The Real Reason Companies Pay Too Much for Their Printing

On 16.08.16, In Resources, by Blake Houser

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The common scenario: Mary is in charge of operations at her company. She has a situation with their printing and is not receiving the company’s business cards in a timely manner and the quality has become subpar.

Mary picks up the phone, calls another printer, and she tells the printer the difficulties she’s currently experiencing with receiving business cards in a timely manner and that quality has gone downhill.

She has had enough and wants to make a change.

The printer believes he can help with this and asks “What other products do you want quoted?”

Mary tells him “Just the business cards”.

He asks again, “Ok, but seeing the other products would help with the pricing of this estimate.”

Mary insists that he just focus on the cards.

The printer hurries back and runs all the numbers, writes up a pretty proposal, emails it to Mary and she opens it only to find it’s more expensive than her current printer. Mary wants to make a change, but does not know if the powers that be will approve of this.

Why is Mary’s quote higher?

Because the competing printer is at a huge disadvantage. Because Mary did not show him the complete picture of all the company’s products, there is nowhere for the competing printer to spread his cost. He can only see one item. It’s almost impossible to get better pricing and better service when only one product is being presented, as opposed to all your collateral, like labels, envelopes, plain paper, letterhead, document mailers, brochures and presentation folders.

So what does Mary end up doing?

Scenario 1: If the bosses approved the higher cost, she goes with the new company only to take away her frustration of working with her current printer on the business cards. She ends up paying more for her printing, when she could have paid less than what her current printer was offering, if only she had presented all the items. In the end, she uses two printing companies.

Scenario 2: If the boss does not approve the price increase, Mary may be stuck with her current printer, and still sending emails asking where her orders are. Mary might experience backlash from other employees because they do not have their cards for a meeting. Overall making Mary’s life harder.

Someone much smarter than me once said, “You can be a good client to one company or a decent client to two companies”. You will always receive better pricing and service being a good client to one company, as opposed to a decent client to two companies.

Blake Houser

Client Relations Manager at The Wells & Drew Companies
About the author:
Blake Houser is Client Relations Manager at Wells & Drew. In addition, he is the third generation in this family-owned speciality printing business.

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