Evaluating Your Printers

A checklist for rating your print suppliers

Note from editor:
PBO has received many requests from print buyer members for ideas on how to evaluate their printers. In response to that request, here are some suggestions to help you create your own Supplier Report Card. Since every print buyer and buying company has different hot spots, you’ll want to customize this list to your own needs. Also, you may want to create the report in Excel or a similar program so that you can manipulate the information more easily.

The goal of the evaluation is to both recognize what your suppliers are doing right as well as identify areas that need to be improved. By having a process for collecting performance data, you’ll be able to better identify and communicate your needs.



Tips on Evaluating Your Printers

  1. Rate your printers on a consistent basis. We suggest rating your suppliers on a monthly basis. For suppliers that you don’t use often, you may want to rate them as soon as the job is complete so you don’t forget performance details.

  2. By all means share your evaluation with each printer. You both will benefit if they understand your likes and dislikes and how they are perceived.

  3. Explain to your suppliers that the Report Card isn’t meant to penalize, but rather to increase communication, provide valuable feedback to the printer, and have your expectations met.

  4. Ask your printers to rate themselves using the same Report Card. We’ve found that when printers are involved in deciding their scores that their accountability increases as well as their views on the credibility of the process.

  5. Keep a file of completed Report Cards. You’ll be able to compare performance from month to month. You may also use it as a basis to discuss the printer’s strengths and weaknesses during your annual review meetings with your key suppliers.

  6. The goal isn’t a perfect score – it’s improvement and increased communications.

Supplier Report Card

Supplier/Printer Name: ____________

Review Period: ______________

Rate each item on a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being the best/highest).

Add Bonus Points for each of these “above-the-call-of-duty” services provided:

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