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Printing In-house Versus Outsource Printing Services: Which is Better?

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Using an outsourcing company for printing projects seems simple and
convenient: send the design by email, request the number of prints, and get the copies back.

But do the benefits of outsource printing services outweigh the drawbacks? Is working with print production companies the best option for your business? Or should you print in-house?

Some companies — especially large firms and creative businesses — may be missing out on the control and cost savings that only in-house printing can provide. Conversely, outsource printing services perform expert-level work with lots of customization options and can free up employees’ time.

Here’s a comparison of the top reasons for why in-house print management may be the best choice for your business and why outsource printing services could be your best options.

In-House Print Management Benefits

  1. In-house printing is faster – Print on demand when you need it, on your schedule.
  2. Can produce and mail on the same day – With your own printing operation and mailing equipment, you can produce material and have it sent out right away. That can go a long way to save time and save money when compared to a print and mail outsourcing option.
  3. You can change and delete jobs without extra fees – In-house printing helps you avoid additional costs that print shops may charge if you want to change important details.
  4. In-house printing lets you experiment – Not sure about colors, sizes, or types of paper? With in-house printing, you can do small runs and customize the job for the best possible result.
  5. Lower costs for small runs – In many cases, printing in-house can go a long way in reducing costs. Besides being more cost-effective for small jobs, in-house print jobs can be done on-demand with a faster turnaround.
  6. Fewer delays – Weather, traffic, and holidays that can affect printing companies aren’t an issue when you have your own production printer. The work gets done when you need it and on your schedule.
  7. Last-minute adjustments? No problem! – Typos, tweaks, and last-minute edits are possible with no extra fees or time delays when you have your own in-house printer.
  8. High quality – Print technologies have come a long way in terms of quality. You can customize your print production equipment according to the exact requirements of your core business and achieve stunning quality with consistent results every time.
  9. Increased security – Do you print documents that contain sensitive client information? Digital data transmission over insecure networks can expose data and compromise its safety. Combined with Managed IT services, your sensitive data is kept safe when you print confidential documents in-house.
  10. Top-notch service and training – Our experts can help you choose the best production printing setup for your company and provide comprehensive training with minimal disruption to your business.

Outsourced Printing Benefits

  1. Efficiency – Sending out a job for printing lets a full service print company handle the work. They have all the print equipment needed; you just have to place the order.
  2. Risk Prevention – Outsources printing means that another company must use its own resources to complete printing. There are costs for you, but there's less risk in using an expert business printing provider and its equipment and resources.
  3. Labor Costs – Outsources printing projects save money on labor costs. Printing can require specialized employees for special printing projects and even standard printing jobs.
  4. Employee Time – Time is money, and working with an outsources print provider frees up employees' time. Full service printing includes more than just print projects; employees must also maintain, clean, and restock print equipment. 
  5. Customized Work – High quality printing projects with a range of options can be completed by outsourced printing providers. Printing involves more than just printed documents and commercial printing paper, so for specialized print jobs, call the experts.
  6. Beyond Printing Business printing often involves more than just printing. What if your printed documents will be mailed, for example? Collating, stuffing, sealing, stamping, and mailing envelopes can be handled by many outsourced printing provider, adding to the convenience.
  7. No Space Requirements – Housing all of that print equipment and printing technology takes space. If you don't have space available and don't want to expand your business' square footage, outsource printing services saves space.
  8. No Upkeep Printing technology is a financial investment. Maintaining it will require costs and no shortage of employee time and effort. This will be a non-issue when working will a full service printer.
  9. Peace of Mind Print management, in the end, doesn't have to be causing you any worry. By outsourcing printing, you'll get great results without doing the work yourself. Business owners have enough on their plates, which is why they choose outsourced printing.



Production printing is a significant investment for any business—especially in today’s economic environment. Here are some key factors to consider when selecting the best option for your company:


When it comes to high frequence and large volumes, buying a production printer for your business can be both time-saving and cost-effective.

Does your company order printing services on a regular basis or only on an as-needed basis? Many businesses that use outsourced printing services often incur high costs that add up over the long term. When it comes to high frequency and large volumes, buying a production printer for your business can be both time- and cost-effective.


Are you constantly sending out employees to the print shop to pick up orders? Are there time lags hampering business productivity? How often do employees need to be sent back if there are errors or inconsistent print quality? Conversely, are your employees too tied up with running expensive print equipment to focus on their other tasks? Would it take many years to offset the costs of installing your own print equipment? These questions are critical when assessing if in-house or outsourced production printing is the right choice for your company.


Outsourcing your printing often requires that you give up some control over the printing result. Mistakes sometimes happen,whether they are at your company or at the print shop. Other times, your creative staff could have used a trial run to determine the best colors, commercial printing paper type, and size.

When you have your own printing equipment, you have complete control over the quality of the finished product. You can also print as many samples as necessary to ensure that the end result conforms to your specifications. However, learning these skills takes time and money. A company looking to take printing in house must be prepared for significant financial investment and overcoming a learning curve.


Choosing between in-house and outsourced printing services comes down to factors that are unique to your business. While outsourced printing provides hands-off, worry-free results, printing in house offers complete control over your print jobs and cost effective printing for some businesses. By looking at your business’s finances, employee capacity, and printing requirements, you can make the best choice for your print solutions.

If you want to learn more about outsource printing services or setting up printing in house, the experts at Standley Systems can offer plenty of helpful advice. Contact our team today for a managed print services assessment and the opportunity to learn more about your company and its print production needs.

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Kali Mogg

Written by Kali Mogg

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