Printbuyers Online

What are some ways to award my top print suppliers?

Answered by Suzanne Morgan, founder, Print Buyers

I want to award my top print suppliers annually, but I'm not sure how to implement this or what type of award to give. What suggestions do you have? What are other buying companies doing?


That's a great idea and a wonderful way to motivate your suppliers and recognize the top performers. Some buying organizations hold an annual luncheon or dinner for their suppliers. Some use a rating system and share the ratings with the suppliers individually. Some give gifts.

Instead of focusing on what other buying companies are doing, I suggest that you consider two things:

Consider what merits extraordinary performance for your company. Every buying company has special needs and values. For one company the focus might be on speed to market; another might value innovative packaging; and another might determine that consistency with branding and quality control is the most important consideration. This is the perfect opportunity to reinforce and communicate what is most important to your organization. Your awards program should explain why the awarding company is recognized. Communicate this to not only the winners, but also all your other suppliers. This will encourage them to follow on a similar path.

Next consider what type of award or gift would be meaningful to your suppliers. Many suppliers would appreciate access to the directors or executives in your company, so ask those individuals to take part in the event that you plan. What's likely to be most meaningful to your top performers would be something that they can show to prospective customers. Solution providers often find award plaques helpful. They strategically place these plaques at their facilities to show off during plant tours. A letter of recognition would work equally as well. They can copy and include it with other materials that they present to prospective clients. You might even want to ask your top performers what they would prefer.


If you have ideas on how to recognize suppliers and want to share those with the community, send me an e-mail at

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