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Welcome to my blogging duel with TEAM UK’s Matthew Parker. If you have been following along you can skip right to the post… and if you are just joining us, here is some background…

Matthew and I haven’t always seen eye to eye when it comes to Print Buying. He comes from the UK procurement world, and I come from the USA agency world. We used to argue about process, but over the years it has turned into a mutual respect. However, that doesn’t mean we now agree, or see things the same way! As a matter of fact, most of the time we don’t. So we decided to turn that into Print Buying: #UKvUSA and share information about our experiences from both sides of the pond!

At the end of my post is a link to Matthew’s post on the same subject. We don’t know each other’s response before writing our own. Maybe we will agree, maybe we wont, maybe we don’t even see the question in the same way – who knows… that’s the fun part! We have also set a 500 words or less format to keep things moving along.

Please do leave comments and if you happen to support one side over the other let us know on either blog! I am proudly representing TEAM USA, and share with #UKvUSA on Twitter. LET THE DUEL COMMENCE!

#UKvUSA: Does The Press Matter

It’s been a little while since Matthew and I have written about a polarizing topic, so get ready and here we go.

Does the press matter? Two words, HELL YES! The problem is buyers usually don’t know enough to make informed decisions and specify the press their materials print on, and printers aren’t about to offer “better” options if they don’t have that equipment.

Whether you call yourselves print production managers, designers, project managers, procurement specialists, etc. I am talking to you, professional print customers. YOU are in control of the job and where it prints, and we have gotten complacent in allowing our service providers to make decisions for us that might not always be the best decisions for the work at hand.

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Consider this analogy…

If you are buying a car, for the most part we push a pedal with our feet, the engine makes it move, and we have another pedal to stop. There is an entire industry dedicated to making that happen and there are nuances car engine to car engine, but most people assume the car will take them from point A to point B in this manner without having to understand automotive mechanics. However, the make and model is another story.

If you are a city driver, you are not looking for an off-road vehicle. If you drive long distances, gas mileage is a concern. The size of the car depends upon how many people need to ride in it, and where, and how. Functionality and purpose is built into our car purchasing process, we don’t just take whatever make and model the car dealer has on the lot because they don’t sell better options for our needs.

Now apply that to buying print.

Learning about the differences of presses and their strong suits can be tedious, which is why the manufacturers tend to leave that to printers and primarily focus on selling presses vs. educating end-users on how to us them. However that situation doesn’t absolve us of our responsibility to print smarter, elevate our materials and optimize our expenditures and the final results for each job we touch. That is our job! That is what makes us valuable as employees and consultants, and valuable to our clients.

Now what?

Well, now it’s up to you. Talk to your printers. Ask them why they have purchased the press/es they use, find out what jobs they are best for. Take that information and talk to printers with different equipment whether you work with them or not, and ask the same questions. Go to YouTube and look for webinars from manufacturers that focus on marketing. These are gold as far as learning what materials are optimally produced on their machines, and print possibilities you may not be aware of. Attend webinars so you have the ability to ask questions, and dare I say talk to each other and share information!

Counterpoint?

I am assuming the position of TEAM UK and most of the printers reading this will be the press doesn’t matter, only the results. That is a salesperson’s argument, and I can guarantee you when a printer changes companies the press/es at the new shop are now miraculously the best for your work. Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t, but anyone who says it doesn’t matter doesn’t care about the same things print customers should be caring about in 2015 and beyond.

See Matthew’s response here.

Print Buyers… join us on LinkedIn: Marketing and Advertising Print Production Managers and Print Buying Pros. This group is private and closed to all vendors.

Everyone else, join us in Print Production Professionals where I am sure this post will ignite a heated debate!

Until next month… LEARN LONG AND PROSPER!


#printselfieDeborah Corn is the Intergalactic Ambassador to The Printerverse at PrintMediaCentr, a Print Buyerologist™, Integrated Marketer, Industry Speaker and Blogger, Cultivator of the Print Production Professionals Group, the #1 Print Group on LinkedIn, and host of the weekly industry #PrintChat on Twitter. She has more than 25 years experience working in advertising and marketing, and currently works behind the scenes with printers, suppliers and industry organizations helping them to achieve success with their cross media and social media marketing endeavors.

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