We know the anxiety is real because we hear the horror stories firsthand. Publishers are regularly bullied into accepting subpar reproduction quality from printers whom they’ve described to us as “remorseless.”
In too many cases, what these publishers describe is an erratic decline in print quality. One that is often defended by printers under some buzzword or banner — like “LEAN Manufacturing” and all its related terms. But the terms are getting misused and misconstrued. LEAN’s “minimum viable product” is twisted into “the cheapest and worst the customer will continue to accept.” “Continuous improvement” becomes code for “spare every expense.” “Creating more value for customers” is mangled into “wring every drop of revenue from the customer.” And your magazine suffers.
You know how the finished product looks when this happens. Images appear dirty, gray, and hollow. Color isn’t saturated, bright, or clean. Worse, what’s shipped is inconsistent from copy to copy.
Poor print quality undermines your efforts. The consequences are real: disaffected advertisers and diminished advertising revenue; lost cachet for your magazine; unimpressed and uninspired readers. And for your staff, their hard work isn’t being given a fair shake.