Sunday, December 5, 2004

If I Were a Printer . . . Part 2

If I were a Printer, I would raise my prices.
Actually I would raise my List prices and then discount as appropriate.
It's Google-Mart rules. "You pays your money and takes your choice."

Consider the airlines.
Before a plane leaves, the selling price is X.
Once the plane takes off there is no selling price. The value disappears.
The closer it gets to taking off, the lower the selling price.
If you can schedule a seat way ahead, the price is X-2A.
If you can bundle a lot of seats and buy them at the same time, the price is X-4A.

The rich traveler wants to fly first class. He doesn't really look at price.
The business traveler wants the trip now. He doesn't want the inconvenience of planning ahead. He pays X.
The tourist would rather invest his time and save money. He pays X- A. If he invests time searching the web, he pays X-2A.
The tour operator makes his money buying wholesale. He pays X-4A.

In every case, the airline wins.
That's why they have a computer that calculates how many seats to leave available for business travelers, tourists and tour operators.

Once Print is a commodity there is no room to raise prices.The good news is that it's finally possible to charge for the real values we deliver. Time to delivery. Project management.

Everybody wants time. They will happily trade money for time.
Everybody needs project management. It gives them more time to do the other 1000 things they have to do. They will trade money for time.

So . . .I would set list prices for a Y day delivery. First class.
Then list prices for Y+5 day delivery. Tourist class.
Then list prices for Y+? delivery. Stand by.
Then I would give discounts to people who are willing to trade time for money. Then I would give discounts to people who bundle work. Then I would give discounts to some new customers . . . maybe and only as appropriate.

Then I would use those discounts to build communities of clients.
As in "You qualify for the 15% discount, because ...blah. blah. blah"
Then I would go to my regular customers and tell them we were raising prices by 20% but they get a 20% discount for being good customers.
Then I would give customers Frequent Printing Points...that they could trade for cheap stuff that I could buy for peanuts. Or I would buy Frequent Flyer Points wholesale, and give them to my customers as a benefit of giving me work. Then I would encourage all my customers to use credit cards, then I would double the Miles they get from the credit card companies.

Meanwhile, I would get my plant manager to tell me exactly what press time is available and exactly when, for two months out.
He will push back and say " But I don't know what I have coming in."
I would say "When is this job going to hit the press."
He would say, " I don't know, because blah.blah.blah..."
I would say, "Find out."
He would say, "I can't"
I would say "hmmmmmm..."
Then I would find a new plant manager.

After I hired the new plant manager, I would say " What slots do we have available for the next two months?"
He would say "a,b,c ... blah,blah,blah."
Then I would tell my sales manager to sell a and b and c.
He would say "Huh?"
I would say "the price for a-tmw. is X-4A. And the price for b-next week is X-3A, and the price for c-next month is X-4A or whatever works." The deal is that if the buyer reserves and then screws up, they pay a cancellation fee.
Then I would say, "Make sure those time slots are filled."
Then I would comp the sales manager based on filled press time.

If his team fills press time according to the rules, he wins. If not, then not so much.
Too much open press time?
I would say "Hmmmmmmm"
Then I would ask "Why?"
Then I would hear "blah,blah,blah" from everyone in the shop.
Then I would go to everyone in the shop and ask "Why?"
I would say "Hmmmmmm."

You can fill in the rest.

I would stop wasting time on return on investment, ROI.
I would focus on return on time, ROT. Thanks Dr Joe.

If I couldn't build, educate or find a "plant manager" and a "sales manager" that could do the job, I would consider either selling to one of the big guys and let them worry about it or take my marbles and go home. I could find better ways to invest my time.

More about Selling, instead of giving away Project Management, at another time. That will probably be If I were a Printer Part 3 or 4.

If I were a Printer Part 1

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