Practical Print Buying
"Despite its importance to most companies," explains Suzanne Morgan, "print buying is largely a process of self-education." As the president of
Morgan created the resource eight years ago based on her experience as president of Print Solutions, a consulting, research and education company. Having once navigated this same market as a novice, she brings her personal experience to the many articles and analysis she posts online. She says, "Years ago, I started in print buying as many of you did. I didn't grow up waiting to be a print buyer—the job fell into my lap! I got involved with printing when I was a marketing assistant for a publishing company. Although I was responsible for buying over one million dollars in printing services, I had no experience and very little training. So, I learned the job as many of you have—from trial by fire and from my printing sales representatives."
Morgan believes there is a better way to learn.
These days, she provides foundations in the art of buying via the Web site and printed guides that cover a variety of topics—everything from paper quality to press check rules and appropriate printer/print buyer dialogue. She says, "The business of buying print has changed so much in the past few years. There's more pressure to cut costs, find dependable and innovative printers and suppliers and reduce production turnaround times." She feels strongly about keeping the service free to members, which total nearly 1,800 at press time. But to encourage more traffic, she will unveil a job bank next Friday, and anticipates offering a forum in the near future in which member will be able to interact using a Web browser to post messages and chat. She's already begun posting survey results, the first came last month about the challenges of print buying. Near future topics will include paper specifications and salary status for production professionals within the current market.