Five tips when changing printers

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1. Do your homework. Compare printers on apples-to-apples issues, ask a lot of questions and get as much input as possible from those most affected by a change.

2. Interview the customer service representatives at the printers under consideration. "A good customer service rep is priceless," said Rich Zweiback, corporate director of manufacturing at Lebhar-Friedman.

3. Satisfy all concerns. Processes, cycle time, plant capabilities (and limitations) shouldn't be worries once you sign on the dotted line, said Marie Myers, senior VP-manufacturing at CMP Technology.

4. Study a printer's financials. Is the company stable? How much money is going into improvements? What kinds of improvements? Has it shut down plants recently? What plant would handle your work?

5. Be wary. Try to discover all potential fees that could appear on your bill as well as printer expectations on price upswings in general.

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