Managing a Mission
NEGOTIATING PRINT BUYING
While The HSUS put a priority on loyalty to its long-time magazine printing partner, it also places a priority on getting high quality at the best price. Aside from the organization's work with Time Inc. Custom Publishing, it produces all other print materials itself, and because of the variety of what it publishes, it has to shop around for prices on specific jobs.
"We also constantly review and rebid things," says Jaworski. "Especially in the electronic world we live in now, you're no longer so tied to printers because they've got your film."
For ongoing projects, like its Humane Activist newsletter, Jaworski explains, "We may lock in for a year … and when the year is up, we'll rebid it with the vendor we're currently using and [also] bid it out to other vendors."
One advantage Jaworski finds in working for a large organization that prints such a vast and varied amount of materials is that it's almost all been done before, leaving them a trail of cost estimates and printers to constantly refer to. For example, if a four-color, trifold brochure is on the table to be budgeted, HSUS production staff can refer to previous jobs to see what the cost was and who printed it at what level of quality. "We have a database that goes back about four years—you can search for a word and that will pull up all the jobs that have that word in it," Jaworski explains, referring to the organization's use of FileMaker Pro to manage job files. This doesn't replace the bidding process, however. "We never send a job out without a quote first," says Jaworski.
But printing large quantities and complete campaigns also can be a hindrance if you're not careful, suggests Jaworski. "If a vendor is, for example, handling a campaign—so there's a brochure, letterhead, a carrier envelope and other components—and the vendor sees they're getting pieces that are all matching, you've got to watch them because they may think that after you're on the third or fourth item that you have to send them the rest because you want everything to match. They may try to jack their prices up, thinking that only they can finish the job."