Last week I had an interesting conversation with a print rep. 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 core group of preferred printers. Who can blame them? Your printers know you. They’ve served you well for years. They’ve got all of your needs covered.
It’s a tricky thing. Loyalty is good and has its own rewards. And yet, if you’re responsible for a corporate 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 providers. And you believe in loyalty.
I can’t disagree, but I feel compelled to share these 10 reasons why you should shop around.
1. If you don’t, you will never know what other providers might offer you that you’re currently not getting from your suppliers.
2. Do it to make sure prices/deliverables from current providers are competitive.
3. It shows your boss 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. Professional purchasers need to be open-minded.
5. It will keep your current print providers on their toes. They should know, BTW, 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 them out online and give them a few minutes of your time. You never know if you’ll find a better resource unless you’re open to it.
© 2012 Margie Dana. All rights reserved. You’re free to forward this email. However, no part of this column may be reprinted without permission from the author.