Posted by: AG | January 1, 2010

The Key to Lower Prices

Imagine yourself sitting at your desk some cold wintry morning. The grayness outside seems to reflect your mood as you stare at a pile of printing quotations. The lowest price you’ve received so far is still 20% higher that your budget allows for.

You realize that decisions will have to be made. The price must be brought down, but you’re not sure where to begin or how you’ll do it. So without wasting any more time, you hastily arrange a meeting between all those involved with the printed piece. Everyone shows up: the marketing director, production manager, graphic designer, and even the printing rep who gave you the lowest bid.

“The best price so far is 20% too high,” you say. “We have to find a way to cut the price before we go to press.” After the shock wears off, an intense and productive discussion takes place. Questions get raised. Answers are attempted – some useful, other not so. More questions – more responses. Finally, enough ideas are accepted to bring the printing cost down by the needed 20%.

Simplistic? Of course. But surprising? Not really. It’s a predicament that arises too often with print production managers. And the astute and experienced ones take it in stride. They know how to ask the right questions and they know the best answers eventually work their way to the surface if they give them a chance.

The questions are the key. Ask the right ones, and somehow, magically perhaps, the passageway to money-saving ideas seems to open wide. If we could just sit in on one of these meetings, what sorts of questions might we hear? Next time I’ll go over some of those questions and possible answers.

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