Bosacks' BobLog, the Big Picture
All a vendor needs to do is be competitive, and offer value and quality. Other than that, in my opinion, it is and should be a hands-off situation. Sign the contract and back off. If you don't think what you signed is fair, then you didn't do your due diligence with other industry vendors. If you did your due diligence and got a fair price for services, let the printer do his thing; that is, make a fair profit for services rendered as efficiently as is possible.
More Savings To Come
As an industry, we are now moving into other methods of streamlining the manufacturing process. Job definition format (JDF) comes to mind right away. This should bring even further efficiencies to the manufacturing printing plant. The results will be hard to quantify, but will, at the end of the day, allow for greater productivity and increased output. Should this also be a shared business event between supplier and vendor? No.
Publishers should publish, and printers should print. And they should run their organizations to the very best of their ability and know-how. Allowing each to keep its own profit is a model that bodes well for both. The converse is a situation of sour grapes and poor choices. It has always been my position that a willing vendor that is making a fair profit is the right vendor to be doing business with.
—Robert M. Sacks
Bosacks is a consultant to the printing/publishing industry and president
of The Precision Media Group (www.Bosacks.com). He is also publisher and editor of an international, daily industry e-newsletter, "Heard on the Web." During 30-plus years in the industry, Sacks also has held posts as director of manufacturing and distribution, senior sales manager (paper), chief of operations, pressman, cameraman and corporate janitor, among others. His resume lists directorships at such companies as McCall's, Time Inc., The New York Times Magazine Group, International Paper, Ziff-Davis and CMP Media.