March 22, 2011, 10:30 p.m.
posted by enox
Service bureaus — companies that provide high-end output to prepare your files for professional printing — are great. They keep and maintain all the equipment, know the ins and outs of both your software and your printing press requirements, and turn around jobs quickly — at least most of the time. Working with a service bureau involves commitment and communication between both parties. They need your business; you need their expertise and equipment.
To ensure that you get what you want (fast, accurate service) and that the service bureau gets what it wants (no-hassle clients and printing jobs), make sure that you understand both your standards and needs. As a customer, keep in mind that the service bureau has many other customers, all of whom do things differently. Service bureaus likewise must not impose unreasonable requirements just for the sake of consistency because customers have good reasons for doing things differently.