With InstantCard, outsourcing is the most cost-effective option.
Get more options, less overhead.

When an organization is ready to produce professional plastic cards, there are just three choices:

1. Purchase and operate an in-house system
2. Contract with a local service bureau
3. Online Photo ID card service

(Most companies prefer to avoid the option of laminated cards. They find them to be flimsy, cheap-looking, and not secure.)

To figure which is most cost effective,
have a look at the typical production profile →

production profile

With an in-house system:

production profile in-house cost

Outsourcing with InstantCard:

production profile InstantCard outsource

Don’t just take our word for it.

We’ll send you a free “make-or-buy”
cost-comparison spreadsheet →

so you can crunch the numbers for yourself.

  • Industry
  • Should be Empty:

Any cost comparison should include these factors in evaluating
which solution is the best for your organization:

• Don’t simply calculate the cost of producing your initial batch of cards. Much more important is the cost and efficiency of producing the small number of cards as new individuals join, 1-by-1, in the months and years ahead.

• A 500-person company with 10% turnover per year will require 50 new Photo ID cards per year, or one a week. Producing those employee cards with an in-house system would typically cost roughly $20 per card, without counting overhead (office space, staffing, training, etc.) This cost is at least 3 to 4 times the cost of InstantCard.

• If your organization is smaller, or has multiple locations, the cost differential rises dramatically.

• While a local service bureau may be keen to produce your first 500 cards, ask yourself how responsive they are likely to be when you urgently need one single card for a new employee? Since this is InstantCard’s ONLY business, we are just as efficient and cost effective producing 1 or 1,000 cards. Beware of “small batch” charges or added per-card charges for small orders. InstantCard’s per-card charge never varies, even for a single card order.

• InstantCard’s costs are the lowest in the industry because we have optimized every single step in the ID card personalization process. We constantly refine our processes because we are entirely dedicated to the production of low-cost, low-volume photo ID cards.

• If a potential supplier also sells printers and complete systems, they will almost certainly prefer that you spend several thousand dollars up-front on hardware, because that earns them a big commission. InstantCard ONLY provides a service, we do NOT sell hardware!

• There is no minimum order size at InstantCard, and no surcharge for small orders.

• Starting out with an outsourced service involves no up-front expense. If at a later stage you decide to switch to an in-house system, you can easily and costlessly make that choice. However, making the reverse switch in the future, after having purchased a system, is much more difficult and costly.

• We guarantee that you’ll find our services fast, efficient, and courteous – or your money back!

In-House vs Outsourcing

Many companies face the question of whether to produce cards internally, or outsource their ID card production.

Click here for our chart comparing in-house and outsourcing options:

cost quality comparison chart

An important cost factor for any organization is the expected volume of card production over time. If you’d like to learn more about costs associated with various production profiles, click here.

Companies using the InstantCard online photo ID services include: