Buying Print Today? Same as It Ever Was
One of my favorite things to do in this business is listen to a group of print buying professionals. Just when I’m anticipating what they’re going to say…they surprise me. It simultaneously humbles and delights me.
So it was last week during one of the sessions at PBI Boston, our one-day regional conference—or get together, or party…OK, OK, it was all three.
The last session of the day was titled, “How to Source Printing in 2012: Best Practices.” I had selected three savvy pros from different industries to share their own philosophies on the subject. They had communicated with each other a bit via email, but as far as I know, they hadn’t shared their presentations.
I certainly didn’t know what they were going to say, but considering this is 2012 and the industry is in the middle of a ginormous shake up, I figured we’d hear about new strategies for finding printers. There I sat in the front row, fingers poised over my keyboard, waiting to type every word uttered.
What they said was so shocking, it blew me away. I could barely type.
Turns out, the tried-and-true, age-old practices of print buying are still—to this day—the best and most effective ones. There were no secret apps, no “silver bullet” formulas, and no shortcutting software to turn the business of buying commercial printing into a routine, foolproof task that anyone can do.
Au contraire. You have to be mindful and detail-oriented, creative and intelligent.
Here’s what we learned about sourcing print from these pros:
1) Buyers need to know their clients.
Who are you producing/sourcing for? What matters to them? Getting to know them is half the battle. Get inside their heads and make sure you appreciate what will make them happy in terms of the results.