Margie Dana, founder of Print Buyers International, is a print-buying expert and speaker. She focuses on improving the printer-buyer relationship in her weekly “Margie’s Print Tips” e-newsletter. The following is an edited version of a recent Print Tips, reprinted here with permission.
I surveyed print brokers for their insights on why buyers have such strong opinions about the brokerage industry. In today’s Tip, I am presenting brokers’ feedback. (Newer terms for brokers have been cropping up in recent years, including print consultants, print managers, print distributors, print agents and print specialists. By the way, “print broker” is not synonymous with “print manager.” I associate print management with a totally different business model.)
The brokers who took my survey are:
• David Jacobs, Richard Jacobs & Co., www.rjco.com
• Brian Maranian, Signature Printing & Consulting, www.sigprint.net
• Kitty St. Sauveur, Alliance Print Group, www.allianceprint.com
• Dennis Galligher, Galligher Printing, www.galligherprinting.com
• Chuck Spiegel, Advanced Graphics, Inc., www.adv-graphics.com
1. How does a print brokerage firm differentiate itself?
(Jacobs) Through our service and by trying to align ourselves with reliable, privately owned printers who themselves are committed to customer success, but may not have the resources to build out a national sales organization. While we realize that price is an important variable in considering a new vendor, we look at the long-term relationship between the customer and the printer. Is the customer willing to pay enough to make their business valuable to the printer, and is the printer willing to put enough skin in the game to really deliver on the promise of customer satisfaction? We then measure each of these and make sure we continue to deliver at a high level. So, we have data to back up our marketing messages. Our situation is a little different, since we represent our printers rather than broker their work.