Like you, many companies get to the point of realizing that they need some type of security badge – either for visitors, vendors, employees, or a combination thereof.
When that happens, the critical question is – Is it best to print your ID badges in house – or outsource the task? Let’s consider the Pros and Cons of both.
Print Your Own Company ID Cards
There are a lot of great reasons to have an ID badge printer on site. Card issuance is quick and on-demand. Most printers will output an ID in under 30 seconds. This enables you to create new IDs immediately, as well as replace lost ones.
There is no need to contact your vendor and pay an outrageous price plus shipping to get a couple of cards printed, and then wait a week or two for delivery. You will also notice a big difference in the cost per print between in-house and outsourced cards. And you’ll find that using an ID badge printer is pretty similar to using your desktop printer so you can feel confident your new hardware will be easy to use.
Now this may all sound great, but to be fair we should really consider some of the downsides. If you work in a small office – say less then 50 employees – then buying all of the equipment to get your card issuance program up and running may not be cost effective. Of course, you will want a professional looking ID badge, but maybe you don’t have a design department in house. And as security needs change is your hardware going to be able to scale with those needs? How will that impact your company in the future?
Have Your Company ID Cards Printed for You
First and foremost, I think you will find that if you have a small company with a low turnover having an ID printer on hand just doesn’t make financial sense. Here is where you can consider outsourcing your custom card printing.
For small companies, outsourcing can notably lower the overall cost of your card issuance program. There’s no need for additional hardware, staff, or training. Plus the outsourcing company you work with will likely be able to help you with your design needs – and advise on any additional security items on your badge. Simply call up your vendor and have them run a couple of cards for you. That is, if you can find one.
The major draw back to outsourcing is quite simply finding a vendor that will print a couple of cards for you. Not to mention the price per card and turnaround time. If you have a new hire that needs a badge – or have to replace a lost badge that has been previously issued – you have to wait for production and shipping times.
Alternatively, you could decide to go with preprinted “Temporary” badges, but this can create its own set of security risks that may outweigh the cost of a badge printer.
Pros & Cons Recap
- No need to order your badges and wait for their delivery
- Ability to replace any lost card on the spot
- Card printers operate in the same way as standard office printers
- Lower cost per card printed
- Must purchase everything needed for an ID Program – card printer, cards, ribbon, card design software, printer cleaning supplies and more
- Can be expensive
- Without proper planning, can be difficult to grow your ID program with your changing security needs
- Cards may not have a professional design or contain the needed security elements
- No need to choose, invest in, and maintain expensive equipment and supplies
- No need to have in-house design skills
- Ensure a professional brand image with custom cards personalized with your logos and designs
- Cannot print on demand
- Cannot replace a lost badge on-the-spot
- Higher cost per card than in-house printing
- May not receive your custom cards in a timely fashion
- Difficult to find a printing vendor for small quantities
Need An Expert to Walk You Through the Choices?
Here at ID Card Group, we have a lot of different printers to suit most any ID badge issuance needs – from small to large. We also offer custom badge printing in quantities over 500 cards. Check out our Ordering Custom PVC Cards FAQs for more information.
Take some time to consider the Pros and Cons listed above and then call us at (877) 868-0012 to iron out the fine points to get the right solution for you, whether it is in-house or outsourced ID badge printing. We’ll make it easy for you!
ID Card Group offers a price match guarantee, provides free shipping on orders over $100, and accepts purchase orders.