Press Checks: Time & Travel

March 10, 2009

Below are the results of Print Buyers Weekly Quick Poll survey, which encourages our print buyer and supplier members to share their thoughts on issues that affect our industry.

Print Buyers Poll:

On average, how far will you travel for a press check?

a) I don’t conduct onsite press checks — 7%
b) I only go to press checks if the company is local (within a 50 mile radius) — 40%
c) I conduct press checks both locally as well as nationally — 46%
d) Most of my press checks are long distance (either national or international) — 7%

(54 major print buyers participated in this Quick Poll survey.)

Print Suppliers Poll:

On average, how long do your customers spend on an onsite press check?

a) Under 1 hour — 67%
b) 1 to 3 hours — 20%
c) 3 to 6 hours — 0%
d) Over 6 hours — 13%

(15 major print suppliers participated in this Quick Poll survey.)

Comments from survey participants:

“Boy, I wish my clients had the budget to send me to press checks internationally; I’d find a great printer in Tahiti! But seriously, unless the job is absolutely color-critical or is very complex, it is rarely worth traveling more than an hour or two for a press check. That’s why developing a relationship with a trusted print rep is so important. If you trust your rep, you can trust them to oversee the non-color-critical/not-overly-complex jobs without a press check.” Candace, CRG Creative

“Although many buyers have given up press checking, I still feel it adds value. A buyer can work with the printer to achieve nuances and improvements of color that might not have been achieved if the buyer had not been present. As a manager of buyers, I like to see my buyers go to printing plants. There is always something to learn, no matter how experienced the buyer. The buyer may have direct contact with principals, behind-the-scenes production personnel, and others that they would not normally have contact with. This gives them a broader vision of how a plant operates both on a technical level and from a business standpoint. If I attend a press proofing, I always try to make the most of the opportunity to learn more about the company, their take on the business environment, their newest technology and improvements they are contemplating. I find that it keeps me attuned to the print industry in a way that sitting in an office does not allow.” Dorothy Hirshman, VP, Director of Print Production, OppenheimerFunds, Inc.

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