Your relationship with your print suppliers should be strong and cohesive. After all, your printer may be your largest vendor in terms of dollars spent annually. Your printer is important to your business, and you should view it as your company’s business partner.
When deciding on a printer, price certainly is important. No direct marketer should pay a large premium for the privilege of dealing with a particular printing company. But there are other factors, such as service, lead times and technology, that should be taken into consideration. In this article, I’ll offer tips for maximizing your relationship with your printer.
Most direct marketers shop by price when obtaining printing bids, but there are other factors to consider as well. Naturally, we expect printers to be competitive, and most are generally within 5 percent of one another. Following are strategies for the next time you solicit printing bids:
• Be sure the printing companies from which you receive bids are experienced in printing the types of jobs you’ll require of them.
• Always get bids from at least three printers. It could be that all three proposals will come out about the same. If one bid is high, most likely you’ll discard it. If one bid is low, and the other two bids are considerably higher (and about the same) it could be that the printer that stands out is providing a low-ball quote to get the work, or it may not understand the specifications.
• Match your company’s culture to that of your printer. You must be comfortable with the people and company you’re dealing with frequently. Companies generally prefer doing business with companies they can identify with culturally. Also, consider the size of the printing company. The very large printing companies have tremendous capabilities and resources, but whether they’re structured to provide the level of service your company needs is the question. Sometimes bigger isn’t always better.