A number of organizations spend 5% and more of their revenues on direct mail, print marketing, and POPs. For these organizations, their marketing efforts and sales are dependent on printed materials. The amount of money spent can be in the millions, tens of millions, or even hundreds of millions.
Yet the tools used in procuring and managing this huge chunk of print procurement – even by seasoned print buyers – can be lacking and ineffective. Many buyers agree on the goals of getting quality delivered on-time and at the best price. The problem is that too few have time to improve the process of obtaining this printing with updated tools, software, and procedures.
A starting point can include these first steps.
Identify and qualify vendors
Find multiple printers that are qualified to produce each type of work you need. Then take time to build a good working relationship with each. This protects you from being left in the lurch when a favored vendor experiences a strike, equipment breakdown, fire, emergency or an unexpected financial disaster. It also helps to know that the price you are being charged is competitive in the marketplace.
Write clear and complete specifications
Even a small change in specifications can give one vendor a massive advantage over others and a license to, well, overcharge. That’s why it is a good idea to have more than one set of eyes review specifications. There are countless variables that can make a big difference in quality, delivery, and price. Some for the better. Some for the worse. Things like size, paper, colors and types of ink and coatings, project components, binding, logistics, and so much more. Small things can mean a lot.
Estimate the project first for budgeting, then bid the job for best price
Ideally, you want pricing from a number of qualified vendors. This can be tricky. Sending a pricing request to too many printers can cause chaos without the correct tools. Then determining which printer should get the job requires more than intuition. And all of this takes time which is in short supply for many print buyers.
Try bidding instead of negotiation
There is nothing wrong with negotiation. But it is time-consuming. And it is a game you can win or lose. Combining jobs into a bulk pricing agreement is not necessarily the least expensive way to procure printing. Bulk pricing agreements force the favored printer to charge its highest prices in order to service the buyer whenever the buyer needs work – whether the printer is busy or not at that time. Of course, printers do not talk this way.
Take advantage of open production capacity
Just as hotels, airlines, and paper manufacturers all discount their prices in order to fill unsold rooms, seats, and tonnage, printers offer deeply discounted pricing to fill unsold production capacity. Taking advantage takes something of which print buyers are in short supply – time and energy – to save real money.
Get Expert Assistance from eLynxx
Even the most experienced print buyer can benefit from eLynxx Solutions. There is no need to change everything or even anything. That’s up to the print buyer. What eLynxx offers is a little help, broad experience, some services and powerful software that can be tailored to your exacting requirements.
Whether you want improved requisitioner and printer communication, less confusion, fewer headaches and change orders, better quality, or just lower pricing, there are ways that eLynxx can assist you. And all without disruption.
Here are some examples.
eLynxx can identify and qualify a pool of vendors for your approval
eLynxx can help you generate friendly but fierce competition among your very own vendors
eLynxx can assist you to write clear, concise and exacting specifications for even the most difficult of your offerings
eLynxx can solve your communication and process hangups
And most importantly, eLynxx can provide the printing industry’s gold standard for purpose-built print management software. To help you get control, visibility, instant reporting and so much more.
For information or a free demonstration, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Or 717-709-0990.
Mike isn’t just the Director of Marketing at eLynxx Solutions – he’s a customer-whisperer, a growth alchemist, and a trend-spotting oracle all rolled into one. His passion lies in igniting interest in eLynxx’s innovative solutions, fueling the company’s customer base, and using client feedback to steer the industry towards a brighter future.