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ASPs--Solving Age-old Problems

May 2000

The Problem:
How can independent printers continue to compete against consolidators, which enjoy better marketplace buying power?

This was the question Mark Ravida and others at Broudy Printing in Pittsburgh were asking themselves.

As an independently owned, commercial printing company, Broudy faces the same survival predicament other independent printers are faced with in a consolidator-dominated industry.

The Solution:
Broudy Printing turned to in order to form an alliance with other independ-ently owned printing companies. comprises a group of independent printers

that have banded together to develop for themselves the same buying everage that only consolidators used to enjoy, according to Jay Rogers, executive vice president at Printeralliance. negotiates rebates in areas such as film, paper, insurances, telecommunications and waste removal, he says. "For any procurement area that printers are budgeting for, we are putting together national programs, so that printers can enjoy a national position and collective buying power that our members need to compete."

For management at Broudy Printing, was exactly the alliance they were looking for in the industry. "It was an opportunity for us to improve our buying power, and there was no risk to us," Ravida says.

Currently, Broudy is using to purchase paper. However, Ravida expects to take advantage of other rebates offered through the Website in the future. "Right now, we are receiving rebates on paper, which has helped us be a little more competitive."

And being able to stay competitive with consolidators will mean that independently owned printers will continue to thrive in the marketplace. "This kind of approach is going to help ensure that the American way of life—owning your own company—continues," concludes Ravida. "It's just one way to help make our business stronger."

The Problem:
How do you ensure better communication among printers, clients and designers while lowering your administrative costs?

This is exactly what David Podmayersky, vice president of Applied Printing—based in Moonachie, NJ, just outside of New York City—has been able to do since signing up with

The Solution:
Noosh is a business-to-business print management network that enables printing jobs to be created, quoted and submitted over the Internet. And once a job has been procured, it can then be managed through by the client and printer, according to Ned Gibbons, market development manager for Noosh.

A printer using this streamlined supply chain gains greater accountability, a reduction of rework expenses, savings on administrative costs and the standardization of information for the printer and the buyer, Gibbons says.

And Applied Printing is already reaping the rewards of using, reveals Podmayersky. "At this point, we are looking at reducing some of our staffing requirements. There are some layers of client support that we can reduce, because we can have fewer people do more as a result of an online system."

But it's not only the savings in administrative staff that Applied Printing has garnered as a result of Applied Printing has also seen the Internet-based service improve the capabilities of its sales staff.

"They can sign onto any computer anywhere and get instant access to all the activity that is paired to their client and their account. To us, that is a huge advantage."

The Future:
The consensus among Wilkerson, Ravida and Podmayersky is that Internet-based, e-commerce solutions can be of great value to any printer. They can use the speed, efficiency and communication ability of the Web to help them open up new markets, increase their buying power, streamline their workflow and much, much, more. "It's another tool that printers can use to get work," Ravida concludes.



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