Establishing the Printer-Customer Relationship, Part 3

Your Responsibilities as Our Customer

Successful relationships are based on mutual responsibilities. Here are the responsibilities for you, our customer.

  1. Honest communication. Tell us the actual day the job must be ready without adding a fudge factor, or give us two due dates: desired and must-have. We will deliver on time. Similarly, if we ask whether a budget has been established, be truthful and share the amount or the range.
  2. Complete specifications. Job specifications are the production instructions, so they must be complete and clear. Job specifications are also the basis for pricing. If you’re interested, we’ll gladly teach you the basics for writing specs.
  3. Proofreading. Proofreading is your responsibility, even when we are preparing the document layout (though we do have an obligation to produce a proof that is free of typos and misspellings of common words). Only you can proofread for uncommon words such as industry jargon or names, contact information, proper nouns, etc.
  4. Timely content submission. When you are providing content – a PDF file, text, photographs, illustrations, mailing list, postage deposit, etc. – we will give you a due date for each element. That date is the latest time you can provide the content if the job is to remain on schedule. While we might remind you of upcoming due dates, the final responsibility for timely submission rests with you.
  5. Respect our pricing. We use a rational basis for determining the price of a job that includes the cost of production materials, labor and equipment; an allowance for overhead; and profit. If you find a lower price somewhere else, it isn’t because we padded our quotation. Prices can fluctuate between print shops due to differences in equipment or cost structures. We will work with you on price by changing specifications or production methods, but we won’t automatically price match to a competitor.

    The unfortunate truth is that our competitor’s pricing structure isn’t always rational. They might be less expensive on a particular job because of equipment differences, but it is also possible that they are less expensive because they don’t know what their costs really are. Some competitor’s pricing fluctuates wildly, depending on who did the estimate, what day of the week it is, or what they’ve been smoking/snorting/popping/injecting/drinking. Feel free to call our attention to a significant pricing difference: it’s possible that we made an error. But it might just be that our cheaper competitor is, knowingly or not, losing money on the job. And that is something we know you won’t ask us to do.

Click here to read to Part 1: Establishing the Printer-Customer Relationship
Click here to read Part 2: Our Responsibilities as Your Print Vendor

Content is partially provided by CPrint® International and was featured in the January 2015 issue of CPrintips™ entitled “Howdy, Pardner: Establishing the Printing Customer-Vendor Relationship”.

CPrint® is a registered trademark and the CPrint® Logo is a trademark of Crouser & Associates, Inc.

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