Many buyers would love to achieve improved quality, fast delivery, and low price. Yet, experience teaches us that you can only have two of those three on any given project. After all, increasing quality and speeding up delivery certainly does not drive the price down.
This is especially true when buying direct mail, marketing materials, point of purchase, in-store signage, newsletters, publications, labels, tags, packaging and, for that matter, anything print.
That is because most software tools and methods used in procurement are focused solely on attaining prices and placing orders for off-the-shelf items. They do not take into consideration all of the pre and post pricing management and communication details that print materials require.
Consequently, general procurement methods and tools fail to produce the best possible results when applied to these unique, and critical, print materials.
Custom printing must be manufactured to meet the buyer’s specifications. These specifications along with planning for distribution, logistics, timing, budgeting, approvals and creative must be addressed before pricing can be obtained. Vendors also need to be identified and qualified for each project. These are requirements that ERPs and general procurement systems are not designed to handle.
Print materials are not produced until an actual order is placed because no other customer would want them. Everything that occurs after pricing is critical to the successful completion of the project.
Management of pre and post pricing details either make, or break, quality and service in a custom printing project. These same details also have a tremendous impact upon achieving the best possible price. Software built to handle these details is the key to breaking the iron triangle of achieving the best quality, the fastest service and the lowest possible price.
In our next segment we will explore the critical pre-pricing details that set sourcing and managing print apart from ordinary procurement.