How the Government Printing Office Increases Printer Profitability by 10% or More
The U. S. Government Printing Office (GPO) can offer relief to printers in an economy that squeezes every aspect of their business with higher costs and fewer opportunities. The GPO is the federal government’s primary centralized resource for gathering, cataloging, producing, providing, authenticating and preserving published information. That’s just about everything printed for the federal government. Further, as required by Title 44 of the U.S. Code, all federal agencies are required to use GPO to procure their printing.
For all outsourced work, the GPO awards its procured contracts through a bidding process. With more than 10,000 printers registered to bid on GPO work, it would seem that competition is fierce for the more than $400 million in jobs the GPO awards each year. The good news is, only about 400 or so printers are active bidders, allowing room for additional competition.
A printer must become a “qualified” GPO vendor in order to be awarded work. A printer must properly register with GPO, provide equipment lists and other detailed information, and submit stellar samples that can pass the muster of a rigorous GPO quality review. All of this is not easy, and entails the assistance of a professional who knows the GPO business inside and out.
Once approved the printer still needs to grapple with the rules, regulations, paperwork, and red tape. A printer must be able to read and understand the subtleties of the solicitation, specifications, contract terms, quality assurance guidelines, paper specifications, terms and conditions and other requirements. Doing work with the GPO is much different than working with corporate accounts. When a mistake is made, the printer cannot take the GPO to lunch and sweet talk its way out of the problem. The printer must know the rules and follow them exactly.
Often printers will say GPO work is so competitive, the jobs go for paper cost or below. The truth is, the jobs do not sell at paper cost or below, and printers in the know are generally the profit leaders in the industry. Here are the three most important things these profitable printers have in common when it comes to GPO success: