Most people have tried laminated cards, which they quickly find to be flimsy, cheap-looking, and unsecure.

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

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 to use our interactive MAKE V. BUY tools →

Cost Comparison Financial ModelAn 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.

We have developed a detailed financial model to help you “run the numbers”. The model allows you to input your own unique parameters to evaluate which approach makes the most financial sense for your organization. If you’d like a copy of this excel model, so that you can enter your data to compare in-house vs. outsourcing, just send us an email request.

Click here for further information on guidelines.