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Print Confessions

By Graphic Arts Professionals

About Print

Print Confessions is brought to you by Bill Farquharson and Kelly Mallozzi. Each week, read the thoughts of a different graphic arts professional who will share a point of view that can only be written anonymously, and then join in the conversation by posting a comment.

How to Get an Appointment with a Print Buyer

As a print buyer for a marketing company, I appreciate the fact that it’s important to be available and open to meeting new vendors. With a busy schedule and deadlines to meet, it’s not always easy to accommodate requests for appointments, but I strongly feel that it’s important to be open to new vendors relationships. It’s an important part of my job in making sure that me and my clients are open to all the resources available in the print arena.

My first contact from new vendors is generally by phone. I usually ask that an introductory email be sent restating the person’s name, with a brief description of the company he/she is representing, a website address and, most importantly, a list of equipment and capabilities. Getting information about certifications (ex. FSC and G7) your company has earned is important information as well. In addition, any references that can be provided are a plus when sending over the company’s bona fides.

Once the information is received, my goal is to respond to inquiries within 24 hours. I will provide more information about my company, including our website address, and information about the type of printing I and my company buy and what we’re looking for in a prospective partnership with a new vendor. 

If the vendor’s capabilities are compatible with needs that we have, then I’ll ask for samples to be sent to me for review. These samples are then reviewed by the entire print buying team. Getting samples ahead of time is a plus, so we can review them internally; this gives the team a chance to have a frank, round table discussion and decide if we want to invite the vendor in for further dialogue.

Once the equipment and capability list have been reviewed and samples received, we will then bring the vendor in for a brief appointment to further discuss the company and to see if we can work together to meet the needs of our clients.

This process may seem lengthy and cumbersome, but it ensures that the prospective vendor is thoroughly vetted on our side, and gives the vendor a chance to know more about us as a company as well. 

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