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!

Stop The Presses _Print Media Centr

#UKvUSA: Stop The Presses!

Even though I worked on some of the biggest brands in the world, a press check wasn’t always warranted, or financed by the agency or the clients. Do you need to press check stationary – probably not. Do you need to press check the prospectus for global Ritz Carlton Residences – umm hell yes… at least the first time or it may be the ONLY time you work on the account if something goes wrong.

In a perfect world there is an abundance of funds and time to press check materials it’s deemed necessary for. Criteria for press checks are usually a moving target, however if you want to sleep better at night when those big jobs are cranking out on the presses, here are three reasons why you should fight for them:

It’s YOUR ass on the line. Even though production people are used to being blamed for just about everything, in this case it’s hard to defend yourself against a crappy final printing result. You chose the vendor, participated in speccing and creating the files, sent the files, approved the proof/s with your signature, and gave the ok to print. See it through as often as you can.

Pay the price, or PAY the price. Budgets are tight, but issues with quality and color will cost more than travel and some food. If press checks will help you, to help keep everyone happy, find printers to work with who are close by or who are willing to cover some of the expenses. I spent many nights on couches in customer lounges to avoid press check cost conversations, and potential disasters without one.

S**t happens! I only yelled, “Stop the presses!” one time in my career. Handy tip – don’t run full coverage images of tropical destinations on SuedeTex Paper, or attempt to construct a folder out of it – unless you fully understand what you will get. Seeing the job coming off the press and not looking as was expected allowed me to call everyone, explain what was going on, and get approvals to continue the run. There were no surprises when I brought samples back to the office, and the Account Management team had time to prepare their spin as to why this was always the final result we wanted if the client was unhappy. The calls I made from the press check saved me, but the printer not so much. We didn’t use them again because they “gave us what we wanted” without warning us/investigating if the paper choice was the best option for the job at hand. That is an order taker, not a partner.

Printers – here is a bonus reason you should invest in customer press checks: Relationship-strengthening opportunity! Yes we can be pains, asking press people to adjust colors, and walking around the office hearing/seeing things you may prefer we don’t. However, the “we are in it together” feeling a customer will have after the experience will last a long time, and you also have the opportunity to EDUCATE customers on your other capabilities – show and tell style.

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_PrintMediaCentrDeborah 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.

Connect with Deborah through any of the social channels on PMC!

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