Quality is an Attitude- Jerry D'Elia
Another problem is discerning the true value of technologies. I find that they don't always apply to my business. Suppliers should ask themselves, "Will this technology improve quality, reduce costs and make for a more efficient workflow?" There are plenty of people developing and distributing better mousetraps, but I wonder how many of them have seen a mouse recently?
P&PE: Are your suppliers meeting your quality challenges?
JD: Yes, but the reason for it is that we have a lot of dialogue. Suppliers, if they're any good, will help me create a better publication through ideas and suggestions. They'll try to improve quality or produce my magazine in a way that reduces cost. We must use technology to produce our products at the right cost and not at "any cost."
P&PE: Is the ability to produce high-quality printing more accessible now because of readily available technology?
JD: I think the ability to produce high-quality printing is less accessible because of the high cost of technology now. Also, once a printer or a service bureau gets the technology, it has the problem of getting the people.
I also think that the consolidation that the technological revolution has caused is a big concern. I'm not sure if it's better to have fewer major suppliers than to have more smaller suppliers. Currently, only a few printers can meet our needs, but a dozen years ago I had a much bigger selection.
P&PE: How important are quality initiatives like ISO 9000 certification to print buyers?
JD: ISO certification is nice, but it's not at the top of my list. I don't require it of my suppliers. However, I do hope that they have some sort of quality program in place. The proof of the pie is in the pudding, and ISO is the icing.