Savvy Buyers Being Let Go —Dana
Likewise, when a print buyer loses her job, what happens to the preferred printers with whom she's been working for years? Maybe the company will maintain the partnership; maybe not.
Whenever there's a changing of the guard, you can practically hear the intake of breath as commercial printers worry whether or not the new buyer(s) will keep the status quo or decide to work with other printers.
To this point, printers should be aware of the risky business of print buying these days. If I were a printer, I'd find ways to make my customers' managers (even the executive team) familiar with the work I provide to the firm.
(It's curious. For the past 18 months, buyers have been worried about which printers will "remain standing," and which will be casualties of the recession and changing trends. Now, though, the shoe's on the other foot.)
When a print buyer loses her job, she often takes with her a set of specialized skills that no one else on staff has. Print buyers work alone much of the time, dealing with a manufacturing process that no one else in the firm understands. Presumably, some printing still needs to be done, and well-developed processes and procedures may be abandoned—simply because no one other than the print buyer had ever dealt with printers.
Corporate buyers are the keepers of the details, mountains of them, that shape and define each annual report, each marketing brochure, each new product launch. When no one's left to dot i's and cross t's, mistakes are made. Costs can skyrocket.
Regardless of who is left to handle the printing, there will be a steep learning curve. I don't envy the person in the company left holding that bag.
It will be interesting to watch what happens to the print needs of companies after they lay off their print buyers. There's presumably less print to source. In some cases, according to my e-survey, the work will be reassigned to other employees: remaining print buyers, graphic designers, marketing personnel or administrative staff members. They may or may not work with the same group of printers.