Welcome to my monthly 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 until they are LIVE on our respective sites. 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!

If you support one side over the other let us know. I am proudly representing TEAM USA, and we share these posts with #UKvUSA on Twitter. LET THE DUEL COMMENCE!

Triple_Bidding_Waste of Time_Print Media Centr

#UKvUSA Is Triple Bidding a Waste of Time?

Skipping past the reasons some of us must triple bid every job, and skipping past the reasons some of us never have to, the simple answer to this question like many things is: you get out what you put in. In order to keep the process as streamlined as possible, here are a few things to keep in mind from both sides of the bidding fence.

Know Thy Specs! Nothing will cause more headaches and time suckage than sending out 3 (or more) estimate requests and having to update the specs. It’s a nightmare, especially if they are complicated. Since our decisions to award work are dependant on getting back quotes that are apples to apples to apples from printers, measuring twice and cutting once applies here. Here is a handy trick: Pick one of your printers, review the job with them and have them quote. Work it out until all is perfect, then send those specs to your other sources to satisfy your triple bidding requirement.

No Substitutions! Printers… When buyers send estimate requests, and especially when we specify paper – PLEASE DON’T CHANGE THEM! Of course we make mistakes from time to time, but you cannot independently adjust our numbers, or paper selection to help us. If there is a major issue it should be flagged and communicated so we have the opportunity to update and resend new info to all we are quoting with. If you have a better way to do what we are asking for, please send back what we asked for and your alternative. We will be grateful you gave us what we needed, and grateful you added value. Win/Win!

Ship Happens! More often than not, the estimates we receive back from printers are within a “normal” price range of each other. Sometimes it falls to delivery cost and method as the deciding factor. Buyers need to make sure they provide a zip code (at minimum) for where materials are going so there is a line item for that cost. Printers can add real value by including cut-off dates for files with associated pricing for slowest to fastest delivery method. Shows us you are part of our team; we like to work with people invested in our sanity… and bottom line.

Money Matters! One of my pet peeves about triple bidding is the assumption by printers that it is ALL about price when it comes to choosing a vendor to work with. Yes, price matters. I am bidding with 3 vendors I trust, 3 vendors who could produce the job successfully, and without anything else to go on to differentiate, it is my job to spend my clients money carefully if I want keep my job. If printers don’t want me choosing solely on price, without changing my specs, help me understand why working with you is my best option. That will be time very well spent.

See Matthew’s response here:

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

Everyone else, join us in Print Production Professionals and join in the conversations!

Deborah Corn_PrintMediaCentr_bioDeborah 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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