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Nov 16 2023

Print Management vs Print Provider: CFH The Print Provider

By Emma Bicknell, Campaign Manager

Choosing the right print supplier for your organisation can be challenging when the market is saturated with organisations claiming they are the right partner for you. With budgets, production capabilities, SLA agreements, location, data storage and security to consider, it’s understandable it can be difficult to know exactly what you need.

Here we break down the difference between the two types of print organisations, so when you are next looking for a print partner you know where to start.


A print management company is an organisation that purchases and manages print on your behalf.   This includes overseeing data management, monitoring processing and tracking printed output before arranging the delivery of the final product. Commonly this process involves the print management company outsourcing the actual processing, printing and delivery arrangements to a third party.

The definition of ‘print management’ is ‘the business practice of monitoring and tracking printing’, and print management organisations do just that.

The print management company therefore acts as a print organiser, sourcing the suppliers to produce the final output.


A print provider is an organisation that manages the complete process.  They take orders or contracts directly from you and are responsible for managing the processing of your data, producing the printed output in-house, arranging delivery and monitoring the progress of each order. This means that the print provider manages every element, and no third parties are involved until passed over to delivery.

The print provider therefore acts as a print partner, controlling the complete process of printed communications.


As print management organisations outsource processes, data is often passed between organisations. This means that data can be passed to different countries outside the UK and even outside the EU, meaning it is not protected by the same data protection legislation.  If the data is stored in the cloud or cloud-based solutions are used, this means that data may be leaving the EU and can be stored in America or anywhere else, worldwide.

Print providers, however, manage the entire process in-house, with their own solutions and equipment. This includes processing data which is generally only stored on their own servers at their locations and often in the country they are based in or on-premise. Print providers act as the data processor as they store and fulfil requirements, without the need to have sub-processors.

Before partnering with a print management company or print provider be sure to ask for their data processing agreements and fully understand where your data is being stored and which companies have access to it.  This is part of your responsibilities as a data controller.


At CFH we take data security extremely seriously. We work tirelessly to maintain our strict procedures for the maintenance and usage of customer data.

All customer data is stored in defined storage locations which are encrypted and only accessible to those who have a business need to access the data location. These storage locations are based at our three sites and the data securely placed here is fully encrypted once it is received from our clients. The data is held within our data retention period and securely destroyed once the usage purpose has been fulfilled.

This means that your data is not leaving the UK, in fact, it isn’t leaving one of our sites in Radstock, Windsor or Livingston.

We are ISO27001, Cyber Essential and Cyber Essentials Plus accredited and our processes are fully GDPR compliant. This allows us to demonstrate our commitment to data security and to being a trusted, reliable and secure print provider; a safe pair of hands to manage the complete process.


As part of our role as a trusted print provider, we have robust processes that set out how we CFH process, manage and use your data to create your printed output.

The CFH process manages everything for you. From receiving your order, processing the data within our impressive IT print facilities, and formatting your documents to align with your data fields, through to processing your order through our secure factory ready for final mile delivery.

Our staff are all DBS checked and receive annual training relating to data protection, cyber security and information security.  Our premises are secured by enhanced features such as perimeter fences, security doors, PIR and CCTV throughout and access to data is logged and monitored.

With our lithographic and digital print capability, in-house mail sortation and downstream access (DSA) postal service, we are able to provide clients with a complete supply chain service, from plain paper into our business to despatch to our mail partners for final delivery of the documents produced to your end user.

This ‘supply chain under one roof’ reduces lead times and risk and allows you to achieve the maximum savings across all aspects of the service as overheads are minimized whilst providing you with peace of mind that your data sits within our facilities until your documents leave the door to be dispatched.

Get in touch to find out more about print provider capabilities and how we can support you in the management and sending of your important communications here.

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