Directed-to-Buy Paper Rolls Over Printers
Do you have confidence that they’re going to take care of you, or do you feel like you’re liable to be thrown under the bus at the drop of a hat so the unknown, out-of-town merchant can protect itself with the “real customer”—the end-user.
And if you are the red-headed stepchild of this twisted arrangement, what happens when the paper arrives out-of-spec or doesn’t run and you have to file a claim with the mill? Don’t worry about who is issuing the purchase orders and writing the checks, you’re NOT the customer. And consequently, you lack the leverage to facilitate a fair resolution.
As for the “real customers,” their deals are so much better than yours that the merchant needs to put an extra $6/cwt on top to obfuscate the “real” price. Because mill tolerances are +/- 3 percent, you can count on payingmore rather than less. And remember, no marking this up to compensate for the time value of your money.
Then, what happens when you’ve finished that job and you have a roll-and-a-half remaining? Will the merchant pick it up, or even refund the $6/cwt premium? Nope, that’s now yours, and it’s your most expensive inventory!
Good luck using it, because you normally use Mill Y and the this stock came from Mill X. Your products won’t match, so maybe you can makeready on your most expensive inventory to burn it up. When I say “it,” of course I mean “your money.”
End-users: If you want control over the paper you consume, please supply it yourselves, or simply specify what you want to a reputable and trusted vendor partner. Heck, you can even come check the labels and join us for a beer at Shotzee’s between press forms.
And merchants: If you’re going to sell directed-to-buy programs, and if we printers need to accept them, why not make them pleasant, easy and—here’s a thought—profitable for all? Why not do what the folks in Olathe, KS, do on the Sprint account and be proactive about it. Add some value.
A third-generation printer, Dustin LeFebvre delivers his vision for Specialty Print Communications as EVP, Marketing through strategy, planning and new product development. With a rich background ranging from sales and marketing to operations, quality control and procurement, Dustin takes a wide-angle approach to SPC