Printbuyers Online

Which print projects should I send to bid?

Answered by Suzanne Morgan

How do I know whether or not to bid a print project - or just pick a printer that I feel comfortable with? What types of projects are appropriate to have my printers bid on and which ones, if any, would not benefit from the quoting process?

Many print buyers feel very strongly about the bidding process. Your decision on the projects and methods of bidding is affected by your personal beliefs, company policies, experience, etc.

I won't tell you exactly what you should do; you'll have to come to your own conclusions. However, these issues and thoughts may help you decide.

  • Experience with a particular printer - the less experience you have with a printer, perhaps the more necessary it is to get a price quote.

  • Autonomy as a buyer - some buyers can make decisions based on what they believe is best; others have to defer to colleagues, supervisors, or company policies.

  • Goals of your company - If price is the most important factor to your company, you may be encouraged to bid all your jobs; if quality and consistency are the most important, you may be encouraged to develop partnerships with your suppliers.

  • Specifications - if the print specifications are set and straight forward, it may make it easier to bid your project. If your printer plays a key role in developing the specifications or if the specifications are complicated, it may be appropriate not to bid the jobs to several suppliers.

  • Type of project - If the project at hand is something that you've never bought before, then you'll probably want to go to several suppliers to get price quotes. If the project is something that you are very familiar with, you may already know which supplier best suits the work.

Bidding your jobs with several suppliers is sometimes very appropriate, as indicated above. However, I do believe that buying all of your printing on a job-by-job basis does not allow you to save the most money in the long run. Working with a core group of printers and developing partnerships with some improves product quality and service and provides more opportunity to drive out excess costs by creating efficiencies with projects and processes.

There are no absolutes. You have to find your own way that meets your ethical standards, workflow, and company requirements.

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