I regularly meet with procurement and marketing people responsible for buying custom print projects. They all seem to share a knack for dealing with details and working under tight deadlines. Where they often differ, however, is in favoring varied vendor sourcing strategies. Many prefer working with a single or limited number of vendors while others support a multiple-vendor strategy.
No doubt the level of vendor collaboration involved in procurement of custom print is greater than when buying inventoried goods. For this reason, print buying often becomes a largely relationship-based transaction. The buyer trusts in the vendor’s capabilities, has come to expect responsive service and feels that their prices are fair. It’s an age old peace-of-mind scenario.
But peace-of-mind can come at a high price. This recent article in the Chicago Tribune deals largely with the ethical factors in relationship-based print buying. But those issues aside, it clearly illustrates the financial risk of not exposing preferred vendors to a competitive scenario. In this case, a vendor that produced a newsletter for over 10 years without competition reduced their price by nearly 50% when forced to bid against competitors.
At eLynxx Solutions, we agree that organizations should only do business with vendors they know, trust and approve. We offer a means to objectively manage vendor capabilities and pre-qualify the vendor pool – no matter the size. And our cloud software allows print buyers to easily compete work among their own trusted vendors as frequently as they choose. The result – print buyers maintain peace-of-mind regarding quality and service while ensuring that they’re always getting the most competitive price available from their preferred vendors.