Multi-Platform Publishing Offers New Opportunities for "Print" Buyers: Contract Negotiations Are No Longer Just about Print Services

By Langford, Bert | Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management, May 2011 | Go to article overview

Multi-Platform Publishing Offers New Opportunities for "Print" Buyers: Contract Negotiations Are No Longer Just about Print Services


Langford, Bert, Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management


IF YOU HAVE NOT BID OUT your work to the printing marketplace in the past three or more years, you are likely missing out on a great opportunity, not only in your print deal, but also the growing synergies between digital and print that printers now offer.

Within the following I'll offer some tips (but not all, due to limited space) on how to conduct printing negotiations in a manner that maximizes your company's benefits and opportunities.

Your first step is to form an aggressive yet adaptable strategy for how to conduct negotiations and track the comparative results. In all cases, create the comparative printing analysis based on the same issue makeup found on your printer's invoice (and reported by the same fiscal month) for the most recently completed fiscal year.

Then below the line, adjust the basic pricing results to consider all costs of doing business with each printer that can occur over the contract term.

This includes each printer's ROI-proven digital/print Value-Added Program (VAP) of interest to your company. Consider each as another "adjustment" category (as the printer's pricing is offset by savings/income). But contractually require that your company retains ownership of the data and can move to another printer later, without losing the program's benefits.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

After adding/subtracting the above adjustments to the printer's basic pricing for a new yearly total, then multiplying that by the contract term (e.g., five years), you have the total cost of doing business.

There are a number of items to incorporate in a printer RFP, including,

* Specifications and production schedule.

* Capabilities Comparator applying to that printer.

* Request for printer's VAP offerings for print and digital capabilities, including content management integration.

* Printer's Magazine Pro Forma worksheet by title.

Enclose a covering letter indicating the Printer's bid due date and request the Printer's Standard Contract (boiler plate) along with a complete Price Schedule formatted similarly to the Pro Forma worksheet's price itemization included within the RFP--to be enclosed with each bid.

Identify Printers for Bidding: By defining your wish list and requirements in the preceding steps, you can then locate six (preferably more) qualified printers to compete for your business. REMEMBER: don't favor just the largest printers, as they may not have the best arrangements including price for your company. But, make certain that each printer is financially sound!

Receiving and Analyzing Printers' Bids: Once you have the printers' bids and their responses to the Capabilities Comparator, copy the printer's filled in pro forma worksheet to replace that printer's blank worksheet--then hyperlink it to the Magazine Summary worksheet.

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Multi-Platform Publishing Offers New Opportunities for "Print" Buyers: Contract Negotiations Are No Longer Just about Print Services
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