On the one hand you’re being squeezed by ever-more competition for budgets, where the marketing department wants more for less, and on the supply side paper prices are on the up, the Royal Mail is being its usual helpful self, printers’ customer service isn’t what it used to be and, worse, in some markets at least, the worm is starting to turn and they’re are playing hardball on schedules and prices.
It all sounds like a recipe for misery.
But speaking to this year’s awards judges, while all of the above are facts of a print buyer’s life, they’re still acutely aware and are sympathetic to the challenges the greater industry faces.
They know that unsustainable pricing models are slowly killing the sector and that if price is the only deciding factor on a job, then yes it will probably still be delivered on time and to an acceptable standard, but if at any point there’s a problem then, by and large, you get what you pay for when it comes to service.
They also know that while those responsible for commissioning and buying within organisations are generally getting younger, sadly the same can’t be said for the staff in the industry that serves them.
While this might imply an ever-widening disconnect between buyers and their suppliers, that’s not necessarily the case.
Because despite all of the above, to a man and woman it’s clear from their conversations on the judging day that they all still get excited about print. And they appreciate their suppliers
So perhaps being a print buyer isn’t that bad after all!