UKvUSA – 3 Ways Print Buyers Can Deliver a Happy Holiday Season
Two continents: US and UK. Two different buying backgrounds: procurement and agency. Two alternative ways of looking at things. I’m delighted to have teamed up with Deborah Corn from PrintMediaCentr to bring two extremely different views to some important print questions. So welcom e to Print Buying: #UKvUSA where Deborah and I share information about our experiences from both sides of the pond.
At the end of this post I have linked to Deborah’s answer to the same question. We wrote our answers (each limited to 500 words) without any idea of what the other was writing. As Deborah says: “Maybe we will agree, maybe we won’t, maybe we don’t even see the question in the same way – who knows… that’s the fun part!”
Please do leave comments, thoughts and support at the bottom of this post and on Deborah’s post. It would be great if also posted your thoughts on Twitter, using the hashtag #UKvUSA Remember to watch out for our answers to another question next month.
3 Ways Print Buyers Can Deliver a Happy Holiday Season
It’s nearly that time of year again!
December always seems to creep up more quickly than we ever expected. It’s tempting to think that it’s a way off yet. But it’s important to start planning now if you don’t want to get in to a whole load of problems further down the line.
So, without further ado, here are my three holiday horrors to avoid. The first one is harder to manage than you might think.
Plan your press slots
December is always a busy time of year for the print industry. Most printing companies like to take a break. Some even shut for a whole week. But they still have to fit in a whole month’s printing. So the chances are that they are already booking up a lot of their spare capacity. Do you want to print a heatset web job in the UK before January? Unless you’ve already booked your slot, you have probably missed your chance.
However, we should do more than focus on December.
Once December has gone, everything goes back to normal, right? Wrong! In January, many printing companies are still stacked out. They are still busy with all the work that they couldn’t fit in before the holiday break. Buyers still have plenty of rush jobs that they failed to place before December. January planning is just as important as December planning.
There’s one other bit of planning to do. It’s the most important.
It’s the holiday season. It’s time for family and friends. It’s time to forget about work for a few days. However, far too many buyers spend the Christmas season worrying about their print jobs. They are glued to their cell phones for urgent work calls.
It’s important that you take some time off for yourself. You might want to socialize or take off by yourself into the wilderness. But it is time to recharge your batteries. Otherwise you may find yourself making big mistakes when you get back to work.
Now it’s time for action!
- Talk to your printer now! Find out their holiday plans.
- Talk to your internal contacts and find out their job plans. Make sure they are not planning anything you didn’t know about.
- Create regular job planning meetings with your clients and your suppliers.
- Book December and January press slots right now! You can always move them if deadlines change, but it’s better to have some capacity booked at your supplier.
- Warn your suppliers when you will be absolutely unavailable for calls.
- Consider creating a rota for when one person in a team will cover all supplier calls – this way you only have one day when you need your cell phone switched on.
Make 2015 your best holiday season ever!
How did Deborah tackle this question? See here. Look out for the next #UKvUSA battle next month: Does the press matter?