Tips for Finding a UK Inks Manufacturer

by Dangula Bingula

Starting a printing business is an excellent opportunity for reaching both a B2B and a B2C audience. With technological advances, exploring this opportunity is more accessible than ever. Consumers and businesses are sourcing materials from around the world, thanks to the internet economy.

If you’re in the UK, finding a reputable UK inks manufacturer is essential for reaching your business goals. Here are some helpful tips when trying to develop this vital vendor relationship.

Wide Product Range

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Look for a UK inks manufacturer that offers a wide range of products. By doing so, you’ll set yourself up for long-term success as you grow and scale your business. As regulatory requirements and trends change, being able to grow with one vendor is more sustainable than finding new suppliers.

Partnering with a supplier who has a broad range of products also helps you expand your offerings. Whether you get into textile printing or packaging, finding a business that can facilitate your needs is essential.

Specialty Inks

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Depending on the nature of your business, you might require access to specialty inks. For example, food-safe ink to meet regulatory standards when printing on food packaging or temperature-resistant ink. If you have special regulatory needs, reach out to a supplier to discuss what that means for your business.

Strong Environmental Policy

The world is changing at a dramatic rate. With each passing year, more regulations are being put in place regarding eco-friendly business and manufacturing practices. Furthermore, in areas where the regulatory considerations haven’t caught up to every industry, consumers are more eco-savvy than ever. In fact, millennial consumers specifically look for eco-friendly businesses when spending their money.

The UK is a world leader for health and environment-related legislation in manufacturing. Look for a supplier who embraces that aspect of modern business and has a firm environmental policy in place. You can follow this site for an exceptional example of eco-friendly ink manufacturing practices.

Knowledgeable and Innovative

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Look for a supplier that knows the business forward and backward. Regardless of the industry, the leaders are always the ones who know a lot but never stop learning. This ties into the adage that if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.

Take a look at what the company is doing to expand and improve. Partner with the trendsetters and the innovators who are always striving to be better. Ink manufacturers with a strong research and development department should be a priority, especially if you want to experiment with various printing methods in your business.

Competitive Pricing

While the bells and whistles are nice, at the end of the day, a lot of vendor relationship decisions come down to pricing. Look for an ink manufacturer who prices competitively and in alignment with the market.

Generally speaking, a more established ink manufacturer is going to have more room to move on pricing. Do some research and compare your costs before making a commitment.

Reliable Customer Service and Support

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You can tell a lot about a business by how they treat their customers. Look for a business with proven customer service and support. Problems and delays are inevitable at some point as a business owner, but your suppliers’ support and handling of those situations can mitigate the overall impact on your bottom line.

Look for businesses that make it easy to get in touch with references and testimonials. You’ll also want to evaluate how easy or difficult it is to access support. For example, if you’re working with a distributor rather than the manufacturer, who do you reach out to when a problem arises?

Proven Experience

There are a lot of fly-by-night businesses and start-ups that are here today and gone tomorrow. Working with a well-established manufacturer will ensure that you get what you paid for. The kinks in their business have been worked out, and you can feel confident in the fact that they won’t disappear on you.

Years of experience also means invaluable knowledge that books can’t replicate. Manufacturers who have been around for a while have an in-depth understanding of the industry and can help you make informed decisions.

Certifications and Acknowledgments

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Look for a manufacturer who has certifications and acknowledgments from unbiased regulatory and enforcement agencies. These certifications and stamps of approval show that a third party has evaluated the organization and determined it reliable and trustworthy. This is an invaluable form of social proof that you can use to drive your business decisions.

In the UK, the British Assessment Bureau (BAB) is the gold standard for evaluating businesses. Here are some of the BAB (formerly the ACS) certifications to look for when partnering with a manufacturer.

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ISO 9001

The ISO 9001 certification means that a business in the UK meets international standards for implementing a robust quality assurance and management protocol. It’s achieved after an impartial assessor completes an on-site audit.

ISO 27001

This certification pertains to data management and cybersecurity. As ink manufacturers’ main priority isn’t the handling and transmission of personal information, it’s not a necessity. However, secure data protection practices contribute to the longevity of a business.

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ISO 14001

This certification is essential when looking for an ink manufacturer, as it pertains directly to eco-friendly practices. For a business to receive this certification, it must prove that it has an environmental policy in place, meets international regulations regarding safe disposal, and strives for continuous improvement.

Unlike some of the other certifications, maintaining an ISO 14001 is a continuous process that’s checked on regularly by governing bodies.

ISO 45001

Previously called OHSAS 18001, this certification pertains to creating a safe work environment for employees. It’s essential to find an ink manufacturer with this seal of approval. In having this, the business proves that the health and wellbeing of its people is the top priority. As manufacturing ink can put people in contact with various chemicals, these steps are paramount.

Choosing the Right UK Inks Manufacturer

Choosing the right manufacturer ultimately comes down to your business needs. Use this guide to evaluate the options and make the right decision for your business.

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