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Last week, with the support of our friends at eLynxx Solutions,  I launched #PrintFightClub with the topic “Will Print Management Services KILL In-House/Agency Buyers, Or Save Them?” with panelists Matthew Parker representing Print Procurement Specialists, Jim Fennell representing Print Management Services, and me, Deborah Corn, representing Agency/Marketing Print Buyers.

I just listened to the replay and I am glad I did. The information exchanged was pretty on-point and thought provoking, but it was the questions and comments from the attendees that opened up the scope of the premise and brought the community to this very important conversation.

For me, there are three points that stick out. The first, Print Management Services are here to stay, and if you open the door for outsourcing by not being on top of your Buying/Procurement game, know right now the wolves are scratching at the door to replace you. There is an economic argument for outsourcing that most CFO’s will find hard to ignore IF they have reason to hear it. The second, Printers not vying for position with the Print Management Service companies might just find themselves in a world of hurt. Bulk buying from such companies could keep independents from being within a reasonable price range for work, and if your customers are gone and replaced by Print Management Services, chances are you will be gone too.

The third is a bit contradictory to the above, but I am a realist when it comes to working. Print Management Services will provide a LOT of jobs for all of the amazing and experienced unemployed and displaced buyers out there. But heed this warning – do your RESEARCH! Not all of those firms are reputable, and you don’t want to end up losing your reputation by association.

I could go on, but I’d rather you listen to the recording and decide your position. You actually might be surprised at some of things said during this discussion – I know I was! Oh, and since it was mentioned a few times, here is a handy link to my LinkedIn Group, Print Production Professionals. Please join us for discussions about this, and pretty much everything else print and marketing!

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