Why You Should Shop Around for New Printers
by Margie Dana
I had an interesting conversation with a print rep recently. We focused on how difficult it is to get print customers to look around and give new printing companies the time of day. Many print customers are content with a particular printer or a core group of preferred printers. Who can blame them?
Your printers know you. They’ve served you well for years. They’ve got all your needs covered.
It’s a tricky thing. Loyalty is good and has its own rewards. And yet, if you’re responsible for a printing budget, why wouldn’t you keep your eyes open and meet new providers?
I know: It’s work. It’s time consuming. You’re not having any problems with your current printers. And you believe in loyalty.
I can’t disagree, but I feel compelled to share 10 reasons you should shop around.
1. If you don’t, you will never know what other printers might offer you that you’re not getting from your current suppliers.
2. Do it to make sure prices and deliverables from current providers are competitive.
3. It shows that you’re keeping the company’s best interests in your sights. Always playing favorites might appear a little too cozy, unless you have a record of checking out other providers or a paper trail of getting others to bid on your work.
4. People who purchase for businesses need to be open-minded.
5. It will keep your current print providers on their toes. They should know that you’re always open to new suppliers who might be able to deliver better value to you.
6. You may come across a company that has new technologies to offer you—something you’ve never even heard of. Yup, it happens.
7. You might find that your current print providers haven’t been giving you accurate information.
8. You might learn something new about a manufacturing process or technology, or about paper, or about mailing options.
9. You’ll probably get new insights or new ideas about something you’ve been working on or are about to work on.
10. It’s a smart business practice.
So, when new printers call, or when you have an opportunity to meet with a company you’ve never done business with, keep your options open. Check the printer out online and give the printer’s rep a few minutes of your time. You never know if you’ll find a better resource unless you’re open to it.
Margie Dana, a corporate print buyer for 15 years, is now an independent marketing specialist who focuses on improving the printer-buyer relationship. Her free e-newsletter, Margie’s Print Tips, comes out every Monday. To learn more, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit printbuyersinternational.com, where you can learn about PBI’s 7th Annual Print & Media Conference, taking place this month in Chicago.