Nearly all of our clients evaluate whether they should print their own ID cards, on specialized in-house printers, or use an outsourced service like InstantCard. This involves a number of considerations, including delays, quality, technology, staffing, and of course costs. Just like “make-or-buy” decisions in so many areas, there is a strong trend toward outsourcing non mission-critical activities. But even so, the cost of outsourcing must be financially justified.

In order to help our customers evaluate the costs of making their own badges, vs using an outsourced service, we have developed a sophisticated financial model encompassing all the costs of each alternative, over a 3-year time horizon. The model has been continually refined and updated over the past four years, and we just released version 6. The excel spreadsheet contains an assumptions sheet, where users can plug in their own numbers (company size, labor rates, equipment costs, etc.). It then calculates the costs under the two scenarios for a single site, and for multiple sites (when a company has a number of remote field offices requiring badges).

If you are considering whether it makes more sense for your company or agency to produce cards in-house, or to outsource, then you should definitely request a copy of the financial model. Just send a request to [email protected] Best of all, there’s no charge.