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August, 2012

The 7 Most important questions to ask before you manufacture your discs!

Source: Kelly Warren, Vancouver
Publication date: August 3, 2012
As the music and video retail market continues to evolve, artists are searching new ways of creating income. I think it’s very important to pay attention to the physical products as there is a large opportunity for extra revenue streams. These are the collectibles and memorabilia that your fans can take home with them that creates lasting memories and may be of great value in the future. Even though retail is in decline, there is still strong growth in CD and DVD sales for live events as collectors items.  Vinyl is still surging and we are “literally” doing a ton of it! 

After 10 years of manufacturing, I wanted to share my experience to save you time and disappointment on your important projects.

I have compiled the TOP 7 questions to ask your manufacturer BEFORE you place your trust and your order with them to ensure success!

# 1) Is your glass mastering “in house”?

Many plants outsource stampers for their manufacturing lines, this can damage your masters as they are redirected from the “plant” to their mastering facility in some instances, over 2000 miles away.  This also can cause delays to your project.

# 2) Do you have a secure, environmentally controlled clean room for your manufacturing lines?

If your discs are produced in an unsecured environment, or near an open bay door, millions of particles of dust are being embedded in the molded plastic that make your discs. As the read laser passes over these particles, it increases the probability of jitter and digital distortion in your product; not to mention particles of dust and paper in the final packaging areas, making your new merchandise look like a resale item. Can the plant also ensure Anti-piracy and security measures are in place so that the general public isn’t allowed to wander in and out of the shipping and packaging areas? It’s of the utmost importance that the manufacturer you choose has a clean room and a secure operation. This avoids the risks to your valued product. You need the confidence to know that the plant you are dealing with is an appropriate partner for your business.

# 3) How many production lines do you have? How old is the equipment?

Plants with a couple of 2nd hand manufacturing lines are capable of getting the job done, but it’s always a risk. If there is an issue such as a machine going off line, production grinds to a halt and that means your project is delayed! Period! Make sure you use a manufacturer who has multiple lines of BluRay, DVD or CD and maintains their equipment regularly. This way your project can easily be moved to a backup line if there is an issue which will ensure no delays in your important order.

# 4) Do you have full time in-house technicians for maintenance of your production and print lines?

Daily upkeep on replication lines or printers from a certified technician is imperative. This avoids potential problems, safeguards the lines and guarantees an immediate response to any challenges. If this is outsourced, a part or a technician may take days to arrive. Make sure your manufacturer has the trained able bodied staff on the payroll to avoid these delays.

# 5) Is your printing staff certified?

Not just any one can run a printer or a replication line successfully with the highest quality results.  Putting your project in the hands of an unskilled or uncertified operator, can mean the difference between amazing results of success or devastating failure. You have worked many hours to get your project to this stage, so make sure that the staff at the plant have been trained properly and are experts in their field.

# 6) Can I talk to an experienced sales person or customer service rep at any time?

Having access to the staff that runs your orders is of utter importance when choosing a manufacturing partner. If you are tired of getting an answering machine or a voicemail box it’s time to move on to someone who values your business and time.

# 7) Is your sales person an expert or an order taker?

Having a manufacturer who truly understands the product, its specifications for mastering and how it is used, is money in your pocket. Don’t get stuck with an uneducated order taker who only has the minimum skills to deliver the least amount of value (i.e. just a product).  A good manufacturer should be able to suggest ways of using the products to maximize their effectiveness, save you money, and discuss ways to increase your profits.

The questions listed above are of the utmost importance to you as a customer and you have the right to ask!

In my many years of being in the manufacturing business, I have experienced a lot of incompetent and outstanding standards in glass mastering, maintenance, production and customer service. I hope that by providing you with the check list above, it will help you to avoid the common issues associated with optical disc manufacturing and give you a hand up when choosing your preferred suppliers.

Kelly Warren is CEO and Co-Founder of Pressing-Media, an eco-friendly factory direct manufacturer. You might find him playing bass and singing loudly at events on any given Friday!

Call today for an expert opinion regarding “Your Pressing Needs”

Toll-Free: 1-800-511-8171 x 101 or email: sales@pressing-media.com