|How to choose the best CD & DVD Duplication supplier.|
Choosing the right Duplication Company for you can be difficult. Often it's hard to make direct comparisons between quotes, which often seem deliberately difficult to read. To help you we've explained some of the issues which are worth considering when choosing between the good (look no further than Sabre!) and the bad.
Clarity & Speed of Quote. To be able to make an informed choice when selecting between duplication suppliers, you need a quote that is clear and easy to understand. How your potential supplier deals with your quote is likely to reflect how they will deal with your order. A speedy and accurate quote is a good sign.
What's being quoted? There are several ways to duplicate and print your DVDs or CDs which vary in cost and print quality. Your duplication options are Recordable Media used for smaller volumes or 'Pressed' media for larger quantities. The common printing options available to you are, Inkjet printing (great for small quantities), Screen Print and full colour Litho Print (which gives you a 'retail' quality finish).
Turnaround times. Are they quoted and are they realistic? At Sabre we quote conservative achievable delivery times, but when in an emergency will work with you to meet improbable deadlines. Click here for some Case Studies
Artwork. The print process determines the type of artwork you will need to supply. Screen and Litho printing work from 'films', and these are usually generated from Mac based artwork. Film charges generally quoted as extra's and costs vary widely with some companies quoting per 'film' with one required per colour and others per 'set'. You are wise to assess all these costs when obtaining comparative quotes - you will want to ensure you are comparing like for like. Screen and Litho printing give a very high quality, durable finsh.
Quality of Screen & Litho Printing. One of the variables which affects the final outcome of screen printed media is the maximum resolution or LPI (Lines Per Inch) of the film artwork. A higher LPI means a higher resolution of print. Due to differences in equipment between duplicators this will vary from 75 LPI to 110 LPI for spot colour screen print, and materially affects finished quality.
Artwork Problems. Problems during a duplication project are often Artwork related and can cause delays. Good duplication companies will issue specifications for your artwork to ease film production. These specifications should be easy for your designer to understand, however it's worth checking with a prospective duplication company how much they will charge for any amends, should your artwork not meet their specifications. Once a design is ready for film production or printing, it's worth knowing how your supplier handles proofing.
Technical Backup. Can you rely on your supplier for technical information? As well technical details for your artwork, you will need specifications and guidance when producing your duplication Masters. For example, a default setting in a common CD-RW authoring software can mean the production of Masters unsuitable for commercial duplication, causing a delay for your order.
Recordable Media & Equipment. The media and equipment used for your shorter run CD and DVD duplication order will have a direct impact on the final quality of your disks. For example, we only buy CD-Rs manufactured by a particular Japanese factory, which we have used continually since the inception of our CD-R duplication service. We do this despite being able to buy bulk media at a much lower cost from our local computer superstore. We do this because we will not compromise on Media quality. For issues related to CD & DVD Duplication equipment see our notes in the Duplication Equipment section. If just one of your distributed disks or tapes fails the downstream loss wipes out any apparent savings many times over.
Quality & Virus checks during production. A Virus check by your supplier prior to duplication acts as a backstop to your own checks. Ask about quality schemes and how your CDs and DVDs are checked in production.
Production Options. As you can see from the list of options above, there are several ways of producing CDs & DVDs. Even if you are working to a very close deadline, there is usually a way of getting your job done. Your supplier should be able to offer alternatives, and be knowledgeable about the pros and cons of each option.The cost of non-conformance. How much would producing or shipping a bad disk cost you? A bad demo disk might cost you a lost sale, and it's worse when you consider what the lifetime value of that client might have been. If you are shipping a low margin product, the cost of replacing bad disks could turn your profit into a loss.