In the World of Printers, Bigger Isn't Always Better
At the age of 26, I ventured into the publishing world with an advertising sales background and no publishing experience. That was over nine years ago. In my first year, I learned a lifetime of do's and don'ts. They don't teach you this stuff in school.
My biggest lesson was with printers. When I started out, I used all the big guys … and jumped from printer to printer for a few reasons.
The first reason was service. I never felt that a small fish like myself was getting any respect. Although I now spend $250,000 a year on printing, I realize that is nothing in their world. For most of them I was just a small job.
Second was the price. Thinking that going to the major players was the best way to get the best deal was certainly not true. Not only were they more expensive, but most of the time I was being put onto presses that had so much paper waste. As I was just learning the ropes, I didn't realize I was paying for that waste.
Third was customer service. No printer ever gave me ideas on how to cut costs. They never really even looked at my job. They just printed it. I have now been working with the same printer for more than five years. It is a small- to mid-size company in Buffalo called Dual Printing. It has state-of-the-art presses that are a perfect fit for my jobs, a staff that helps me from the minute I get off the plane for my press check to giving me new ideas on how I can save money.
On top of the great customer service and award-winning quality, they give me the best price in town. The "big guys" quote my job for almost double what I pay today, showing that bigger is not always better.