That’s the question we get fairly often. But it’s also the question that’s on the minds of commercial printers when they think about reaching for us. Sometimes they really are torn between saying “yes” to their customer and staying focused on their “value added” results. It’s understandable since the printing industry has been preaching (and still is preaching) value added for decades. Unfortunately, as the printing industry has radically changed, that focus misses some pretty important factors now.
  • Nothing is more important that making and keeping customer relationships. You already know that. But with print volume declining, saying “no” to one of your most valuable customers isn’t a good idea.
  • Opening the door to a competitor, especially a larger one with more resources, is rarely a good idea now. That’s especially true when the customer is one of your largest, and someone who already trusts you to watch their back all the time.
  • Our clients know that we improve their bottom lines. That includes our clients who are other printers. And that flies in the face of the focus on “value added.” A good deal of their selling price for the projects we complete drops to their bottom lines. If a printing company is already operating at break-even, then using us always improves their financial results.
At least two good things happen for our clients when they use us well. First, they become more valuable to their customers. That’s easy to see. Second, they win larger campaigns or programs that they couldn’t if they only offered to do pieces of them. That means they are winning more work that they will run on their own equipment along with the projects that we’re completing for them. And when a stronger customer relationship is built in the process, there’s no downside. Since you can’t take “value added” to the bank or use it to make payroll, wouldn’t you rather build stronger and larger customer relationships and a better bottom line? It makes sense to me.
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