Your Printer, Your Partner
16 Tips On How to Find the Right Match
By Stephen R. Lett
The relationship you have with your printer can be crucial to your success. After all, your printer may be your largest unsecured vendor.
Today's printers do more than just put ink on paper. They ink-jet addresses and efficiently distribute catalogs through the mail stream across the country, often for the lowest possible costs.
When choosing a printer, price certainly is important. No cataloger should pay a large premium for the privilege of dealing with a particular printing company. Other factors, such as service, lead times and technology, should be considered.
Following are suggestions to think about the next time you get printing bids:
1. Be sure the printing company from which you solicit a bid is a catalog printer, one that prints, binds, ink-jets addresses and mails catalogs directly from its printing plant.
2. Always get at least three bids. If one is high, you'll most likely discard it. If another is low and the other two bids are considerably higher (and about the same) it could be that the printer who stands out is providing a low-ball quote just to get the work, or the printer may not understand the job specifications.
3. Match your company's culture to that of your printer's. You must be comfortable with the people and company with which you're dealing. The size of the company also should be taken into consideration. Large printers have tremendous capabilities and resources, but are they structured to provide the level of service your company needs? Sometimes bigger is not always better.
4. Can you work almost daily with a particular printer? Are you comfortable having that printer as a large creditor? Is this a company you can count on, say, five years from now? If the answers are "yes," perhaps it's time to develop an even closer working relationship with that printer.