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Buyer and Printer Communication: Wandering or Guided?

Consider for a moment these two approaches to the same conversation.

Wandering Conversation:

John: Hey Sean, let’s get together for drinks after work

Sean: Great!

John: How about the Pub

Sean: Great!

John: How about 7?

Sean: Sounds great?

John: Do you want to meet up or drive together?

Sean: Let’s meet

Guided Conversation:

John: Hey Sean, I hope you are doing well! Let’s get together for drinks after today. How about 7 at the Pub? I can meet you there or pick you if you need, what do you say?

Sean: Sounds great, I’ll meet you there at 7!

Both conversations were effective. Each conversation leads to the conclusion that John and Sean were going to meet up at the Pub at 7. But, after reading each conversation, which one would you prefer if you were Sean? I’d argue that it would be the Guided Conversation based on the elimination of two things: time and uncertainty.

Imagine that each message took 5 minutes between threads. The Wandering Conversation would take a total of 40 minutes, while the Guided Conversation would take 10 minutes. A slight change in the conversation saved Sean a total of 30 minutes.

The Wandering Conversation presented far more uncertainty than the Guided Conversation. In the Wandering Conversation, Sean has no idea what is coming next. Sean’s train of thought is focused on the previous question. In the Guided Conversation, the entire plan is laid out to Sean early in the process. He sees the entire picture at once. He can make a better decision, faster and without fear of missing details, that would further extend the conversation.

Without the use of a print procurement tool, communication is often facilitated through email. This results in a lengthy and inefficient means of communicating as illustrated in the Wandering Conversation. Not surprisingly, it has even more back and forth due to the vast amount of complex information needed before a printer can even consider producing a project. Printers and print buyers alike need to transition from the Wandering Conversation way of thinking to Guided Conversations.

To accomplish this transition all of the details required to produce the finished product need to be identified. Different finished products, and even different end-uses, will require different information. As the complexity and variability of this critical communication becomes clearer, so does the reason why a means for collecting this information in a streamlined, standardized manner is so important. The faster, and more succinctly, the information is collected, the faster the project goes to press with maximum certainty that the end result will meet, or even exceed the buyer’s expectations.

eLynxx Solutions has stood behind the use of the guided communication method in procurement for decades. Now more than ever we need to cut to the chase and get to the nitty-gritty, not only for speed but also for clarity, precision, and satisfaction between print buyer and print vendor.

In both PrintGizmo and PrintLynxx, buyers are guided through each print decision based on the information required to produce the product being sought.

Take business cards for example. Once the buyer selects business cards, the software takes them right into the process of building precise specifications. The buyer is guided to determine common details like product size and orientation, quantity, sides and colors, paper stock, top coatings, and die-cutting right from the start. Back and forth emails are eliminated, the important decision to go forward with production is reached faster and a finished product, exactly as the buyer envisioned it, is delivered. 

And this is just for a common business card. Imagine moving a super-complex 10 million piece direct mail job through specification, pricing, and production with the same ease. With eLynxx software, it can, and in fact does happen, on a daily basis.

It is our responsibility as Print Procurement Specialists to effectively leverage our tools and expertise to provide our clients with an effective means of communicating with the best service possible.

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