Three things that you must not forget when you ask for a print price

I purchased a book online the other day.  I was really looking forward to receiving it and getting stuck into it.  Each day I was eagerly awaiting my postman.  But the days rolled on. And on. And on.

Fortunately online order tracking meant that my book was eventually found and delivered.  But can you imagine what would have happened if I hadn’t supplied the right information?

My book would have been lost in the postal systems forever…

It is just as important for print companies to have the right information

Getting a print price is like buying a book.  Find out why in this article

Getting a print price is like buying a book. Find out why in this article

If customers want to receive the right pricing, they need to give the right details to print companies.

Customers who supply the right information will receive the right quote when they need it.  They will stay in control of their purchasing process.  They are also more likely to create a good relationship with their print supplier because there won’t be so many requotes.

Customers who fail to provide the right information will frustrate their suppliers.  They will also frustrate other people in their own company.  They won’t have the right answers at the right time.  They won’t be in control of their work.  They won’t achieve what is needed from them.

Here are three key points to remember when you are issuing price requests

Tell the printer when you need the quote

This may seem a simple point but many printers tell me they don’t receive this information.  If you don’t tell a print company return time your quote may well be later than you wanted.

It is important to be realistic with the return time.  If you always ask for a price within two hours printers may start ignoring your return time.  I always try and give a print supplier as much time as possible to quote.  Then when I need a quote really quickly they know that I genuinely need a quick turnaround.  They step up to the mark for me.

However, the return time is only one aspect of making sure you receive what you need.

Make sure you include the full specification

Again, this may seem obvious.  However, I used to regularly forget to tell a printer how many copies of an item I needed.  This resulted in extra phone calls and wasted time for both parties.

I now use a template when I am specifying a job.  This means that I never forget any important details.

There’s another template I find useful as well.

Give printers a price matrix

I always ask printers to fill in a spreadsheet when they produce pricing for me.  This makes it easy for me to check pricing quickly from different suppliers.  This is especially useful when there are a number of different pricing options to compare.

Some customers may be surprised that I have focussed on such basics.

Isn’t this all really obvious?

It may seem obvious, but I wonder how many of us regularly put all this into practice?  It took me a long time to do all these things regularly.  And I’m an experienced print buyer…

If we don’t carry out simple points such as these, we will end up with wasted time.  Worse still, we may end up with the wrong price and budget errors.

So here are three things that all print customers should do

  1. Create a specification template
  2. Include a quote return date on the template
  3. Set up a pricing matrix for printers

Doing this made my life easier

It’s given me more time in the day.  So when my book finally arrived, this meant I actually had time to read it.
P.S.  If you want to spend less time on your print buying you should sign up to the Profitable Print Relationships newsletter.  Sign up right now to receive “Ten Common Print Buying Errors and What To Do About Them” and to make sure you receive similar articles to this.

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