Could you achieve more from your print buying if you stopped getting three quotes for every job?

Friday night is curry night

Martin always goes for a curry on a Friday night.  Martin always goes to the same curry house.  And he always chooses lamb saag. It has never occurred to Martin to go for a pizza, or fish and chips, or a Thai or a Chinese.  It has never occurred to him to try a korma or a jalfrezi or a tandoori.  Martin has never even wanted to try a different curry house. Martin knows what he likes.  He is comfortable with it.  Some might say that he is a bit too comfortable and a bit too set in his ways.

Could you achieve more from your print buying if you stopped getting three quotes for every job?

Could you achieve more from your print buying if you stopped getting three quotes for every job?

Sometimes print buyers can be a bit too set in their ways

Many print buyers consider that they have tested the market sufficiently for their jobs by asking for prices from three different suppliers.  The suppliers typically come from a small group of “preferred suppliers”.  Print buyers could achieve so much more. There are three reasons why obtaining three prices means that buyers don’t achieve as much as they might:

  1. You don’t know if you are really using the right print supplier
  2. You never challenge your existing suppliers
  3. Your existing suppliers get used to your pricing

You don’t know if you are really using the right print supplier

Most suppliers have something different from their competition in their plant list.  Or a supplier has a different way of doing things.  So are you really sure that you have chosen the right three suppliers to quote? Is there a supplier out there who could print your job in a more efficient way?  Do you know your print suppliers really, really well?  Do you understand their processes?  Are you an expert on print equipment? Are you absolutely certain that the printer who wins your job is the right one? Sometimes it is worth looking for new printers.  This way of challenging your current suppliers can be worthwhile.

You never challenge your suppliers

Challenging your suppliers can bring great results.  You don’t have to challenge them with alternative printers.  Instead you can ask them to do things differently.  For instance you can ask them to split out the paper cost.  Or you can ask them to suggest an alternative specification.  You need to get them to sit up and take notice of you. But you will not achieve this just by asking them for a quote and hoping for the best.  If you don’t challenge suppliers they can become very complacent.  And one way in which suppliers become complacent is with price.

Your suppliers become used to your pricing

If you always use the same pool of suppliers to get three quotes for every job then they become used to what you want.  More worryingly, they get used to what they can get away with.  Changing things challenges them.  They are challenged to make sure they are giving you competitive quotes.  They are challenged to make sure they are producing your work in the most efficient way.

So how can you challenge your suppliers?

  1. Invite new suppliers to quote.  Try some new suppliers who contact you, or try researching some alternative suppliers and contacting them yourself
  2. If you have some new suppliers ask for more than three quotes for a job sometimes
  3. Sometimes less is more.  Try pricing a job with one supplier only.  This is the ultimate challenge to make sure that you have really thought about if you have chosen the right supplier

Make sure that you try some new things with your suppliers

Don’t become too comfortable or set in your ways. Otherwise you might end up eating exactly the same curry every Friday night.

================================================================
P.S.  If you have found this article useful, you may also be interested in Print & Procurement’s practical purchasing workshopClick here to find out more

Enhanced by Zemanta

5 Responses to Could you achieve more from your print buying if you stopped getting three quotes for every job?

  • Pingback: Have you ever given your print company the Supplier Challenge? | printandprocurement.co.uk

  • Pingback: Why sexiprint prevents you from using your purchasing skills | printandprocurement.co.uk

  • Absolutely spot on Matthew! We seen 20%+ savings by challenging incumbent suppliers – same supplier, same spec, same terms – just buying better. Some buyers rely on close relationships with suppliers and are nervous of change, but its a critical part of the role. Evaluating new suppliers, comparing prices in order to reduce cost, minimise risk, maintain improve quality, achieve CSR requirements etc can be quick and easy, given the right approach (and the right tools).

  • Nick Johns says:

    Matthew, there is also another reason why some buyers obtain three quotes it’s because sometimes they have to justify internally that they have carried out due dillegence when obtaining a quotation or looking for a supplier so in theory you’re right, some buyers don’t possibly achieve as much as they might.

    As an organisation who sells and buys print/media, we are very much aware that we have to consistently add value to our existing clients and demonstrate a value add proposition to prospects we meet.

    We try our very best not to let an organisations procurement department challange us, we are proactive in identifying ways of constantly adding value to their business whether it’s introduction of innovative technology which improves business processess and systems or continuing to look at areas where we can drive document print costs out of their businesses.

    • Matthew Parker says:

      That’s a fair point Nick. But ideally, they could approach three suppliers for a matrix or pricing for standard jobs so that they don’t have to go to three suppliers for every single job.
      Thanks for raising this
      Matthew

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Free Buying Advice
Download the E book

Download "Ten Common Print Buying Errors and What To Do About Them" (worth £25/$41) absolutely free, and receive regular practical articles on print buying.

Client Testimonial

I have worked with Matthew for just over a year now and he has delivered a number of highly successful training events for the IPIA during that time. He is very organised and produces seminars which are full of

Read the testimonial from Andrew Pearce
Client Testimonial

Matthew provided an excellent “Print Processes” training session for myself and some of my colleagues.  The feature that I liked most about the training, was that the day itself was very interactive – which not only

Read the testimonial from Rhoda Day
Client Testimonial

If you think you are on top of your print buying you might be in for a surprise! We asked Print & Procurement to undertake a print audit. Matthew said ‘’If we do not find savings sufficient to earn back our fee

Read the testimonial from Rod Fletcher
Client Testimonial

Matthew is a consultant who is totally committed to his clients and to delivering on his promises.  He has an excellent understanding of both the challenges of the print channel and the opportunities it presents. As a

Read the full testimonial from Jacky Morgan
Client Testimonial

Apart from being a thoroughly decent chap Matthew is scrupulously professional, ruthlessly efficient and always delivers excellent results.
I genuinely have no hesitation whatever in recommending Matthew. He

Read the full testimonial from Simon Lewis
Client Testimonial

In an industry renowned for its pressure, Matthew Parker delivers a very gentle but insightful intelligence about the ways of print. Somewhere between art and science there is a place that defines the balance of what

Read the full testimonial from Andy Dowen
Recent Posts

Four ways automated print pricing can make a buyer’s life easier (and how to choose the right system)

Do you struggle to find enough hours in the day? Whether you’re a full-time purchaser or managing a more general administration role, the pressure on your [more]

Why beating printing companies down on price is not the best way to reduce costs

For me, few things are better than standing on the summit of a mountain The route up a mountain is hard.  There’s a lot of work [more]

Three reasons why print buyers should challenge supplier choice

My daughter was about to burst into tears I had asked her what flavor of ice cream she would like. She gave me the same answer [more]

Why print buyers who stick to cost-cutting are failing to do their job

Wouldn't a garden look bare without anything in the flowerbeds? My wife is a keen gardener. One of her most regular jobs is the weeding. It's [more]

Three specification questions that can reduce the cost of printed items by over 30%

The print industry is dying There are huge amounts of overcapacity. Printing companies are tendering suicidal prices. So all a print buyer has to do is to [more]

Three questions print buyers must use to challenge process and prevent 30-address syndrome

Can you imagine writing the same address over 30 times? Wouldn’t it be a complete waste of your time? Aren't there are so many better things [more]