Equipment Lists — Still an Important Tool for Print Buyers
One of the fun parts of my job is to reveal what print buyers think. And sometimes their views surprise print suppliers (and therefore provide me with a modicum of job security). This was the case last week when I asked printers and print buyers separately about the value of printers’ equipment lists.
Most printers believe that, on average, print buyers are less educated than they used to be. While that may be the case, it’s also assumed that today’s print buyer doesn’t have much knowledge of print equipment or isn’t as interested in a printer’s equipment list.
According to last week’s Print Buyers Online.com survey of 91 top print buyers, that assumption is incorrect. When we asked the question, “When considering a prospective print supplier, how much do you rely on a printer’s equipment list?,” 76% of print buyers said: “I think printers’ equipment lists can be very useful in understanding what a printer specializes in and its limitations.”
One print buyer said “I require it when considering a printer. No List, don’t bother.” Another concurred by saying “I think it’s pretty difficult to qualify a new printer for a specific job without it. I don’t want to place a web mailer with a sheetfed-only printer, and in-house finishing capabilities (or lack thereof) can have tremendous impact on costs. I’ve known print salespeople who will accept virtually any job and farm out those that don’t fit the plant. I’d prefer to know where my job is printed and on what type of equipment so I can control the outcome and the printer I’ve contracted can control the schedule.”
Interestingly, when we asked print suppliers in a separate quick poll if they thought equipment lists are important to print buyers, only 30% thought that buyers found the lists “very useful.” The majority thought that print buyers didn’t find equipment lists to be useful.
So now that you know that print buyers believe that equipment lists are an important tool, you can raise the value of your own equipment lists. Start by adding some commentary in the list that explains what types of jobs are a good fit for each piece of equipment or the benefit of the technology.
Still don’t believe that print buyers know that much about equipment? Then put yourself to work by educating your clients one-on-one. It’s a great opportunity to create value.
What are your thoughts?