IndustryEye: Catalogers’ Updates, People on the Move & Letter to the Editor
This is hardly worth the time and risk of being disadvantaged by a broker or merchant with respect to pricing, handling charges the printer rightfully may impose, along with storage and inventory costs. Paper through printers at less than multithousand-ton levels makes sense. The old saw that printers are predatory when it comes to paper prices (to their customers) is most often not true, as evidenced by the number of them closing their doors and the rest often featuring dismal profit levels.
I believe your article was not great advice.
The Author’s Response
I appreciate and respect the opinion offered by Mr. Ophoff from Abitibi, a paper manufacturer. I wrote my article for the end user, i.e., the cataloger, and not from a paper supplier’s point of view. I don't believe Abitibi manufactures papers in the No. 5 through No. 3 range that most catalogers use. It produces primarily uncoated and SCA paper (usually bought by catalogers in the “multi thousand tons” area).
The 2 percent discount isn’t commonly offered on these types of paper. If someone offered you a $900 savings on a $30,000 car, would you take it? I'd think every dollar would count, especially for smaller mailers. The extra paper inventory can be good, because it can be rolled into subsequent jobs if you use the same paper.
It’s not worth buying your own paper on such a small order, as he is suggesting. The barrier should probably be closer to 500,000 lbs. to consider buying your own.
Stephen R. Lett,