A Story of Print Stress Starring Jim

A Story of Print Stress Starring Jim

Today is World Storytelling Day.. instantly I thought of a story I tell quite a lot of an average print buyer to try and highlight the need for experience. For this story, let's call the print buyer Jim...

How a £5 saving turned out to cost £60

Jim hasn’t long been in his job (he’s an office administrator in a fairly small company) but he has energy and enthusiasm. At 10 am on Tuesday, his boss came in and asked him to get a price for the printing of the companies new brochure. Great! thought Jim, time to show the Boss how well I can do!

It was a fairly modest run of 250 copies. So, he got to work. He had a read through what his boss wanted and set about finding some details of who they used.

Jim found a contact at a local printer they use (let’s call them printer A). He did a quick google search for brochure printers and found another 2 he liked the look of (Printer B & C).

At 10:45 he phoned up printer A and asked if he could have a price for 250 copies of an A4 brochure with 20 pages.

Printer A gave Jim a price over the phone. 250 copies of a 20 page brochure as they would produce.

A4 20pp Brochure
Full Colour Throughout
Cover & Text printed on to 170gsm Silk
250 @ £393.00

He sent over an email to printer B & C asking for the same.

His boss heard him on the phone and said, that sounds great – go ahead with that. However, Jim was keen to impress so waited until the other Printers had come back to him.

Printer B sent an email at 13:00 with a cost for 250 copies of a 20-page brochure as they would produce:

A4 20pp Brochure
Full Colour Throughout
Cover printed on 250gsm Gloss
Text printed on 170gsm Gloss 
250 @ £682.00

Printer C sent an email at 15:00 with a cost for 250 copies of a 20-page brochure as they would produce:

A4 20pp Brochure
Full Colour Throughout
Cover & Text printed on to 150gsm Silk
250 @ £388.00

Can you see the first problem?

Wildly different specifications! With Jim not specifying what he wanted – he was open to the printer’s interpretation of his needs. There was no way to compare quotes correctly.

But also, because Jim didn’t really know what the difference was between the stocks, he simply looked at the prices. However, he had only just approached Printer B & C and knew nothing of them or their work.. but loved the fact that Printer C was cheaper!

At 15:30 (after all the quotes were in) Jim phoned up Printer A and asked if they could match the price of Printer C… which they did.

Ecstatic, Jim went marching into his bosses office and exclaimed “I’ve managed to order those brochures and saved £5 from that first price. Jim couldn’t understand why his boss was less than pleased!

There were other issues with Jim’s purchasing, read on to see what they were and how to avoid them…

How NOT to buy print like Jim!

  • Specify your print (if you need a specification sheet, we have one on our website here)
  • Don’t spend all day trying to save £5 like Jim, your time is much more valuable than that. Jim cost the company £60.50 in those 5.5 hours! This is the biggest lesson.
  • Jim’s print stress is now fairly high, he has all his regular work to catch up on as well…
  • No consistency in company literature. The companies other items were printed and finished in completely different ways.
  • Jim left all the control with the printers instead of taking control of his requirement.

There is an easy way to make sure you don’t ‘do a Jim’ and suffer from print stress! Call Blue Star Print Solutions to help manage your entire Print requirements. We’re here to make Jim’s (and your) life more stress-free. If you haven’t been in touch to see how we can help, get in touch today.

Here’s to your Print Freedom

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