Thursday, January 30, 2014

Just in Time – Digital printing delivered anywhere in the UK within 6 working hours?

Digital printing continues to grow in importance and revolutionise the traditional printing industry – with on-demand printing online and offline saving time and money.

Digital and document printing can be produced and delivered to any location in the UK on the same day if the order is placed within 6 working hours and a next day delivery is now the norm.

After more than ten years offering the 6 hour delivery guarantee, Direct2Print have yet to fail in meeting a deadline for any online order.

And next day deliveries have only been a problem if there was a particularly bad weather or delivery vehicle breakdown.

Although the majority of customers looking for the fast production of digital printing, manuals, presentations, price lists, tenders or reports often prefer to opt for the free delivery option associated with the next day turnaround – a surprising number of companies demand, and are prepared to pay a substantial premium for, the same day service option.

Direct2Print introduced fast digital and online document printing to the UK based upon a business model that was operating in the United States at the beginning of the millennium.

In the early “” days of internet printing, companies such as “NowDocs” offered a 2 hour delivery service in a few selected major cities, like Los Angeles and New York.   Other operators quickly followed, particularly those linked with an efficient courier service like FedEx Kinkos and UPS.

It is estimated that 33% of all printing will soon be required within 24 hours and with deadlines getting ever shorter it is now remarkable how quickly some jobs can be produced.

The time it takes to have documents printed on production quality machines, with quality finishes and binding, delivered when and where you needed – is usually only limited by the availability of stock and machine capacity.

For one particular financial services company in the city of London it is rare to get much notice of an impending large order.  Typically, Direct2Print completed 20,000 A4 digital colour prints wire-bound into 800 books and couriered into central London within a few working hours.  The logistics in arranging for sufficient quantities of stock, wires and acetate covers for the documents requires good planning and a great deal of luck. 

The guarantee is only as strong as the weakest link in the chain.  As with all “Just in Time” manufacturing – it is important to have as much back up and contingency planning for the rare occasion that something goes wrong.

Clients demand consistency of presentation and it is essential to have back-up equipment in place for the potential breakdown of printing machinery.  Speed is critical but quality is always of paramount importance. Having control over all aspects of the operation is usually helps when it comes to providing any form of guarantee.

Again the North American model is leading the way in Europe, with the likes of Mimeo opening production centres in Europe catering for next day delivery for all sorts of printed materials.

In the United States these production sites are next to hub airports, because of the large distances to be covered.  It is relatively easy to get a next day document printing service throughout most of North America – with some production sites accepting online orders up until 10pm at night for delivery the following morning several hundred miles away.

In a much smaller country like the UK, the boom in parcels traffic due to the growth of the Internet has seen an abundance of courier firms offering competitive prices for same day and next day delivery.

From a base near Birmingham, Direct2Print are located within two hours delivery time of two thirds of the UK population and have built up a very fast and efficient courier operation.

And the Internet has provided clients from the tip of Cornwall to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland over the last decade – which may be small distances by North American standards but is quite a challenge for UK delivery services.

However, to date every challenge has been met with flying colours as the list of testimonials on the Direct2Print website will testify.

About Direct2Print ( – Direct2Print provides a specialist online document and digital print service from a production site strategically based in the middle of the UK near Birmingham.  It prints, binds and delivers documents for companies and public bodies of all sizes – from 6 working hours to 3 working days.  This year documents have been distributed to the United State, Brazil, China, Hong Kong and the Middle East.  For media relations contact Chris Jepson (Managing Director) on 0800 0346 007.

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