The following information outlines the procedures for the printing-bid
and distribution analyses performed by Steven W. Frye, Frye Publication
ESTABLISH GOALS AND PRIORITIES
Before any request can be made for printing bids we establish what
type of products and services are being purchased. This may only
be a simple listing, in order of priority, of approximately six
to ten items that is important to your publications and organization.
This list does not have to be elaborate and can even be done in
bullet form. Obviously, all items in the manufacturing and distribution
process are important, but only those that truly need special attention
are listed. Such items may include specific schedules, distribution
methods, technologies, paper stocks, or payment terms. This list
tells the printer the items that you find important...it's an expectation
list of what you are buying.
This list is also used after the bids are received to establish
the true value of prices offered. If a printer meets all your goals
and priorities and offers competitive pricing, their bid may be the
better value as compared to another printer who offers lower rates
but does not meet your needs.
LOCATE AND QUALIFY PRINTERS
FPC will supply a list of qualified printers to the Publisher. From
this list, printers will be selected and invited to bid on the
printing of the publication(s). The current contacts that you may
already have will also be included.
The preparation of a bid solicitation package or RFP, Request for
Proposal, is next. We create a package of information to give to
the bidding printers. This package will include information, such
as, mechanical specifications, production schedules, growth projections,
distribution schedules and a sample issue of each publication with
their respective blanked-out invoices and print orders.
This package also includes a list of information that is requested
from the printer. This list includes requests detailed price schedules,
proforma invoices for the sample issue(s), samples of printing (from
the plants they’ve proposed and on similar stocks used by your
titles), production schedules, equipment lists, and references.
The Publisher is the printers’ client and FPC is not. Therefore,
all bids and correspondence will be sent directly to the involved
staff at the Publisher and FPC will receive copies. FPC will, however,
be the principal analyst, performing all services required and
listed in this proposal. The Publisher will be involved as little
or as much as desired throughout the process.
Research then takes place with the checking of their references
and other customers who were not referenced, reviewing equipment
and investigating geographic locations of bidder’s plants.
Very thorough cost analyses are performed based on the sample
issues and on the printer’s base contract rates. The bidder's costs
will be compared to the incumbents’ current and revised costs.
Material analyses for both ink and paper consumption are performed.
Using consumption rates for both covers and body stocks offers the
best comparison as any paper basis weight; grade, brand, roll width,
or cost can be applied and analyzed. The sourcing of paper is also
part of the project. We look at all options from buying from the
printer, merchant, broker or mill-direct.
A postal cost analysis is performed. Duplicate mailing lists along
with copies of 3541 postal forms and/or Mail.Dat files will be sent
to each bidder and they will respond with their optimum method to
achieve the fastest postal delivery at the lowest cost. If applicable,
a newsstand distribution analysis is also performed.
As prices are revised, updated analyses are submitted as the project
progresses. At no time during the investigative process are prices
discussed or negotiated with the bidders. The analysis will offer
us a side-by-side cost comparison of each category. The bidders’ strengths
and weaknesses will become very apparent and areas for future negotiations
will be targeted.
SELECTION OF FINALISTS
Working with the Publisher’s involved staff, we will select
the final bidders, including the incumbent(s), and all candidates
will be notified of their selection status. This process happens
their proposals are analyzed for schedules, costs, and the meeting
of goals and priorities.
We (FPC and your involved staff members) will tour the facilities
of the finalists to meet their staff, check equipment, organization,
workflow, and cleanliness of the plant and get an overall impression
of their operations. The time involved for touring plant facilities
are included in the package cost, however, the Publisher is responsible
for any travel-related expenses. It may be possible, however, that
the printers will pickup some or all of those expenses.
REPORTS and RECOMMENDATIONS
Cost analyses and comparisons will be submitted to the Publisher
throughout the process. A final report of advantages and disadvantages
of each bidder will be reviewed and rated and recommendations will
All negotiations related to the project are included in this
package. Once the preferred printer is determined, the list
of targets for
negotiation is prepared and submitted to that printer. We will
negotiate with only the best-qualified printer and will not “pit
one printer against another”.
Negotiations cover prices, production schedules, quality standards,
and contract terms. It’s been proven that price will move much
further and faster when the printer realizes that we are sincerely
trying to close a deal with them and no one else. The printer’s
contracts will be amended to protect the Publisher from nonperformance,
insure against damage of supplied materials, offer escape or termination
clauses, define printer obligations, et cetera.
FPC will always represent the Publisher in the up most and professional
manner and will never divulge anything regarding this project
to anyone, including the bidders, without the Publisher’s
knowledge and permission.
FPC offers a total commitment to achieve the goals and priorities
of the Publisher within the time allotted for the project. If additional
time is needed, for any reason, that time is also included within
the project. There will be no extra charges beyond the cost stated
in the original proposal, with the exception of the travel-related
costs already mentioned.
It is also standard policy that if FPC does not reduce your annual
costs by at least the amount of the project fee, FPC will not charge
any fee to the Publisher. We feel strongly that consultants should
pay for themselves…otherwise, why hire one?