This is a simple guide on how you can save money, whilst at the same time improving the quality of the business cards you buy. In reality you need to be buying upwards of 50 names per year to genuinely see the advantages that internet ordering can bring, although some companies will provide this service with less than this volume and so it pays to look carefully at what the market has to offer.

The way it works is fairly simple: your card type or types are uploaded onto the web server and displayed within a password protected area of the vendors site; you can set up multiple users who either log into a generic page or a personalised page for their use only, and either of these store all the information that is on every card, including delivery address. This makes reordering from your business card printing company quick and easy.

There is an initial bit of work needed by the vendor to establish your complete requirements and ensure your corporate identity is adhered to. You will then be able to view your card, or cards, online within your secure page and make any alterations that your corporate guidelines permit. This includes all the detail that you would normally change when ordering printed cards the normal way.

Following this, you will be shown an online PDF proof copy of your business cards, allowing for plenty of opportunities to alter or amend details, complete your delivery requirements and then order - it's really that simple. Once you have ordered a card, all the information is stored within your login page so reordering with or without changes is very simple and can be done from anywhere around the world. You can agree the payment method with your vendor and choose either the traditional invoice route, corporate payment card or credit or debit card.

So how is this really going to save you money?

Once the initial setup has been completed, you will complete all the typesetting and proofing work on your cards. I don't know how you currently order your business cards, but here are some popular ways by which traditional ordering occurs; if you fall into any of these categories then choosing to buy business cards online can save you money:

If you communicate your order and requirements via fax, post or email, the supplier then keys this information into their system and produces a proof for you to look at. Following this, you either accept or amend the information and have a further proof made, and so it continues until you approve the proof.

All of this work takes time and effort for both parties and so obviously carries a cost; by using a templated internet system this set up work is eradicated, not only speeding up the process but also cutting costs. No matter how good your supplier is, the fact that they are re-keying your supplied information means there are many opportunities to make errors, thus slowing down the entire ordering process. When ordering your business stationery in this manner, the hope is that you pick up on any such errors at the proofing stage, but I am sure if you regularly make large orders you have had to reprint on many occasions due to errors.

I don't want to mislead you and say you can't make errors when ordering business cards online, but it does limit these errors. No one else touches the artwork, so as long as you enter the details correctly and agree with the PDF proof, what you get is what you have seen and approved. Why do simple keying errors frequently occur from your vendor? This is often due to poorly supplied or difficult to read information or simple human error.

Betterprint

At Betterprint we believe we have one of the best corporate or large volume online business card ordering systems available on the net - take a look www.betterprint.co.uk/corporate. Or, if you want to discuss your particular requirements email me at sales@betterprint.co.uk or visit  Betterprint.co.uk to view examples. I will be more than happy to help; I also welcome comments and ideas regarding print purchasing.