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As a Print Buyer, what’s your LIMFAC (limiting factor)?

What holds you back as a print buyer? When the military makes plans, they consider what could hinder success. It’s referred to as the LIMFAC, or the limiting factor—the one big element or condition in a situation that you have to overcome in order to succeed.

We all run into limiting factors when we try to get things done in the workplace (or, more broadly, when we want to succeed in a career or life).

Possible limiting factors affecting print buying include:

  • Your organization: Your organization’s structure and approval processes, including who and how many people have to weigh in on print projects, may increase their cost, complexity, and opportunities for errors.  An organization’s outdated structure or business model can be a limiting factor when dealing with new customer needs or disruptions. Some business models or methods of marketers, print buyers and printers may be limiting factors in meeting new customer priorities and expectations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic (which is itself an external limiting factor).
  • Yourself: You can hinder your own success. You have ways you’re accustomed to doing things and may be reluctant to change, despite knowing that your workarounds are inefficient or ineffective.
  • Budget/resources: Everyone thinks of budgets and staffing as the ultimate limiting factors—but they don’t have to be. You could look for ways to save by increasing efficiency, reducing errors, and getting better prices and quality on your print projects.
  • Time: On projects with tight deadlines imposed by others, time is a limiting factor—but it can be mitigated by an orderly, organized project management process that prevents dropped balls and missed deadlines.
  • Your customers/clients: Whether your customers are internal or external, you can view their demands as limiting, or as a challenge to innovate and do your best work.
  • Vendors: The vendor with whom you’ve built a relationship isn’t necessarily the best one for each and every print project. Your vendor is a limiting factor if he/she doesn’t provide you with the price, quality, and service. A pool of prequalified vendors can overcome this LIMFAC.
  • Tools/software/systems: Your tools, such as your enterprise system, print management software or spreadsheets not designed for print procurement may limit your efficiency, costing you and your organization time, money, and frustration.

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