. This way the customer gets valuable training “free” and an incentive to print with you. While you, on the other hand, get better-prepared files as well as improved customer loyalty.