This week I received a request from a customer to reorder something I printed a year ago. I found that the printer I had used had sold his business. To make things worse, the buyer kept only part of it, excluding the kind of work I needed.
I struggled for a week to find a printer who could meet my needs. The first one I found claimed to have 50 years experience dealing with the wholesale trade.
I went to their website. It was poorly designed and I could not find the product I wanted. So I emailed them. After 24 hours without a response. I tried calling them, but no one picked up the phone until I selected the option “accounting department.” I explained my frustration and finally reached someone who, in theory, would help me. That was two days ago.
After several more phone calls and emails, I finally got a quote. It was outrageously high.
Today I found another printer. They had what I needed. It took less than an hour. A few minutes later (yes, minutes), I received a proof for approval. Minutes later, the job was on the press. By the way, the price was half of what was quoted by the previous printer, and the quantity was 25% larger.
The moral of the story is that old-time printers cannot survive in this era of large, modern, digitized, and highly automated commercial printers. The entire process (ordering, approving, plating, and going on press) were fully automated by simple instructions provided by me from my desktop computer.