Quality Assurance

International Standards for Print Quality Give Sensitive and High Profile Pieces the Attention They Deserve

Quality assurance provides peace of mind for our clients, especially those in critical industries like medical and pharmaceutical.

Consolidated Press offers Quality Assurance on each and every one of our projects. We pull pages from every run, and examine them for defects, splotches, wrinkles and more. Those pulled pages are set aside and stored for three months. Quality Assurance, or QA, focuses on sampling in process and final production to identify, isolate and report defects.

Quality Control, or QC, prevents defects in the first place. Using quality attribute based checklists, in process inspections are performed to identify and correct defects throughout the production process. QC is a proactive quality system element. Both the QA and QC elements of CP’s quality system are ISO 9001 based, with focus on actively developing and improving processes with a focus on eliminating defect root causes.

Consolidated Press has applied international standards of quality assurance to the printing industry to ensure our most sensitive clients and high profile pieces are consistently printed with the highest quality every time. This is how we do it:


CP
hired an experienced and highly qualified Quality Assurance Specialist. Our QA specialist, Heidi, has been in the print industry for 32 years. She knows the print process thoroughly, and is devoted to building and controlling processes to prevent mistakes and defects at every step.

SOPs STOP problems before they start. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) have been written for all departments within CP, from estimating to billing. As these documents are created or updated, affected employees are trained. The quality assurance specialist maintains training records and assures that all documents are readily available for employee access and use.

Documentation is king. Documents that are necessary to assure the quality and consistency of CP products and services are maintained electronically and stored on the CP network. Documents are assigned a control/revision number and entered into a document log maintained by Heidi. As documents are updated, the control/revision number is refreshed and affected employees are trained on the new/revised document.

Each individual job is assigned a quality process level. CP developed print grade guidelines to establish acceptance criteria for products printed by CP and for material provided by subcontractors. Print grade 1 guidelines are used for the medical and pharmaceutical industries, annual reports and high-end marketing collateral. Print grade 2 guidelines are used for direct mail pieces, magazines and directories.

Grade 1 jobs get extra attention. Print grade 1 jobs go through an additional quality step and are tagged to receive formal sampling by the quality assurance specialist. The pulls taken from each operator are examined, defects are identified, with inspection results recorded/charted. Charting the defects is used to identify trends and to pinpoint opportunities for improvement.

ISO based quality assurance is a rare find in the printing industry but customers find it here every day.

At Consolidated Press, we help the pieces fall into place.

We Are Here For You.

During these uncertain times we want to reach out and ensure you we’re here for the long haul. We are continually working to make sure we can safely and reliably continue to support your business tomorrow as we have up until now. Here are steps in place today to address this evolving situation:

CP Business Continuity Plan

The safety of our employees, clients, suppliers and all of our families remain of critical importance to us. At Consolidated Press we are mobilizing our team and pulling together the expertise needed to provide guidance during times like these. This includes the following:

• Disaster risk assessment and contingency planning tools.

• Communicating and educating all employees about contagious diseases by having department meetings, posting notices and explaining our facility’s guidelines and plans.

• Our management teams have regularly scheduled meetings to refine our production plan should we need to react to production that is more limited.

• Supply chain continuity: plans and communications are in place with our suppliers (i.e. paper merchants, buyout partners, freight carriers, USPS and equipment servicers).

• We are additionally planning, scheduling and staffing for cases where we may see higher than usual absenteeism as employees need to care for children that may be out of school due to school closures, or employees need to care for impacted family members.

In addition, we have taken the following immediate steps in each facility to prevent the spread of influenza and create a healthy environment to minimize the spread of COVID-19:

• We comply with ever-expanding social distancing requirements.

• Updated Consolidated Press visitor policy: we are prohibiting all “non-essential” visitors from entering our facilities. Essential visitors are those required to keep us operational, such as equipment maintenance/repair and deliveries/pick-ups.

• Suspend non-essential business travel and conduct meetings virtually whenever possible.

• Purchased additional hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes and placed throughout the facilities.

• Added multiple posters throughout the facility to raise awareness of proper hygiene habits.

• Working with our cleaning services, we’ve added additional focus areas in the office, manufacturing and common areas.

We are also encouraging individuals to take the following responsibility for personal health:

• Talk to your doctor about getting the seasonal flu vaccine.

• Stay home if you are sick with a fever in excess of 100°F.

• Take preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs.

• Wash your hands frequently with soap or hand sanitizer.

• Avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes.

• Cover your coughs and sneezes.

• Keep frequently touched common surfaces extra clean such as telephones and computer keyboards.

• Avoid using other employee’s phones, desks, pens, or other tools and equipment.

We will remain in close contact with all of our clients and supply chain vendors and will work through this challenge together. Our common goal is to maintain a safe and healthy work environment for our employees while maintaining the products in print you trust us to produce at Consolidated Press. We are here for you.  

 

The Trust Test: Seven Signs Your Print Partner Brings Integrity and Value

When brokers and printers contract with other printers to bring their projects to fruition, there is a certain amount of trust that must be developed between the two. Sometimes, you have a previous relationship, and you know they’ll bring their A-game to your customers every time, but other times, that trust has to be built on the job. After all, every long term partnership starts with a first impression.

