Print Buyers Online.com Releases Results of 2nd Annual Paper Survey
Friday, August 08, 2003
ARLINGTON, Va. (August 8, 2003) — Want to know which paper companies are doing a good job of helping print buyers and graphic designers? Or, what print buyers are looking for from their printers? Then check out the results of the 2nd Annual Paper Specification Survey, conducted by Print Buyers Online.com in conjunction with PaperSpecs.com. Results are available by signing up for a free membership at www.printbuyersonline.com and visiting the site’s Paper Center or at www.paperspecs.com. The survey, conducted with print buyers, graphic designers, productions managers and art directors, is not only a study of the changes that have occurred in the industry in the past year, but is also a source of valuable information for printers and paper manufacturers alike. “The paper industry is evolving faster than ever before,” comments Sabine Lenz, founder of PaperSpecs.com. “With mills being consolidated, discontinuing existing stocks and releasing new lines, it is very complex for anyone who specs paper to stay on top of things.” This research project is an excellent summary of the current state of the industry. “This survey provides specific advice on what print buyers and specifiers want from printers and paper manufacturers and relays the frustrations and challenges that print buyers are facing today,” notes Suzanne Morgan, founder of Print Buyers Online.com. “It also offers information on how print buyers are specifying paper and what resources they’re using.” PBO’s 2nd Annual Paper Specification Survey offers candid feedback and insight into the relationship between designers, print buyers and specifiers and the printers they choose (or don’t choose) to work with. For example, while 74 percent of the survey’s participants rely on printers to assist in determining the best paper to use for a project, a significant number of them contend that it is difficult to get paper samples from those printers. “We would like printers to provide insights on the printability of certain sheets and to offer alternatives to our selections that can improve quality and price,” said one respondent. Another added, “Don’t be afraid to offer alternative paper options; just be sure to also supply a bid and cost on the paper that is specified.” “The load on designers and print specifiers is much heavier than in the past,” says Lenz. Agencies don’t have people dedicated to print buying like they used to and so there’s much more responsibility for creatives. As a result, a lot of them are relying more and more on their printers to supply them with information and so we can see how important the communication is between the printer and the person responsible for the project.” As competition for projects heats up between printers, PBO’s survey offers much more valuable information for those printers looking to stay ahead. PBO’s research showed that print buyers and designers are looking to their printers to be more educated about various paper stock options, not just their house stock. This can (and should) have some serious implications on how printers today are interacting with their customers and could mean the difference between getting a project and watching it go to a competitor. In addition to research projects such as this one, Print Buyers Online.com also offers a number of tools and resources to print buyers and others working in the industry, including expert advice and articles from manufacturers and suppliers, tips and answers to member questions as well as the latest news and updates from around the industry. Print Buyers Online.com also hosts the annual Print Oasis Conference, the only independent conference focused on the needs and challenges of print buyers, specifiers, and production professionals. The next Print Oasis Conference is scheduled for Spring 2004.