Look Beyond the Recession
Fundamental to the success of any GPO supplier is being certified at the correct GPO print quality level. There are four, and every GPO supplier must be approved by GPO to conduct work in one of these categories before it can bid on a job:
• Level 1 51; best quality, highest quality, tightest tolerances (examples: art books, medical journals and meat grading charts) Onsite inspection is required for this level.
• Level 2 51; better quality, prestige quality, library quality (examples: yearbooks, recruiting materials and illustrated professional papers)
• Level 3 51; good quality, above average quality (examples: annual reports, general process color work, court decisions, budget reports, catalogs and textbooks)
• Level 4 51; basic quality, informational quality, utility quality (examples: telephone directories, indexes, project reports and technical manuals without process color and with only occasional halftones)
Equipment analysis is part of the initial GPO quality review, but this type of analysis should be on-going so GPO knows the full equipment capabilities of each of its print suppliers at all times. Both new and replacement equipment should be reported so GPO will have updated records. If the equipment adds new capabilities for the GPO print supplier's business, its production categories may change, and this too needs to be reported to GPO so the supplier could possibly qualify for additional GPO work. "Remember, with GPO, you can only bid on jobs at the quality levels for which you have been approved," Snider emphasized.
Before investing in new equipment, it is wise to check to determine what, where and how much work is available through GPO for the equipment being considered for purchase. If the work isn't there, the supplier may want to reconsider. The supplier may even want to purchase equipment that will handle the types of GPO jobs that are becoming more plentiful. This can be determined by checking GPO historical data.