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Paper Prices Climb: How to Warn Your Customers Early

Printing costs are going up, and we need to start letting customers know prices will too. Customers need advance warning—no one likes surprises. Contributor John Giles advises you to be proactive and tell your customers, particularly your top customers, about the pending increases.

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About John Giles

John Giles is a consultant for the printing industry who works with Tom Crouser and CPrint International to help printers prosper. Contact John at (954) 224-1942, [email protected], or [email protected]

Discussion

By Robert Godwin on Aug 17, 2021

“Printers are being forced to increase their prices as business reopens.” This line disturbed me. In fact, it pissed me off.
And this line: “Good customers will understand.” Trouble is bad customers need to understand too.
No, printers are not ‘forced’. They are in business and need to act like that. The market, the whole supply chain and labor pool drive these issues. It is not something PSPs need to apologize for. Inform, make aware, simply say it…. that what is called for. STOP apologizing for being a business.
Why is inflation hitting on multiple fronts?
Two interesting economic forces are at play:
1. Cost-push inflation: occurs when prices increase due to increases in production costs, such as raw materials and wages.
2. Demand-pull inflation: is the upward pressure on prices that follows a shortage in supply, a condition that economists describe as "too many dollars chasing too few goods."
While it may be difficult to convince anyone that there is a shortage of printers with capacity in their manufacturing, it is historically the case that PSPs are tragically poor in marketing, as in market awareness, the services and value they offer, and that they actually exist in the neighborhood.
“Good customers will understand” The reason I hate this statement is the assumption that PSPs have to apologize for cost increases in core materials and labor. Buy good substrate! Pay decent wages! Tell your customers (both good and bad, LOL) that they are working with a company that offers quality product and a living wage. Surveys have shown the new buyers, (both good and bad, GRRR) in the Millennial and Gen Z demographics understand and seek these values as part and parcel of a business relationship.
The issue is valid as this article emphasizes, but the posturing as though PSPs have to dig out of a hole, well that simply connotes a lack of confidence in their own business.

 

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