There are ways to tell if your printer partners can be trusted to put your client’s needs first, and consistently produce exceptional work on time and in-budget. The key is to do your homework ahead of time, and then work closely with the printer partner through the process. Watch for these signs you’ve chosen well:

  1. Impeccable reputation in the industry. Find out what others think of the printer you want to work with. Ask about integrity, reliability and quality. Our clients — often printers and brokers — jump at the chance to recommend us.
  2. Longevity. Consolidated Press has been continuously in operation for nearly eight decades in a highly competitive environment. If your printer partner is older than you are, they’re doing something — a lot of things — right.
  3. Collaborative spirit. Print brokers need seamless client-facing integration, from branded proofs to custom packing. Ask the printer to show you how they would communicate with the client on your behalf. Does it meet your standards?
  4. Speed. Let’s face it, your client wants their project yesterday, and every piece of it has to fit in your schedule. At Consolidated Press, our selection of equipment means your project is always on the most efficient press for the job, moving it to completion as quickly as possible.
  5. Quality control. The pieces of a large project need to fall together seamlessly. Mistakes cost time, money and worst of all, they can cost your reputation. CP offers an impeccable, documented, multi-step quality control process.
  6. Versatility. To create an effortless long term partnership, a printer needs to be able to provide multiple services and capabilities. CP offers several digital, sheet and web press options, so a reseller can return again and again with different kinds of projects for multiple clients — and get a top-quality product every time.
  7. Capacity. In our case, bigger is better. We have grown into one of the largest printers in the Pacific Northwest and our new parent company, KP Corp., has expanded and enhanced our capabilities in digital services, fulfillment and mailing.

Only trust the most reliable, ethical and reputable printer partners with your clients. Trust them to us. As you know, the pieces don’t just fall into place. At Consolidated Press, we plan projects with purpose.

Call or click today to start our valuable partnership in print.

Print Resellers Rely on Accurate Quoting and Rigorous Project Mobilization

At Consolidated Press, we call ourselves the printer’s printer. We know the business better than anyone and when a fellow printer or brokerage needs the speed, flexibility and high value of a powerhouse press, we can jump in at a moment’s notice. But our excellent reputation is based on what happens after we jump in.

Print resellers depend on the printers they choose to be accurate, efficient and organized. Process is the number 1 concern, and that means flawless mobilization. Every piece of every job has to flow uninterrupted through the supply chain, enabling each project to be completed on time and within budget.

When a consultant or another print shop is integrating printer partners for a crucial client project, five elements are the key to a champion outcome.

  • An experienced team. Print consultants need expert press people they can walk the walk and talk the talk with. Our estimators and project managers have a wealth of experience and can efficiently  integrate various presses, binding machinery and finishings to hit stakeholder targets.
  • Precise estimating. We harness the power of print with no surprises. Our team looks at each project comprehensively, from choosing materials to scheduling, printing and mailing. We offer value and speed for every job, and that means setting accurate expectations from the get-go.
  • Ironclad project mobilization. When a project comes through our door, it has our full attention until we hand it over to a satisfied client. We offer a streamlined manufacturing process, relying on our vast in-house capabilities, including multiple and varied  presses, in-house perfect binding, variable printing, and cost effective mailing and shipping. We don’t consider a project done until you do.
  • Efficiency. Because brokered jobs can be so complex, resellers need printer partners to be lean and agile, reducing waste and saving time. With our web, sheetfed and digital presses, your project will always be on the most efficient equipment for the job. We can quickly change course and bring in partners of our own when needed.
  • Collaborative spirit. Print brokers need seamless client-facing integration, from branded proofs to custom packing for final destination. A vital printer partner knows when to step out of the spotlight. We may be the job’s engine, but we don’t need to be the star of the show.

We proudly print for printers, and they rely on Consolidated Press to jump in when they need a partner who can offer accurate estimating, airtight project management, leading to a professional product their clients are proud of, too.

As you know, the pieces don’t just fall into place. At Consolidated Press, we plan projects with purpose.

Call or click today to start our valuable partnership in printing.

Six Powerful Ways to Meet the Specialized Needs of Print Resellers

Print resellers offer a unique industry service, bidding and managing the most complex printing projects. Brokered print jobs are often a series of distinct tasks that fit together in a jigsaw puzzle of scheduling, skills-matching, leading edge equipment, reliable relationships and impeccable reputation.

When print brokers are choosing vendors for their clients, they are looking for accurate estimating and bulletproof project management. There is just no room for error in this kind of elaborate work –each printer a broker contracts with must be completely reliable, delivering cost-effective, quality work every single time.

These six components are critical to success:

  • Speed. We printers need to do our job twice as fast. Estimating, production — proofing, printing, binding — and invoicing need to stay on schedule and ahead of the client’s needs.
  • Competitive pricing. Resellers need to make healthy margins for the service they are providing, and partners in printing are key to that success.
  • Impeccable reputation and integrity. The bottom line is that ethical printers don’t steal their customer’s customers.
  • Expertise with the reseller market. The printer must have the ability to brand proofs and packaging appropriately to create a seamless process for the end-client.
  • Transparency about capabilities. A valuable printer-vendor is clear about crucial capabilities like run length and available presses, which vary widely from shop to shop.
  • Guaranteed satisfaction. If the customer is not happy with the product, resellers should never find themselves stuck in a hard spot between the client and the printer. We say, “Make it right — no matter what.”

Independent print consultants return again and again to Consolidated Press for all these reasons and more! We offer value pricing because of our streamlined manufacturing process, low overhead and in-house capabilities which include perfect binding. And we don’t rest until we have exceeded the expectations of our valued reseller partners, whether we are creating enhanced covers with specialty coatings, discount mailing, classic sheetfed printing, high-value variable data printing, or executing a project from beginning to end. We bring speed and focus to every job, providing a seamless value-add to any project you need started, enhanced or finished.

As you know, the pieces don’t just fall into place. At Consolidated Press, we plan projects with purpose.

Call or click today to start our valuable partnership in printing.