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Buying and managing business print

By March 6, 2014October 14th, 2014All members, Print

Do you use brochures, leaflets, flyers, postcards or stationery in your business? Printed matter is remarkably effective, no matter what size your business is.  If you’re not a professional print buyer, here are some tips on how to make the whole process run more smoothly.

This may sound obvious: produce written orders. So many companies still operate on word of mouth – how on earth can people remember every detail of every conversation is beyond me.

Also, ensure that your written order contains an accurate and agreed upon specification, deadline, delivery address and final price (with or without VAT).

In these times of email it’s easy to have dozens of communications about a single job. When it comes time for the printer (or broker) to produce the job it saves time and limits the chance for error, if you have captured ALL of the final details agreed upon right there – on the order.

Even though you are super efficient, there are situations where you may need to amend something about your print job mid-production. Change an important detail in the copy perhaps, or change a part of the finishing or packaging.

Printers are used to this last minute and often 11th hour type of amend and will usually accommodate it. There’s usually a cost implication however, as new plates might be required, machine downtime may be incurred, extra finishing expenses added – all this will be added to the invoice.

So, I advise asking at the time what those costs will be and, either amending, or re-issuing the order so there are no surprises when invoicing, when everyone is relying on their memory and have been involved in a dozen other jobs since then.

Make sure that your orders contain a clear statement that no extra costs can be invoiced on that order unless agreed in writing beforehand.

I would also advise stating that jobs cannot be commenced unless an official order has been received by the printer. So many times in the past I have known jobs started on a verbal say so, costs incurred in making plates and buying stock, only for the job to be stopped a couple of hours later because the spec has been changed at the last minute or the job cancelled altogether. Always phone the urgent amend through before confirming in writing as an email might not be seen for several hours – when it might be too late!

Also, be aware, if your job is being printed during unsociable hours or maybe over the weekend. The printer may need to contact you or a member of your team, or you may need to contact them. Be sure you have the name and direct number of the person managing your job.

This is an extract from my 16 page report:

A Print Buyer’s Guide to Freeing Up More of Your Time” – you can get a free PDF copy by emailing me at: with “Please send me a copy of the print eBook” in the subject line.

In it you’ll learn:

  • 7 Mistakes When Buying Print Direct
  • 5 Mistakes When Using a Print Broker
  • Pros & Cons of Changing Supplier
  • A Specifier Template

and much more.

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