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President, Print Oasis Print Buyers Conference

Connecting with Print Buyers

By Suzanne Morgan

About Suzanne

Suzanne Morgan is president of the annual Print Oasis Print Buyers Conference (www.printoasis.com) and Print Buyers Online.com, a free educational e-community for print buyers and their print suppliers (www.printbuyersonline.com). PBO has more than 11,000 members who buy $13 billion a year in printing. PBO conducts weekly research on buying trends and teaches organizations how to work more effectively with their print suppliers.

 

Getting a Fair Price: Print Buyers’ Misunderstandings About Pricing

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Many print buyers become frustrated with new printers and suppliers when the price on the final invoice of a job has increased drastically from the initial quote. Some print buyers, after having experienced this with several new suppliers, may suspect that printers are unscrupulous and are attempting to gouge them. Certainly, printers who charge excessively for unwanted overs only add to this perception.

However, a huge increase over the quoted price is often due to poor communication about the specifications of a print project. It’s likely that the customer is not communicating the job specifications accurately or completely. Moreover, most customers bid sheets or Request for Quotations (RFQ) fail to capture the total expectations of a print project, including the sometimes difficult task of communicating quality expectations.

In addition, the workflow between customers and their print solution providers is expected to have become more streamlined with the print supplier understanding the customer’s workflow for proofing and approval, for instance. The problem is that it takes time to learn the nuances of a new customers’ workflow and quality expectations. Often a print providers’ success relies on how open the customer is to providing information beyond basic specifications.

To be more successful with new customers, you have to become more adept at asking questions about the goals of a project, quality expectations and the customers’ workflow. Also consider giving your customers feedback on whether or not they are providing accurate and complete specifications and instructions for their jobs. Provide some suggestions on how to do it better.

What’s been your experience in working with new customers? Please use the “Post a Comment” feature below to share your thoughts on pricing.

www.PrintBuyersOnline.com

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COMMENTS

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Most Recent Comments:
Elliot Thostesen - Posted on October 19, 2007
There is no excuse for suprising a customer on an invoice. Other than items like prepress problems and or schedule changes, the price originally stated should be the invoiced amount. Rush delivery schedules, print run overs, prepress alterations or file problems all should be confirmed and understood prior to any work beginning. As a former buyer, if it was not confirmed in the bid or during the production process it would not be accepted and payment would be witheld. These problems are the result of poor execution in either the selling process or the communication process between the plant and the sales representative. Communication is the key to keeping this from being a problem
Click here to view archived comments...
Archived Comments:
Elliot Thostesen - Posted on October 19, 2007
There is no excuse for suprising a customer on an invoice. Other than items like prepress problems and or schedule changes, the price originally stated should be the invoiced amount. Rush delivery schedules, print run overs, prepress alterations or file problems all should be confirmed and understood prior to any work beginning. As a former buyer, if it was not confirmed in the bid or during the production process it would not be accepted and payment would be witheld. These problems are the result of poor execution in either the selling process or the communication process between the plant and the sales representative. Communication is the key to keeping this from being a problem