"Some people like to order paper early (re: hoard)," notes the printing exec. "We discourage that practice because there is a cost to doing business that way. I believe people who buy and use paper as they need it come out ahead of the game in the long run."
The opposite behavior is the only cause for availability concerns, Orndorff adds. "Some people have fallen into bad habits in the last two years. This includes waiting until the last minute to buy paper and expecting to turn it really quick. If people would follow the rule of allowing six to eight weeks for delivery of good paper, there is not going to be any problem with availability," he asserts.
The Perry Judd's exec has also noticed a broader change in print buyer behavior during the current downturn in the market and general economy. "In the past, when there was good paper availability at declining prices, buyers upgraded the stocks they used," he says. "Today, they continue to look for the best deal and frequently downgrade their choice of stocks. Publishers and catalogers used to try to come in on budget for the year, but now they want to come in under budget. They're banking any paper savings rather than investing it in a stock upgrade."
Paper buyers looking for a bargain, or those just interested in adding a new source to their list, can find a growing volume of paper offered online. One of the more unique sources is Go2Paper, which enables printers (as well as traditional paper suppliers) to market their excess paper inventories to other printers and print buyers.
Sellers can utilize the Website's (www.go2paper.com) general "Paper Marketplace" or establish a "Private Web" with password-controlled access. Mail-Well Inc. recently signed up for the latter option, joining such recognized names as RR Donnelley and Quebecor World.