Buying a Printer vs Outsourcing to a Print Service


Buy vs outsourcing your printing

There are different options when it comes to having your staff ID cards printed, and it all depends on your requirements. If you own a printer, you can print as and when you need, providing convenience for your company. Alternatively, if you outsource your ID cards using our in-house ID card printing service, we will do all the work for you and deliver your ID cards to your doorstep.

When choosing which option is more suitable for your business’s plastic ID cards, it is essential to learn the advantages and disadvantages in order to make an informed decision about your plastic card printing.

Buying an ID card printer

If ID card printing is a regular necessity for your business or establishment, you may benefit from purchasing an ID card printer. There is a variety of printers available for printing plastic cards, and you can choose from a range of specifications to suit your needs. From affordable, compact options to high-end high-quality ID card printers, we have a range of models available for your business. Our desktop ID card printers have a small footprint, perfect for use within a reception or office environment.

The HiTi plastic card printer bundle – which includes encoding technologies and also comes with accessories you need to get started – is one of our recommended affordable printer options. The IDP Smart 31 offers fast, full colour prints in under 30 seconds, and is a great option for purchasing a low-cost, high-value colour ID card printer, ensuring you can print your plastic cards on a budget.

If your budget stretches that little bit further or you have more complex requirements, the Magicard 300 or 600 are both excellent options for getting your ID cards printed on demand. Magicard printers benefit from HoloKote®, a special feature that allows you to print transparent watermarks onto your plastic printed cards to improve security and reduce the risk of cloning or replication of your ID cards.

We have a range of high end printers for those with high-volume complex requirements, such as the Evolis Primacy 2. The Evolis Primacy 2 includes many useful features such as encoding options, perfect for producing contactless smart technology cards that can be used with access control systems. Another handy feature is Evolis’ Kineclipse®. This feature erases all data from the ribbon to eliminate the risk of a data breach and ensures your business’s ID card printing stays within GDPR regulations.

To ensure your colour ID printers continues working in an optimal condition, we also offer a range of consumables such as genuine ribbons and cleaning products. Using branded consumables will increase your printer’s lifespan and improve printing quality.

Technical support for ID card printers

Additionally, if you need assistance with your printer, we offer technical support through our annual technical support plan, IDAssist. When you purchase IDAssist, you can have access to priority support over email, phone, as well as a whole range of additional benefits.

Printing consumables

You may also want to source some plastic cards to use with your ID card printer. Here at ID Card Centre, we have a wide variety of plastic cards.

Rewriteable plastic cards are for use with rewritable printers. These cards can be pre-printed in full colour and then personalised in black or blue using a thermo-sensitive material that turns visible or vanishes depending on the temperature applied by the printer. These are ideal for use with visitor management systems.

You can also use printable access control cards to provide your staff with ID whilst allowing them access to managed areas. These cards can be disabled from the system if they are lost, stolen or not returned when someone leaves the company. Access control gives organisations the security and flexibility they need. Access can be restricted by area or even by time – only allowing access to users during certain hours.

Standard PVC plastic cards are made to last indefinitely, so if you are looking to remain sustainable, a more eco-friendly ID card option are biodegradable FOTODEK cards. Biodegradable cards perform in exactly the same way as a standard white card, but will decompose into compost over a period of three years. Suitable for any type of printing, you can print your own ID cards or for a professional look, ID Card Centre can pre-print your background design for you to personalise – or if you only need a small print run, we can print and personalise the whole lot.

Whilst there are many benefits to purchasing a printer for your business, if you only need a small number of ID cards printed on an adhoc basis, you may find it more beneficial to outsource your printing to an ID card printing service.

Outsourcing your ID card printing

For those who do not regularly require plastic card printing or who only need a small volume of cards, outsourcing your printing to a dedicated ID card printing service reduces any unnecessary costs. Here at ID Card Centre, our in-house printing service is run by an expert bureau team who combine experience with knowledge to produce ID cards suited to your requirements – and we can also encode your cards for use for access control systems or contactless technology.

To place an order, all you need to do is contact us with details such as the quantity of printed plastic cards required and a few other details. Our team will then get to work on printing and encoding your cards ready for use in your building. We are a genuine and authorised supplier of all major manufacturers of smart cards.

Or, if you already know what you need and are ready to place your order, all you need to do is visit our online card builder. Once you have put in all the details and uploaded your artwork, we can provide you with an instant quote, and your freshly printed ID cards could be with you in as little as 1-2 working days.

If your requirements are a little more complex, get in touch with a member of our expert team who would be happy to assist and advise you.

For those who do not have a design, you can provide our expert bureau team with branding and a vision for the artwork and they will work with you to produce a professional ID card design that suits your business.

We understand that bulk ordering isn’t the best option for every business. Here at ID card centre, we’re pleased to offer a printed card call-off option which allows you to place an order for cards and then simply call them off as and when you need them – improving efficiency whilst saving you money by being able to issue new employees or members with cards much faster.

Accessories for ID cards

When it comes to displaying your printed plastic cards, we can help you select some suitable products from our wide range of accessories. From personalised lanyards to card holders in a range of colours, you can choose from many products to compliment your ID cards and give your business a professional look.

We have a variety of lanyards including plain lanyards, available in a range of colours for a simple and affordable option. You can also choose pre-printed lanyards with noticeable printing, such as ‘staff’ or ‘visitor’. Alternatively, you can give the lanyards your company’s own personal touch by printing your logo onto them. Bespoke printed lanyards contribute to the professional look of your ID card.

We have many options for cardholders, ideal for attaching to lanyards. We sell plastic rigid cardholders in a variety of colours, including open faced card holders and enclosed ones, so you can match your branding perfectly. If you would use a clear pouch to display your ID cards, we sell a variety of soft vinyl wallets. If none of these options suit you, you can also attach slot-punched ID cards directly to your lanyards.

Whether you decide to purchase a printer or outsource your printing for your requirements, ID Card Centre can ensure you get the printed plastic cards you need. With a range of high-quality ID card printers and a speedy ID card printing service, we will work with you to provide professional ID cards with a suitable design to meet your company’s needs. If you require more advice or would like to contact a member of our team, please do not hesitate to get in touch. One of our friendly team members would be happy to assist you with your options.