The Deceptively Simple Purchase Order
As a result, the agreement between the printer and the publisher (often also a P.O.), must take into consideration:
(a) which party will be responsible for purchasing the paper, and
(b) which party will be responsible for adjustments to project costs in the event paper delivery is delayed, or if the paper differs in quality from the agreed upon specifications or is delivered in excessive or insufficient quantities.
If the publisher purchases the paper directly from the supplier, the publisher is the legal buyer and must negotiate the P.O. directly with the supplier.
The supplier is the paper manufacturer. While this may seem obvious, it bears repeating because the involvement of paper brokers, subcontractors and independent distributors in the paper supply industry makes it important for the buyer to specify in the P.O. whether the supplier is authorized to delegate responsibility for all or part of the paper manufacture to a third party.
If the buyer permits the paper manufacturer to subcontract all or part of the manufacturing process to a third party, the buyer should include in the P.O. a statement that places liability on the supplier, not its subcontractors, for fulfilling the order. This way, if the subcontractor fails to perform its obligations under an agreement with the supplier and this causes the supplier to default under its P.O. agreement with the buyer, it's the supplier's responsibility, not the buyers.
THIS ISN'T WHAT I ORDERED!
One of the challenges facing the global paper industry is the lack of accepted, uniform product descriptions. Although PapiNet—a cooperative, international initiative for setting standards in the paper and forest supply chain—has developed an electronic system for standardized paper purchasing, many purchases are still done by fax, phone and mail. Moreover, even if the parties agree upon a single product description, the weight and feel of paper is greatly influenced by the origins of the pulp.