Being a contract printer (ASI supplier) for ASI distributors and other promotional product “professionals” is a love/hate relationship if ever there was one.
When the relationship goes well it is a great cooperative arrangement and the distributor (in their white hat of course emblazoned with their clever name and logo) is our financier, our great customer service rep, our creative source for the art, our best salesperson. It is a wonderful thing and they send us regular work in a timely fashion and everyone prospers. When all is well in this world, we concentrate on what we do best: we create good artwork with them and do great printing and the Promotional Company does that which they do best which is to take care of business, sales, customer service, logistics, sourcing, and collections. When it is good it is very very good and things run smoothly and everyone profits while having a lovely time of it.
When it goes poorly, the distributor (no doubt in a cheap black hat emblazoned with their silly low res logo and not so clever company name that undoubtedly involves a bad pun like Cre8tivv Logodudes) is a leech, plain and simple. When it goes wrong he or she exploits us, lies to us, doesn’t understand what we do, beats us down on price, doesn’t pay us in a timely fashion, and basically makes us do all the work and they take most of the money.
Best advice I can give is that when you get a good one hold on to them and do everything they want and partner on. When you get a bad one, run away and make sure you run away fast and far.
In the coming weeks we’ll explore the contract world, but let that be a start to it.