Products that offer fail-safe solutions, will work with the media and meet customer expectations are essential, Corey says. Customers will not accept work with defects, streaks or blemishes, or where the product shrinks or edges lift. “[PSPs] get one shot, and if they fail, their client writes them off,” he says.
“So it’s really important they suggest the proper laminate with the proper media,” Corey adds. “It’s also important to explain to the customer what the expected longevity will be with the laminate applied to the print.”
Consistency is a critical characteristic in laminates, Corey continues. PSPs’ laminate suppliers must buy consistent product. “People are willing to spend a bit more than the bottom end to get consistent quality,” he says. “There are a lot of people pitching offshore products lacking that consistency.”
In the case of materials expected to last a long time, laminates that don’t shrink are essential to achieving the desired results, Corey reports.
While vinyl or PVC-based materials tend to shrink over time, non-PVC materials like polyester, polypropylene and polyolefin are not likely to shrink.
“If it is a piece of artwork meant to last for years, you should be providing these premium solutions,” he says.
Finally, Corey urges print service providers equip their salespeople with books that show an identical image appearing with different laminations. “We’re in a show-and-tell business,” he says. “You should have a gloss, a matte, a luster, a textured, and then maybe a non-PVC product. So when a client comes in, and you have the same image with all the different textures, the client can make the choice . . . It’s the most efficient way to promote the product. And you have the client making the decision, to avoid having him second guess you later.”
In the final analysis, the way to view a piece of finishing equipment is as a platform for profitability. That’s possible, Mohni says, “if you have the right support from your manufacturers as to how to make that platform work for you.”
Or as Hill puts it, “Make finishing a priority, and put money in your pocket.”